Samsung Electronics is currently developing a Bluetooth-enabled earset infused with Bixby, the company’s latest artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, industry sources said on Friday. The South Korean original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is understood to be wrapping up the research and development phase of the project and may be ready to commercialize it in the coming months, possibly in time for the launch of the Galaxy Note 8, according to the report. Samsung is understood to be considering bundling the earset with its next phablet though no final decision on the matter has yet been made. Even if consumers who purchase the Galaxy Note 8 end up getting the product for free, the earset is still expected to be available for purchase individually in the coming months.
Insiders claim that the device supports Samsung’s proprietary noise-blocking technology that can eliminate external audio interference in an effort to facilitate the process of making a phone call. No other specifics on the product have been revealed in the report, though the currently available information already suggests a number of things about its capabilities; being just an earset, the device is likely to be extremely compact and will communicate with Bixby’s servers by connecting to a compatible handset via Bluetooth, then using its Wi-Fi or cellular connection. The earpiece may also support Bluetooth 5.0, the latest iteration of the popular wireless standard that Samsung was the first to implement into a commercially available smartphone by releasing the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus earlier this year.
It’s currently unclear whether the Seoul-based consumer electronics manufacturer is considering bundling the rumored earpiece with the Galaxy Note 8 in all of its target markets or only in select territories. The latter scenario may be more likely in light of the fact that Bixby Voice is currently only available in Samsung’s home country and the United States, with the company’s software engineers reportedly struggling to make the service compatible with more languages. Regardless, industry sources are seemingly fairly convinced that Samsung will introduce its upcoming earpiece simultaneously with the Galaxy Note 8. One recent report indicated that the company downscaled its AI ambitions to a degree and opted not to release a Bixby-enabled speaker until the Internet of Things (IoT) market is more mature and better defined.