Rather than wait until the launch of the Galaxy S8 next week, Samsung has today announced their new voice assistant, Bixby.

Bixby will be at the core of Samsung’s ‘next device’ which we all know is the Galaxy S8, but it will also make its way into other Samsung appliances including TVs, Air Conditioners and more in the future. Samsung is aiming to have Bixby be the core interface that controls everything, or as they say an ‘interface for your life’.

Samsung says that Bixby is an intelligent interface which will get out of the way and not require a user to learn a new way of doing things, instead, Bixby will use artificial intelligence to lessen the learning curve. With the simple push of a dedicated button on the side of your phone, Bixby will be able to complete tasks with a simple voice command.

Samsung says that Bixby is different to other voice agents or assistants on the market thanks to three core concepts:

1. Completeness
When an application becomes Bixby-enabled, Bixby will be able to support almost every task that the application is capable of performing using the conventional interface (ie. touch commands). Most existing agents currently support only a few selected tasks for an application and therefore confuse users about what works or what doesn’t work by voice command. The completeness property of Bixby will simplify user education on the capability of the agent, making the behaviors of the agent much more predictable.

2. Context Awareness
When using a Bixby-enabled application, users will be able to call upon Bixby at any time and it will understand the current context and state of the application and will allow users to carry out the current work-in-progress continuously. Bixby will allow users to weave various modes of interactions including touch or voice at any context of the application, whichever they feel is most comfortable and intuitive. Most existing agents completely dictate the interaction modality and, when switching among the modes, may either start the entire task over again, losing all the work in progress, or simply not understand the user’s intention.

3. Cognitive Tolerance
When the number of supported voice commands gets larger, most users are cognitively challenged to remember the exact form of the voice commands. Most agents require users to state the exact commands in a set of fixed forms. Bixby will be smart enough to understand commands with incomplete information and execute the commanded task to the best of its knowledge, and then will prompt users to provide more information and take the execution of the task in piecemeal. This makes the interface much more natural and easier to use.

The Galaxy S8 will launch with a number of Bixby enabled apps, but Samsung will be launching an SDK to allow third party developers to hook in to Bixby for their apps.

We’ll see more about Bixby, including very likely a number of demos of the technology when it launches in New York on March 30 at 2am AEDT.

Are you interested in the new Bixby Assitant?

Source: Samsung.
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    As much as some earlier reports stated that Samsung didn’t have enough time to use Viv to create Bixby, the functionality sounds very much like it. So that makes me think Samsung either did a very quick job of taking Viv and turning it into Bixby, or were already developing something similar to Viv and bought them to avoid any patent/IP related issues. Either way, sounds really interesting and exciting. It’s like Google Assistant in the context sensitiveness but more because it can handle even advanced and incomplete requests (sounds like Viv).

    Major Sceptic

    Sounds interesting , more competition = better product in the end , bring it on .