A new report out of Variety claims Samsung is gearing up to add the Google Assistant to its lineup of 2019 smart TVs. The report suggests the company will announce some sort of partnership with Google as early as next month during CES 2019 in Las Vegas. So far, it’s unclear if older TV sets will get the feature, but for now, it seems unlikely.
If Samsung adds the Assistant to their TVs, it would be a direct departure from the company’s previous efforts to make Bixby as prominent as possible. If you recall, Bixby is Samsung’s own voice assistant that, despite offering unique features, never caught on due to its sheer inability to properly compete with Google’s AI bot. Nonetheless, Bixby has made its way to phones, TVs, and refrigerators over the past couple of years, but it looks like Samsung may finally begin admitting defeat and handing the baton to Google, the clearly dominate force.
With the Assistant on a Samsung TV, ideally, you’d be able to switch inputs and change channels with just your voice. Of course, you should also be able to control smart home gadgets, ask about the weather, and do other Assistant-like things.
In addition, Variety says Samsung is also working to add spatially-aware audio tuning to its new smart TVs next year as describe in multiple patents belonging to the company. Essentially, the technology will allow the TVs to adjust their speakers output based on the size of a room, ambient noise, and where the television’s positioned. Both Apple and Google have similar functionality in their respective smart speakers (the HomePod and Google Home Max), but it’d be one of the first times we’ve seen the feature on a TV.
Since these TVs are said to arrive next month during CES, we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop if we hear anything since, yes, we’ll be live in Las Vegas covering Samsung’s announcements.