March 30, 2017

Samsung Launches Bixby, Its Answer To Siri & Alexa

20 March 2017, 05:03 | Winston Chapman

Rhee also said that Bixby will have its own button on the side of our next device - the Galaxy S8 - which will reduce the steps to reach to the activity you desire, such as making calls and other tasks, by pressing and uttering the command. As described by Samsung, "when an application becomes Bixby-enabled" the virtual assistant will be able to perform almost every task available within the application, not unlike users would perform those task using conventional touch commands. As a result, Samsung also believes that the learning curve for Bixby will be far easier than competing products as users don't have to fumble around with determining what the limitations of the AI are. The interface will have a dedicated button on the left side of the Galaxy S8, and its supposed completeness, contextual awareness, and cognitive tolerance is created to make using the smartphone more seamless and intuitive.

Apple gave us Siri, Microsoft gave us Cortana, Amazon gave us Alexa, Google gave us, um, Google, and now Samsung has officially introduced its new AI-powered assistant to the world.

Next is being able to understand what you're doing as a user and adapt accordingly.

Bixby will also be context aware, allowing users to activate Bixby within a particular application and have it "understand the current context and state of the application and will allow users to carry out the current work-in-progress continuously".

"Bixby will allow users to weave various modes of interactions including touch or voice at any context of the application, whichever they feel is most comfortable and intuitive", Rhee explained.

Cognitive tolerance means that Bixby will be able to work with incomplete or imprecise information or commands from the users.

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As the company explains it, Bixby will be able to control nearly everything you could do in an app with a touchscreen.

Samsung said Bixby, at its core, is about removing friction. While you can control your iPhone with Siri and some Android phones with Google Assistant, it's still more natural to tap on the screen the old-fashioned way.

In the press release, Samsung also confirms that this will be enabled on an app-by-app basis, with a few pre-installed apps supporting it at launch, and an SDK being available for developers to add compatibility to their applications. It looks like the integration of Viv will take more time, and the launch version of Bixby will not include it.

Of course, it'll be impossible to judge how well Bixby works until we see the Galaxy S8 in person on March 29.

"Bixby is the heart of our software and services evolution as a company", Samsung said, adding that the service will eventually expand to other appliances from the company, including air conditioners and televisions.

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