Samsung’s flexible display tech finds its way to smart home speakers.
Rumor has it that Samsung is launching its highly anticipated Galaxy Home Mini speaker during the upcoming Galaxy S20 launch. It effectively skips the much-delayed Galaxy Home smart speaker, but if a newly filed patent is to be believed, we may see yet another device in Samsung’s audio lineup in the near future.
The information comes from a patent sent by Samsung at the Korean Intellectual Property Rights Information Service. Online sleuths spotted the filling and have shared the design. What makes this particular smart speaker special is its use of the company’s signature foldable display technology.
Wrapping Your Head Around the Idea
The cylindrical smart speaker would have the flexible panel wrapped around it. The audio driver would likely point upward, and microphones may be located on top for easier access via voice commands.
More interesting, however, is the potential for the screen to fold outward and become a touchscreen in front. This would transform the smart speaker into a smart display, able to provide online information on the fly and provide the visual details an audio device could not.
This being Samsung, it’ll obviously come equipped with the Bixby voice assistant, rather than Google Assistant or the option for Amazon’s Alexa. Samsung has been serious in pushing its virtual assistant since its introduction in 2017, going as far as implementing a dedicated Bixby button to its recent flagship smartphones.
Of course, this is just a patent, and production could be far away — if at all. We’re accustomed to seeing patents never becoming actual products.
We’re accustomed to seeing patents never becoming actual products.
Samsung’s Home Problem
While it’s great to see Samsung being creative with its home gadgets, the bigger hurdle is getting a tangible product into the market. The original Galaxy Home smart speaker was unveiled in August 2018 but has yet to become commercially available.
The latest rumor now says that the Galaxy Home Mini — a smaller and cheaper variant — might arrive first on February 11, when the Galaxy S20 launch happens. Prior to this, Samsung only announced during CES 2020 last month that the Home Mini will land in “early 2020.”
Additional leaked information points to Samsung’s update to the Galaxy Buds coming on February 11 as well. Simply called the Galaxy Buds+, the true wireless earbuds may become a bonus to those who pre-order the Galaxy S20 flagship phones.
This year may be Samsung’s moment to shine in the audio market. For now, we have to wait and see what’ll happen next week in San Francisco, California.