Samsung Launches Voice Assistant-Enabled Smart Monitor
Samsung released a new device this week that floats somewhere between a smart TV, a computer monitor, and a smart display. The new Smart Monitor, which comes in 27-inch and 32-inch variants, runs on Samsung Tizen and includes a remote control with voice control and access to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung Bixby voice assistants.
The 27-inch monitor costs $230, and the 32-inch monitor costs $280. Samsung also said a 4K version of the 32-inch monitor would come out soon and cost $400. Recent Galaxy phone owners can access DeX to directly set up the screen like a PC or mirror what’s on the screen of the phone. The device also turns into a more familiar computer monitor when connected by Bluetooth to a mouse and keyboard. The monitor can use Wi-Fi to connect with smart home devices controlled by voice assistants, letting users log into their accounts for any of the voice assistants. Along with the three voice assistants, the smart monitor can use Apple AirPlay 2 to cast content on its screen.
“Consumers’ reliance on monitors has dramatically increased during this time when many are staying-at-home,” Samsung vice president of marketing Mark Quiroz said in a statement. “Smart Monitor is Samsung’s response to this new environment; its flexibility to transform into a display for work, school or streaming content makes it an incredible value, especially to younger consumers and cord-cutters seeking a do-it-all display.”
The smart monitor can serve as a TV, smart display, or computer screen, but not quite any of them. The smart monitor also highlights that Samsung has not released the Galaxy Home smart speaker, supposedly aimed to compete with very high-end audio equipment, and first demoed in August 2018. The Galaxy Home Mini did come out earlier this year and recently added a new wake word, but is only sold in South Korea, and there are no announced plans to ship them elsewhere.
The smart monitor does continue Samsung’s expansion of Bixby’s presence into more devices. The voice assistant recently had a redesign of its interface but has been surrounded by rumors that Samsung will drop its voice assistant in favor of Google Assistant. The shutdown of Bixby Vision, the augmented reality feature of its voice assistant that can measure objects and simulate objects in a room, and downsizing of the Bixby developer marketing team, which worked to recruit Bixby capsule developers, didn’t help stop those rumors. Samsung has been very firm in its statements that Bixby will be around for the foreseeable future, even expanding access to older Galaxy smartphones that had previously used the now-shuttered S Voice digital assistant and releasing the Galaxy Buds Live, bean-shaped earbuds built to take advantage of Bixby more than anything else.