In a blog post, InJong Rhee of Samsung has announced that it will have a voice assistant to go along with Siri, Alexa and Cortana, and will launch it with the S8 that will be announced next week. Samsung has differentiated its ‘Bixby’ assistant by explaining that apps that use the system should be able to to use it for almost all purposes, rather than just using limited functions or, effectively, learning commands, as you have to with Alexa. The S8 is said to have a dedicated button to call up the service. Samsung said that Bixby will be aware of what the user was doing before calling for help. The company also said that Bixby will be smart enough to understand commands with incomplete information and execute the commanded task to the best of its knowledge.
Samsung bought the company that originally developed Siri, although we have seen reports that the current version was already too far along for much of that technology to be used. If Samsung could do a good job with Bixby, it could win back some of its lustre, lost recently. John Oliver delivered a scathing sketch on the company on his US TV programme last week and Samsung’s brand is clearly under some pressure. Of course, Samsung made a splash about voice commands on its TVs a couple of CES shows ago, but that really hasn’t, apparently, taken off at all. (BR)