Hell hath frozen over. Just when we thought Samsung was still all-in on Bixby they have shocked us all by opening up their TVs to more digital assistants, you know, the ones that 99.9 percent of us use.
Just the other day we saw that Samsung were going to add iTunes support to their 2018 and 2019 TVs and now today they have announced that they will be adding support for Google Assistant and Alexa commands. The new digital assistant functionality will be arriving on the 2019 QLED TVs but at this stage will not be back ported to older models — although CNET are reporting 2018 models might receive the functionality in a future firmware update.
At this stage the digital assistants are not built into the device (maybe that’s next year?) but will instead just understand basic commands given to them by Google Assistant or Alexa devices. At this stage the basic commands that the Samsung QLED TVs will listen and respond to are:
- Turning the TV on and off
- Adjusting the volume of the TV
- Switching the input
- Launch apps on the TV
Of course Samsung’s Bixby will have deeper integration, coming built in with the ability to be triggered by the TV remote control along with more advanced capabilities such as on-screen results.
This is a surprise move from Google but with so many Google Assistant and Alexa devices out in the wild now it would be folly of them to continue to ignore more than a billion users.