Samsung Electronics is taking on Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana with a new voice controlled digital assistant, dubbed Bixby.
The voice assistant is expected to arrive with the Galaxy S8 smartphone, which is due to be unveiled later this month.
The dedicated Bixby button will be located on the side of the company’s next device. Unlike other voice assistants on the market, Bixby is said to support nearly every task an application is capable of carrying out using touch commands.
In doing so, Samsung seeks to end the confusion many users have on what works and doesn’t work by voice command.
The AI assistant will understand what a user has already done within an app, resulting in enhanced workflow. The context awareness will enable users to unite several modes of interactions including touch or voice at any context of the application.
In addition, the assistant offers cognitive tolerance, which should make the interface more natural and easier to use.
Samsung plans to release a tool (in SDK) to allow third-party developers to make their applications and services Bixby-enabled easily.
Samsung EVP, head of R&D, software and services Injong Rhee said starting with the company’s smartphones, Bixby will be gradually applied to all its 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,” Rhee said.
Gartner predicts that digital assistants will serve as the primary interface to the connected home by 2019.
The research firm estimates that, by 2019, in at least 25% of households in developed economies, the digital assistants on smartphones and other devices will serve as the primary interface to connected home services.