Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 release may have tanked prematurely owing to exploding battery issues, but the company has a new flagship up its sleeve that has been generating plenty of excitement: the highly anticipated Galaxy S8.
The Galaxy S8 will not only house powerful specs but is rumored to imbibe groundbreaking features such as an optical fingerprint scanner on the handset's display.
The latest buzz, however, is that the Samsung flagship could take the Apple Siri route and have its very own A.I. assistant dubbed Bixby.
On Monday, Oct. 31, the company filed a trademark in home country South Korea, where the OEM is seeking protection for the term "Bixby."
Samsung's trademark application, which has the number 4020160092342, elaborates how Bixby will be deployed as "computer software for personal information management," "computer software for enabling hands-free use of a mobile phone through voice recognition," and "computer application software for smartphones, mobile telephones, portable computers and tablet computers, namely, software used to operate voice recognition system."
The trademark filing for Bixby comes close on the heels of Samsung's acquisition of A.I. startup Viv Labs in October. Viv Labs, a California-based company, is the brainchild of the very people who developed Siri, Apple's popular voice assistant.
Viv is the startup's eponymous open A.I. platform, which can be integrated into third-party apps and services. The platform's USP lies in its ability to evolve with the user as it is "always learning," a feature which differentiates it from competing voice assistants like Google Now, Alexa or even Siri.
"With Viv, Samsung will be able to unlock and offer new service experiences for its customers, including one that simplifies user interfaces, understands the context of the user and offers the user the most appropriate and convenient suggestions and recommendations," noted the OEM upon acquisition.
Rumors have been rife that the Galaxy S8, the successor of the Galaxy S7, will house an A.I. assistant that will deploy Viv Labs' technology. Now that Samsung has filed for a trademark application for Bixby, which hints at an A.I. assistant, the rumor could well translate into reality.
Trademark and patent applications can sometimes offer a peek into possible technologies and features that an OEM may be aspiring for. However, not all of these see the light of day.
With that said, the idea of Bixby as the possible new A.I. assistant replacing S Voice could be sheer speculation, but we would not rule out the possibility that it would materialize.