Samsung is turning up the heat on its digital assistant rivals Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant with the latest version of its own voice assistant: Bixby.
Announced at this week’s developer’s conference in San Francisco, Samsung is describing Bixby 2.0 as “a fundamental leap forward for digital assistants and represents another important milestone to transform our digital lives.”
The second-generation version of the virtual assistant is geared toward Smart home devices and is more capable of processing natural language and predicting user needs, no matter what device it’s running on.
“I believe that we are now on the cusp of the next major tectonic shift,” Samsung executive vice-president Eui-Suk Chung said in a blog post. “We are excited to help lead the change during another revolutionary moment. Personally, I am excited to be part of this next great era and this shift is one of the reasons why we are motivated to continue to develop our intelligent assistant, Bixby.”
When Bixby was launched back in March, it was available on Samsung’s Galaxy S8, S8+ and the Note 8. With Bixby 2.0, the assistant will be available on any and all devices from TVs, to refrigerators to home speakers and many other forms of connected technology.
“It will be more personal, with enhanced natural language capabilities for more natural commands and complex processing, so it can really get to know and understand not only who you are, but who members of your family are, and tailor its response and actions appropriately,” Chung said.
Samsung is also opening up a private beta program with Bixby SDK for select developers to bring news apps and functionalities to its digital assistant. In time, Samsung will increase the number of participants in the beta until it is, eventually, available to all developers.
“We know Samsung cannot deliver on this paradigm shift by ourselves – it can only happen if we all, across all industries, work together in partnership,” Chung said. “With Bixby 2.0, the doors will be wide open for developers to choose and model how users interact with Bixby in their services across all application domains e.g., sports, food, entertainment, or travel – the opportunities are truly endless.”