Gadget makers are flocking to create smart speakers. 

Already Samsung has revealed plans for a Bixby speaker to take on Apple’s HomePod, Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home.

Apple’s speaker will have a higher price tag than the Amazon Echo range, which begins at $49 (£49) for the Echo Dot.

The speaker will provide a hub for appliances via Apple’s HomeKit system and establish a centre inside the home to lock people in to using other Apple services, according to the report.

A speaker might help customers stay loyal to other services such as Apple Music, Apple Watch, Apple TV and AirPods. 

Google’s $130 (£105) Home speaker is triggered by the phrase ‘Hey Google’ while Amazon’s Echo uses ‘Alexa’.

Amazon's $50 (£40)  Echo Dot puts the firm's smart speaker in a small package

Amazon’s $50 (£40) Echo Dot puts the firm’s smart speaker in a small package

Amazon’s smart speaker is available in two versions – the full sized $180 (£145) Echo shown here, and a smaller, $50 (£40) version called the Echo Dot.

Amazon Echo uses Microsoft’s Bing search engine to provide additional information, while Google Home uses the company’s own Google Search.

Both Home and Echo are continually listening for commands, though Google and Amazon say nothing gets passed back to them until the speakers hear a keyword — ‘OK, Google’ for Home and ‘Alexa’ for Echo.

Google Home Mini:  Google's clever tech-filled $49 (£34) doughnut can do almost everything  its bigger voice controlled Google Assistant powered sibling can do, including answer questions and control third-party devices.

Google Home Mini:  Google’s clever tech-filled $49 (£34) doughnut can do almosteverything  its bigger voice controlledGoogle Assistant poweredsibling can do,including answer questionsand control third-party devices.

Google’s Assistant software is also able to answer follow-up questions on the same topic, in a near-conversation style, but Echo as yet cannot.

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However, Amazon’s Alexa software has a wider range of skills on offer that enable it to link up with and control more third-party devices around the home.

A light comes on to remind you that it’s listening.

You can turn off the microphone temporarily, too. 



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