Samsung is leveraging Harman Kardon to build a new smart speaker; will it run Bixby?

Samsung and Harman Kardon are working to produce a new smart speaker – potentially one that runs the former’s newly announced Bixby assistant.

Harmon Kardon introduced a slew of new smart speakers this year at IFA, wherein most units leveraged Google Assistant as their AI of choice. However, both Samsung and Harmon have now announced that a mutual partnership will lead to the creation of an AI-powered product that “will have a better AI platform than Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.”
Harmon Kardon has been fairly fluid when it comes to picking a digital assistant to power its speakers; before the company debuted its Allure lineup at IFA, it released the Invoke – one of the few smart speakers to leverage Microsoft’s Cortana as the captain at its helm.
Read: Samsung is reportedly prepping its own answer to Apple’s AirPods, with Bixby in tow
Of course, it’s perhaps unsurprising to imagine that Bixby will be the AI of choice for Harmon Kardon in the future, given that Samsung recently acquired the giant in March this year.
The visible challenge for both companies is that Bixby has staked its claim on context rather than information – where the likes of Google Assistant and Siri sport strong smart home connectivity and can yield information through search, Bixby’s special sauce is that the assistant operates on a contextual basis, and is able to perform complicated actions within mobile apps.
Harman International CEO Dinesh Paliwal offered that his company intends to produce “a whole new ecosystem” of products with smart home connectivity, before adding that consumers should be able to get their hands on a finished product next year.
It remains to be seen if the company will indeed leverage Bixby going forward – though we imagine that the Samsung subsidiary’s days of using Google Assistant might well be numbered.
Read: Samsung confirms its plans to develop an Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo rival
What are your thoughts? Would you want a smart speaker with Bixby in command? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA