Skip to main content

Samsung May Be Working on Bixby-Powered Echo Killer

A pair of Samsung patents suggests the Korean conglomerate has big plans for a new Galaxy Note. And it might even offer a new Bixby-focused device.

The next Galaxy Note could look radically different. Credit: Patently Mobile

(Image credit: The next Galaxy Note could look radically different. Credit: Patently Mobile)

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday (May 9) published two design patents from Samsung that look at some new hardware concepts from the company. The design patents were earlier reported on by Patently Mobile.

The first patent details a new Galaxy Note concept that comes with a dramatically different design. The handset would come with a tapered design that would allow the majority of the smartphone to be exceedingly thin. One edge, however, houses the smartphone's S Pen stylus, causing it to be a bit chunkier there.

MORE: Galaxy Note 8 Rumors: This Could Be Hottest Phone of 2017

Interestingly, the patent's front design sketch shows a device with a physical button under the screen, suggesting Samsung is at least considering a Note that wouldn't have a display that would entirely cover the handset's face like the recently released Galaxy S8. Also, unlike the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy Note patent appears to only show one screen curve instead of the dual curve you'd find in Samsung's latest flagship.

Samsung may be working on a Bixby device with a dispaly. Credit: Patently Mobile

(Image credit: Samsung may be working on a Bixby device with a dispaly. Credit: Patently Mobile)

Patently Apple also uncovered what Samsung calls an "audio device" in its design patent. There's little to go on with the device, other than that it comes with a big screen and a stand. Indeed, the device looks like a simple computer monitor, but according to Patently Mobile, Samsung's patent indicates it's not meant solely to display content from a source.

The patent becomes all the more interesting in light of yesterday's announcement of the Amazon Echo Show, a new smart home hub from the e-retail giant that adds a 7-inch touchscreen to the device. It's possible that Samsung is dreaming up the same concept with this patent and will bundle its own virtual personal assistant Bixby in the device.

But like any other major tech company, Samsung files for patents all the time. And while it's possible these devices make their way to store shelves, it's also possible they're simply design concepts that will never come to fruition.