At a time when Google, Microsoft, and Apple are battling out with their virtual assistants Samsung has jumped into the fray with its very own Bixby, yes, this is the same AI based virtual assistant from Samsung that we were hearing about earlier. For the uninitiated, Samsung had acquired Viv late last year, and Bixby is Samsung’s avatar of Viv. Needless to say, Samsung is expected to position the Bixby as a unique proposition since it focusses more on getting actual things done and not auxiliary tasks.
To begin with, Samsung prefers to call the Bixby an agent and the assistant is expected to help you do things on your smartphones. Bixby will mark its first appearance on the Galaxy S8 and the initial build will stick to the bare minimal. The company also talks about how one could activate the assistant by pressing a dedicated button on the Samsung Galaxy S8.
That said, Samsung is yet to reveal the details on how it works and the tasks it can accomplish. An excerpt from the Samsung Blog explains the Bixby as follows, “When using a Bixby-enabled application, users will be able to call upon Bixby at any time and it will understand the current context and state of the application and will allow users to carry out the current work-in-progress continuously.” That’s a lot of words to say that Bixby will know what you’re looking at on your screen and provide options to take action on what’s there.
All the digital assistants out there strike to me as singular in nature, except for a few minor features here and there, all of them end up helping the users in the similar fashion. Apparently, Bixby will not be designed to answer those random weather questions, football scores or help you convert units. Instead, it is expected to help users do basic tasks like sending a picture from the gallery or perhaps updating the software. Samsung is betting big on Bixby. The company wants to implement the same on its entire range of consumer electronics including microwaves and washing machines. The chances are that Samsung might incorporate the fingerprint sensor for an additional layer of security and with this one could simply control all the appliances in their home with the Samsung Bixby.
The Bixby will also help Samsung bridge the gap between its hardware and software offering. The South Korean company is currently assisted by one of its recent acquisitions, Viv, which was founded by the creators of Apple’s Siri. It’s a wait and watch game, especially since Samsung, is yet to showcase the Bixby assistant in its full glory. On a related note, this also reminds me of the Samsung’s first attempt at voice assistant the S Voice.