Digital assistants are rapidly gaining ground and Samsung is expected to join the fray with its Galaxy S8, which will reportedly rock an artificial intelligence- powered smart assistant of its own.
Microsoft already has Cortana, Google has Google Assistant, Apple has Siri, but Samsung has so far stayed out of the smart assistant race for some reason. That won't be the case for long, however, as the next-generation Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone will finally boast its very own AI digital assistant next spring.
The news doesn't come as much of a surprise, since Samsung's acquisition of Viv Labs back in October already made it pretty clear that it's headed in this direction. The founders of Viv Labs are also behind Apple's popular Siri, which needs no introduction. A new report from Reuters now confirms that the Galaxy S8 will indeed have a smart digital assistant based on technology from Viv Labs.
Samsung will apparently take advantage of Viv's existing expertise and strengths rather than aiming for a full platform revamp, and this may be precisely what the Galaxy S8's assistant needs to stand out from the crowd. One of the staples of Viv's technology is that it's designed to work seamlessly with third-party services and the Galaxy S8 will reportedly bank on this strategy.
"Developers can attach and upload services to our agent," Samsung EVP Rhee Injong explained, as cited by Reuters. "Even if Samsung doesn't do anything on its own, the more services that get attached the smarter this agent will get, learn more services and provide them to end-users with ease."
Considering the heavy blow it took from two Galaxy Note 7 recalls, Samsung desperately needs its Galaxy S8 to be a smashing hit. The AI digital assistant could raise more interest, offer more advanced functionality and help Samsung rebuild consumer confidence after the massive Note 7 flop. Samsung also recalled a top-loading washing machine recently, which further damaged its reputation.
If the digital assistant is a big enough draw, it could help sell the Galaxy S8 and, in turn, help Samsung make up for the financial losses it incurred with the Note 7 disaster. For the third quarter, Apple raked in more than 100 percent of profit from the smartphone industry, leaving Samsung as a distant second.
Nevertheless, Samsung will be facing some fierce competition from Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa which recently hit mobile and Cortana.
Samsung's upcoming digital assistant is apparently dubbed Bixby and the company already applied for a trademark. It remains to be seen whether it will be the hit Samsung needs, but allowing developers to upload services sounds like a winning strategy.