Are you Aware of Bixby? The virtual voice Assistant!
On March 29, Samsung is going to unveil the Galaxy S8 with its digital assistant Bixby in an event in New York. It is Samsung’s latest addition as a digital voice assistant that will roll out with the upcoming Galaxy S8. With a dedicated button on the side of the phone, the app will allow you to talk with the artificial intelligence in a way similar to that of a walkie-talkie. Injong Rhee, the head of R&D for Samsung’s mobile software and services operations, said “We start off with the phone and can quickly expand into other devices.” According to him, there are more exciting features to it.
The trend followed by almost every tech giant to invest in developing virtual assistants clearly demonstrates that the new way we are going to interact with phones & gadgets. Ultimately, the goal is to develop a better bonding with you and provoke you to be open to buy more of their products in the future. Like others, Samsung also believes that artificial intelligence is the next happening thing in the world of computing. And, Bixby is surely the indicator of that belief. Wait a minute! It’s not over. According to Gartner, by the end of 2019 digital assistants are going to be the principal mode of interaction between consumers and their smart homes.
That's not it, there's More Coming with the Bixby
Trying to be unique, Samsung has designed it voice assistant app a bit differently from its competitors. Instead of answering to questions like “What’s the time Siri,” Bixby is going to help you control your device. You’ll be able to do much more with Bixby. For instance, you can simply say, “Find an image of X and send that image to Y”, and get the job done. A lot of our competitors are more glorified extensions of search,” Rhee said. Samsung wants this app to become a new interface incorporating both touch and voice. According to his predictions, one day you will be able to control everything with voice that is currently being done with touch on your phone.
When the smartphone came out, touch interface became the norm,” he said. “Ten years after the introduction of smartphones, another revolution is waiting. That revolution comes from machine learning and deep learning. Samsung has already made its first attempt at a voice assistant with S Voice in Samsung S3 during 2012. But, the its purpose and this makes us a bit skeptical about Bixby.
S Voice was pretty basic … and never really tried that hard to catch up” with other voice assistants, Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson said. “Samsung will have to demonstrate that it’s built something truly competitive when it announces the S8. Initially, Bixby is going to have limited functionality with availability in English and Korean languages only. In a while, it will add Chinese and US Spanish. You will be able to access “Bixby Home” by simply swiping left to where the devices used to have Flip board. Bixby Home has cards with suggestions to ease make job. For instance, if you call up your mom at say 6 p.m. on a regular basis, a card will suggest you to do so nearly at that time. In the beginning, Bixby will work for only 10 Preloaded apps of Samsung such as photo gallery, contacts, messaging and settings. It is not incorporated with email or calendar for the time being. There are plans to offer collaboration of Bixby with third-party app developers as well.
The voice assistant has an image-recognition component as well. It’s called Bixby Vision and helps in identifying landmarks, brands, products etc. It will tell you what an items is and will also direct you to Amazon to purchase it, only in the US now. What if Bixby is installed on other devices of Samsung such as TV and home appliances etc.? Amazing! Isn’t it? “Anywhere that has an internet connection and microphone, Bixby can be used,” Rhee said.
The Pre Bixby's phase, About 18 Months Ago
Samsung planned to develop an app about 18 months ago, which is known as Bixby today. Well, the name doesn’t signify anything specific. It was selected because of its popularity with millennials. We were really changing that philosophy behind this to make it so much more accessible and easier for people to adopt,” Rhee said.
Samsung bought an artificial intelligence start-up Viv Labs and Joyent, a cloud computing company, during the development of Bixby to add in more features to it. The first version of Bixby will only use Samsung’s in house technology. The future versions are intended to incorporate Viv which will help it to collaborate with third-party applications. “We’re bringing Viv Labs to grow that ecosystem in a much more scalable manner,” Rhee said.
Viv will help users to handle simple tasks like ordering meals, booking a movie ticket and finding weather conditions with just a voice command.
The developers of the app, including Dag Kittlaus, one of Siri’s makers, say that Bixby has the ability to apprehend your requests and can fulfill the requests.
Bixby At The Side Button, Connecting Devices
Voice Control Trends & Devices
Unlike Apple’s Siri, Samsung did not want to incorporate Bixby with the home button, because the home button already has enough load and it may cause errors. Also, it appears more natural like talking to an assistant this way. Bixby will also have an audible wake word that can be used to call the artificial intelligence assistant in case you don’t press the button.
As per research conducted by Creative Strategies, only 6 percent of people use voice assistants in public. This indicates the uncomfortable feel people have with virtual assistants. Carolina Milanesi, the Creative Strategies analyst, said that consumers are yet not comfortable with such apps. But the trend is gradually changing because of devices like Echo and Google Home roll out.
Rhee said that the Bixby button is very important, as in the future consumers may get more smart devices that can be spoken to. He added, “You say, ‘Hello Bixby,’ and everything wakes up and speaks to you. Having the button simplifies things for us, technologically and also user experience-wise.”
He also indicated the future possibility of having smart home appliances such as washing machine or microwave that may have a fingerprint sensor or an iris scanner to authenticate you. Wouldn’t you like to know why Samsung needed to create its own digital assistant instead of using any of Google’s technology solutions? To clarify this, Rhee said that Samsung intends to revolutionize the phone interface.
And, no one else can better understand their apps requirements and features.
Smart Baba is a software house in Dubai focusing on the latest trends in technology and voice recognition intelligence AI featuring the Samsung Bixby assistant and its features,