We knew Samsung had been working on a second Bixby speaker but we didn’t expect the company to showcase the “Galaxy Home Mini” at its developer conference a couple weeks ago. Though it hasn’t been launched officially, it seems like Samsung doesn’t want to keep it under wraps any longer.
Samsung again put this smart speaker on display during Bixby Developer Day at Sejong University in Seoul. And we have now learned another interesting tidbit about the Galaxy Home Mini. It has infrared transmitters to let you control offline home appliances. This is a first-of-a-kind feature that will enable you to access non-smart home devices by voice commands alone.
At the conference, Yi Ji-soo, VP of the AI team at Samsung’s IT & Mobile Communications said, “Galaxy Home Mini is equipped with four infrared remote transmitters and receivers to cover all ranges. Users can register nearly all remote signals of home appliances in the Galaxy Home Mini to control [appliances] regardless of brand or internet connection.”
Most smart speakers nowadays let you control smart home (Internet of Things) devices, which connect to the Internet. But, there’s still a number of home appliances that aren’t smart and use traditional IR-enabled remotes. Samsung’s mini smart speaker could be a great alternative to the plethora of remotes that you need to keep by your bedside. This could also be a feature that differentiates it from speakers that are loud and come with a digital clock up-front.
There’s currently no information available on how the feature will work and how Galaxy Home Mini recognizes what appliance you are trying to control with a voice command. I guess we will learn about this speaker at the Galaxy S11 series launch event next year.