Is Samsung Scoop an Echo-killer?

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Screenshot from FCC report document

Two days ago, Samsung’s Scoop speaker hit the FCC’s site for compliance filing. It seems whenever a major consumer electronics company puts out a device with limited specs, our imaginations fill the voice. I was really excited about the possibility of Samsung getting into the space.

Is the Scoop Samsung’s answer to the Amazon Echo? In all likelihood, it isn’t. Of course, I could be completely wrong, but these are the reasons I don’t think it’s a voice interactive far field device like the Echo:

  1. Only one mic

There’s only one microphone evident on one side mid-way up the base. This isn’t great for far field in any capacity. There’s no real way to beam form this way.

That said, this could be perfectly fine for having a BT mic speakerphone call. Speaker up top, mic perpendicular is a good setup for this.

2. Nothing too powerful looking in the guts

There appears to be a CSR bluetooth module. These are definitely capable of running local speech triggering / phrases spotting. Sensory has ported it’s software to these chips.

3. There’s no WiFi

This is a portable BlueTooth device. WiFi isn’t mentioned anywhere in the filings. This means it needs to be paired with a phone.

So short answer — no, this is no Echo-killer. It’s like a great BLE speaker and there’s probably more that Samsung has in the works. We’ll have to keep waiting…

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Independent daily thoughts on all things future, voice technologies and AI. More at http://linkedin.com/in/grebler

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