Samsung today announced that it’s making a big new acquisition.
Samsung has agreed to acquire Viv Labs, Inc., makers of the Viv artificial intelligence platform. Neither Samsung nor Viv have disclosed any of the terms of the deal.
Viv is an AI assistant that can integrate with apps and services and use natural language. What’s notable about Viv is that its three co-founders also created Siri, the assistant that Apple purchased in 2010. The trio founded Viv in 2012, and now that assistant is being acquired by one of Apple’s biggest rivals.
While Viv is being acquired by Samsung, the Viv team will operate as an independent subsidiary.
In a blog post confirming the deal, Viv Labs co-founder and CEO Dag Kittlaus said “Samsung will drastically accelerate our vision,” giving his team a scale that it didn’t have before.
“Samsung, as you surely know, is the market leader in smart devices across a wide range of use cases and industries. They shop 500 million devices a year,” Kittlaus explained. “They also sell more smartphones and TVs than any other company in the world, not to mention a hundred million appliances, and their ambitious Virtual Reality product line. Their product mix naturally fits Viv’s “simplify your interactions through conversation.”
The acquisition of Viv is a big one for Samsung. We’re seeing a battle of the digital assistants being waged between Apple, Google, and Amazon, and now Samsung has its own assistant to take into that battle. Plus, having Viv gives Samsung an assistant of its own, which means that it doesn’t have to necessarily rely on Google for a digital assistant on its devices.