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South Korea Earns Samsung Electronics
The corporate logo of Samsung Electronics Co. is seen at its shop in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, April 27, 2017. Samsung Electronics said Thursday its first-quarter profit surged to the highest level in more than three years as its semiconductor division posted the highest income in the company's history. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Samsung is crafting a smart speaker powered by Bixby



Samsung Electronics is working on a voice-activated speaker that relies on its digital assistant Bixby, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal Tuesday.

The project potentially enters Samsung into the increasingly competitive market for smart speakers, according to The Journal.

The Journal’s sources said that the timing of the product’s completion is far from certain, adding many of the speaker’s features and other specification remain fluid.

The venture is reportedly known as “Vega” within Samsung and has been in the works for more than a year.

Twitter users on Tuesday began speculating over what impact Samsung’s project may have on competitors like Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft involved in the smart speaker space.

The English-language version of Bixby has reportedly been delayed, leaving the program only available in Korean.

Samsung, Amazon, Apple and other tech companies are scrambling to win over customers eager for voice-activated assistants.

Amazon has entered the market with its Echo speaker, while Alphabet has Google Home and Apple is developing the HomePod.

Smart speakers are wireless and use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other mediums to expand their functions past audio playback.

Tech industry executives say virtual assistants will help advance voice-activated artificial-intelligence capabilities by helping software evolve and learn from mistakes.

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