Bluetooth speakers are like the Pokémon Go accounts of the tech industry, these days: it seems like everyone’s making one. Amazon has its Echo series. Google has its upcoming, eponymous Google Home. And now Samsung has a music box to call its own: the “Scoop.”
An intrepid reporter at Ausdroid spotted pics — captured, it seems, as the device underwent compliance testing by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission — of what appear to be an as-yet unannounced Bluetooth speaker adorned with electronics maker’s distinctive lettering.
The Scoop, as the engravings on its bottom suggest it’s called, looks a bit like a cut-down Yankee Candle. Dominating the top is what appears to be a circular, perforated speaker grille encircled by playback and volume controls: there’s a “plus” icon, a “minus” icon, and a combination pause/play button arranged opposite and equidistant from one another.
On the cylindrical Scoop’s side is a power button, a oval-shaped port with protective plastic shielding that appears to be concealing a USB and 3.5mm audio port, and a small cutout with a microphone icon. There’s also what seems to be a tan-colored wrist strap of indeterminable material jutting out from the side, and a matching base of what might be silicon or hard rubber.
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According to the FCC filings, the Scoop is rechargeable. It draws juice from “Samsung-approved chargers,” a few of which the device’s manual indicates will be available for purchase, and an LED indicator up top will reportedly indicate the speaker’s power capacity. And it’s quite portable — judging by the ruler adjacent to the Scoop, it measures about 10 centimeters in diameter.
The presence of a microphone cutout would seem to indicate that the Scoop is capable of more than just playing music. But that’d be somewhat unprecedented — Samsung’s voice assistant, S Voice, is considered generally less capable than Google’s and Amazon’s respective voice assistants. Just as unclear is whether the Scoop would process voice commands internally, or offload processing to a paired smartphone or tablet.
It’s just as likely that the Scoop lacks any sort of voice-powered intelligence, of course. The manual doesn’t explicitly mention assistance features, and portable Bluetooth speakers with built-in microphones aren’t all that uncommon. But that pertinent detail probably won’t be revealed for a couple of weeks, at the earliest — Samsung has yet to formally introduce, much less acknowledge, the Scoop … at least not directly.
French mobile blog Frandroid reported on a “Samsung Scoop” speaker in May. It described it as a “mini-chamber” peripheral made of “flexible plastic” that lasts eight hours on battery, and pegged the price at 40 euros (just over $45). It’s unclear how dramatically, or if at all, the pictured Scoop differs.