The release of Samsung's digital assistant Bixby, which was supposed to launch alongside the Galaxy S8, has been further delayed due to issues with its development.
The challenges that Samsung is facing over the rollout of the digital assistant in the United States, meanwhile, has jeopardized the company's plans for a Bixby-powered smart speaker.
Samsung Bixby English Version Delayed
Bixby was supposed to be ready for the April 21 release of the Galaxy S8. However, Samsung decided to hold back the release of Bixby Voice, which would allow the digital assistant to accomplish more tasks through voice commands compared to rival software.
The delay only affected the English version of Bixby Voice, as Samsung said that its voice recognition capability was not performing well in testing. A report later revealed that Bixby actually needed an English tutor, as the digital assistant was having trouble with the grammar and syntax of the language. The expected launch was pushed further back to June.
A new report by The Korea Herald, however, revealed more bad news for Samsung fans. Apparently, in addition to the English version of Bixby experiencing difficulties with the language, Samsung has not collected the necessary amount of big data to make the most out of the deep learning technology that powers the digital assistant.
The report also noted that there is a communication barrier between Samsung's engineers in the United States and South Korea due to the geographical and language differences, further slowing down the progress of the English version of Bixby.
The English version of Bixby is now expected by analysts to be rolled out in the fall at the latest, which would represent a delay of a few months from its initially announced launch.
Samsung Still Working On Bixby Speaker
The mounting delays on the English version of Bixby has hampered the development of a Bixby-powered smart speaker, which was planned to challenge rivals in a suddenly crowded space occupied by the Amazon Echo and the Google Home and soon also by the Apple HomePod and the Microsoft Invoke.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the challenges on the development of the "Vega" speaker project could lead to its cancellation, like a similar project codenamed "Hive."
Samsung, however, is widely expected to push through with Vega, especially as its major rivals have all released or are planning to launch smart speakers. The project, however, is wholly dependent on Samsung getting Bixby's English version up to speed, which is taking far longer than expected.