Samsung's Galaxy Home has been a pretty mysterious device. It was first unveiled at the company's Unpacked event in the summer of 2018, and while at some point it was expected to arrive in April of last year, that never happened, and Samsung has been quiet about it. Then, in the summer of last year, it was said that the company was beta testing a Galaxy Home Mini, which hadn't been officially announced.
Now, as it turns out, the Mini model might be the only one that actually sees a release. As reported by Bloomberg, Samsung Electronics President and CEO Hyunsuk Kim said the company is aiming to release the miniaturized smart speaker "early" this year. With that being said, a specific date wasn't provided. Perhaps more interesting is the fact that Samsung is still deciding on the fate of the original Galaxy Home, as its focus is currently on the Mini.
Samsung also said that its focus for Bixby has changed somewhat, and it's not trying to make it a conversational AI platform like the Google Assistant or Alexa. Instead, it's focused on making sure that Bixby offers the best experience for controlling the company's own smart home devices. Hyunsuk Kim has apparently been testing the device in his own home, where it's connected to 63 different appliances.
While Samsung's smart speaker has been in the works for quite some time, the company has been working on some other projects, and it showed off a tiny spherical robot called Ballie during its CES keynote. The device is fairly interesting in that it can't talk or make any gestures to represent emotions, but instead is designed to take care of users and their home. It can open your curtains and play music when it's time to wake up, or start preparing a meal when it's time to eat.
It's essentially designed to manage your smart home without the user needing to talk to it as much. When you leave home, it can help entertain your dog by turning on the TV, and if it detects that someone spilled something on the floor, it can wake up robotic vacuum cleaners to clean the mess, without the need for human interaction.
It's unclear if and when Ballie will become a reality, but it could be a pretty interesting experience if it does come to fruition.