The battle of digital assistants is gaining a new competitor today.
Samsung Bixby is now official, and Samsung has confirmed that it’ll be part of the Galaxy S8 that’ll be unveiled later this month. Samsung also says that the Galaxy S8 will have a dedicated Bixby button on its side in order to make it easier to access the assistant.
As for Bixby itself, Samsung is touting three main features of its new assistant. The first is “Completeness,” which means that when an app is Bixby-enabled, the assistant will able to perform almost every task that the app normally supports using touch.
The second Bixby property is “Context Awareness.” This means that when Bixby is activated, it’ll be able to understand the current context and the state of the app that you’re in without interrupting the work that you’re doing.
Finally, there’s “Cognitive Tolerance.” Samsung says that Bixby is smart enough to understand commands with incomplete commands, meaning that you don’t have to remember the exact phrase that you have to say to perform a task with an assistant. Bixby will also ask you for more information when performing a task and then execute it.
A select number of apps on the Galaxy S8 will be Bixby-enabled at launch, and Samsung plans to add more over time. The company also intends to release an SDK so that third-party app developers can add Bixby support to their apps.
Speaking of expansion, Samsung also plans to spread Bixby beyond the Galaxy S8. The assistant will first appear on Samsung smartphones and then expand to all Samsung appliances. “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,” the company explains.
Digital assistants are big in mobile right now, with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple all offering their own virtual helpers. Now Samsung will have one, too, and Bixby sounds like a pretty ambitious effort. It’s exciting to hear that Bixby will be able to control most every task in an app that you could perform by touching the screen, which means that you should be able to get a lot done in Bixby-enabled apps without ever touching your device. Now we just have to wait for the Galaxy S8 to get here so that we can try Bixby ourselves.