With the success of Amazon Echo's voice assistant Alexa, other tech giants have followed suit. Just take a look at Google Home, Microsoft Cortana, and the Apple HomeKit. Samsung is now joining the fray as it is prepping up the launch of its voice assistant technology just in time for the unveiling of its flagship phone this March or April.
The South Korean giant is now planning to incorporate the A.I. platform into its Galaxy smartphones, wearables, and home appliances. The company hopes that the voice assistant technology will help gain some of the momentum it lost after the recall of its flagship phone, the Galaxy Note 7, late last year.
In October 2016, Samsung acquired a startup called Viv Labs, which is the team behind Apple's Siri. In November, Samsung filed for a trademark for the word "Bixby." The company's trademark application showed that the said word will be used as a software for voice recognition and personal information management.
Bixby will be included in the native applications that will be pre-installed on the Galaxy S8. Some of the things it will allow you to do is to control Samsung home appliances and third-party apps, as well as process payments by using voice commands.
Samsung's Native Apps
To improve its much-maligned software, Samsung will also be revamping the look of its native apps in order to make them work with Bixby, and also to look more consistent and cohesive.
It has also been reported that the Galaxy S8 camera will also have its own Bixby button for its optical character recognition (OCR) support. This will allow the A.I. to act as a digital scanner that captures an image and scan it right away into digital format.
Control Of Home Appliances
Aside from your Samsung smartphone, Bixby will be designed to work with home appliances that users interact with frequently. Samsung's A.I. platform will also serve as a remote control for compatible home appliances.
Collaboration With Third-Party Apps
Injong Rhee, Samsung's CTO for Mobile Division, has said that Bixby's A.I. platform will allow users to perform tasks from third-party apps using voice commands.
Bixby will also be working closely with Samsung Pay so that users can process payments through voice commands. This new feature will be called Bixby Pay.
When Will Bixby Become Available?
It is anticipated that Bixby will launch this spring together with the Galaxy S8.