Samsung Electronics Co Ltd showed a simple AI (smart) speaker that uses a smartphone.

The AI speaker, "Aurora," was exhibited at the SXSW 2018 Trade Show, which took place from March at 11 to 14, 2018, at Austin Convention Center. The speaker is not equipped with a processing unit, microphone or other components necessary for an AI speaker and uses a smartphone instead. Therefore, it can be manufactured at a low cost, according to Samsung.

Samsung Electronics' "Aurora." It has a boxy shape, and a character floats above the Bluetooth speaker like a hologram. A smartphone is inserted into the upper (white) part (blue slot). The protruding part on the top surface is an optical mechanism for using a smartphone camera for image recognition.

The AI speaker is realized by (1) the main unit of the Aurora, (2) smartphone, (3) smartphone application and (4) Bluetooth speaker. It can also charge a smartphone.

"When the user comes back home, he or she inserts a smartphone to the Aurora and uses it as an AI speaker while charging the phone," Samsung said.

A character showed on the smartphone display is projected, and the character floats in the air like a hologram. Based on how the user is speaking, the Aurora judges the emotion of the user and reacts accordingly. Currently, only one character is available, but the company expects to increase the number of characters.

The inside of the Aurora. A smartphone with its display facing down is located near the top surface. It can be said that the Aurora is an AI speaker similar to "Gatebox," etc.

The Aurora uses the smartphone's microphone and camera as its microphone and camera and can be operated with gestures (e.g. scrolling an image). As a speaker, it uses either the smartphone's speaker or the Bluetooth speaker.

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