Samsung's 2019 TVs could get Google Assistant and Enhanced Audio

Mike Wheatley

Samsung is going to add Google Assistant to its 2019 lineup of smart TVs, if a report from Variety is anything to go by. The new TVs will also come with enhanced audio that’s able to adapt to the room they’re located in, the report said.


Variety quoted “sources familiar with the company’s plans” as saying that Samsung will announce a partnership with Google to integrate Google Assistant as early as next month. If so it would represent a major shift for Samsung, which has been trying to compete with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa by pushing its own Bixby personal assistant, pre-installing it on many its smartphones, smart home devices, appliances, and TVs by default.

Samsung has been stubborn in its efforts to get consumers to Bixby, but it’s clear that the firm's technology is inferior to Google Assistant and Alexa. While Bixby can be used for simple operations like turning on the TV and switching channels or changing the volume, it doesn’t support any third party skills so it cannot be used to navigate apps such as Netflix. Also, Bixby has only recently become available for third party manufacturers to add to their own hardware.

Variety said that Google Assistant on Samsung TVs will likely function in a similar way to how it works on LG’s TVs. That means users will be able to control the TV directly as well as other apps. They’ll also be able to use Google Assistant to control other compatible devices, and ask more general queries such as the latest weather forecast. With LG TVs, it’s possible to query Google Assistant via the TV’s microphone or through an external smart speaker that’s paired with the TV.

The other key update reported by Variety will see Samsung’s 2019 TVs gain the ability to optimise their sound output according to the environment they’re in. Variety cites a number of technology patents filed by Samsung last month as evidence of this, including a new “audio scenic intelligence” feature. There’s also a patent for “audio spatial intelligence” that describes technology which optimises sound quality depending on surrounding environment factors such as the size of the room, echo and background noise.

This feature sounds somewhat similar to Apple’s HomePod and some Sonos speakers, both of which optimise audio quality by playing a number of test sounds to measure performance in a specific room.

So far there’s been no official confirmation from Samsung on either new feature, but Variety says we can expect to hear something at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.