Samsung wants to make using its Smartphones easier. Enter Bixby, the tech titan’s virtual assistant and a rival for Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana.
Bixby will make its debut on Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8. The voice assistant will have its own dedicated button on the side of the upcoming handset.
Samsung is describing Bixby as the answer to ease of use.
“Confusion around activating a voice interface is a barrier we have removed to make it feel easier and more comfortable to give commands,” Samsung Software and Services executive vice president and head of research and development Injong Rhee said in a blog post.
“For example, instead of taking multiple steps to make a call – turning on and unlocking the phone, looking for the phone application, clicking on the contact bar to search for the person that you’re trying to call and pressing the phone icon to start dialing – you will be able to do all these steps with one push of the Bixby button and a simple command.”
Rhee said Bixby will offers users “a deeper experience” than its voice assistant competitors because it will be able to support practically every task an application is capable of performing via touch commands. Users will be able to utilize Bixby at any time and it will comprehend the current context and state of the app being used, permitting users to seamlessly carry out the current work-in-progress. It will also enable users to change their mode of interaction at any point.
Making it easier for users as well will be Bixby’s ability to understand and comply with incomplete commands. It will ask users to provide more information if necessary and “take the execution of the task in piecemeal.”
“Bixby will be our first step on a journey to completely open up new ways of interacting with your phone,” Rhee said. “Starting with our Smartphones, Bixby will be gradually applied to all our appliances. In the future you would be able to control your air conditioner or TV through Bixby. Since Bixby will be implemented in the cloud, as long as a device has an Internet connection and simple circuitry to receive voice inputs, it will be able to connect with Bixby. As the Bixby ecosystem grows, we believe Bixby will evolve from a Smartphone interface to an interface for your life.”
The Galaxy S8 is expected to be announced later this month and Samsung will soon after release a tool (in SDK) to enable third-party developers to make their applications and services Bixby-enabled.