Samsung just created a dongle that turns dumb things into smart things

Samsung chief technology officer INjong Rhee. (Source: Samsung)

Samsung has demonstrated a small dongle device that plugs into a variety of everyday items, to instantly turn them into smart objects controlled by its machine learning assistant Bixby.

The capability, codenamed Project Ambience, was shown on stage at the electronics giant’s developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Samsung executives claimed Project Ambience would usher in the “next generation” for the internet of things, which would see objects become intelligent rather than merely connected.

Samsung chief technology officer Injong Rhee demonstrated the capability by plugging a prototype dongle into a “dumb” speaker. He then used voice commands to ask questions and play music on the speaker.

“This is a regular speaker… but I’m going to turn this into a smart speaker,” he said. “All this [dongle] has is a microphone, wi-fi and output port.”

Rhee also showed how multiple units can be placed discreetly around the home, with the nearest mic picking up the voice command.

“The goal is to make this technology from Project Ambience… to be installed and used in a wide variety of things. And this is a small peep into the future.”

The journalist travelled to San Francisco courtesy of Samsung Australia.

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