Samsung is just a handful of days away from making its biggest announcement of the year, which will be the launch of the Galaxy S8. And with the legion of leaks and speculations that we have come across around the device, one thing has been clear each time — Samsung s new virtual assistant Bixby. However, despite all the patent leaks and the reports, Samsung s never made the news of Bixby official, until now. Through the voice of InJong Rhee, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Software and Services, Samsung has officially announced Bixby, which it says is a new way to interact with your phone. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3, Galaxy Z Flip3 launch on August 27? New report suggestsAlso Read - Samsung now lets you make an appointment to shop at its stores, book demo via WhatsApp
Samsung says its philosophy is to make the machines learn and adapt to humans, instead of humans learning how the machine interacts with the world. The company reveals its new approach where it has has employed artificial intelligence, reinforcing deep learning concepts to the core of our user interface designs. Bixby is the ongoing result of this effort. Samsung is confident that Bixby is fundamentally different from any other virtual assistant we have already seen. It defines three aspects, which it believes gives Bixby a deeper experience — Completeness, Context Awareness, and Cognitive Tolerance. Also Read - Galaxy S21 FE flaunts itself again on benchmark, reveals RAM for high-end Samsung model
Completeness is what we learnt awhile before Bixby as well, a complete integration. Unlike other virtual assistants, says Samsung, where only a few selected tasks for an application are supported, Bixby will be able to support almost every task that the application is capable of performing using touch commands. Although, the caveat here is that apps need to become Bixby-enabled , so it won’t just work out-of-the-box with everything you install on your Galaxy S8.
Then comes context awareness , which means a user will be able to summon Bixby at any time, even while using an app, and it will know what you were doing. Essentially, according to Samsung, most of the existing virtual assistants, completely dictate the interaction modality and, when a user switches among the modes, it either starts the entire task over again, losing all the work in progress, or simply fails to understand the user s intention. However, with Bixby 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. Additionally, 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. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy S8 camera to shoot 8 times faster than Apple iPhone 7: Report
And third, with its proficiency to cognitive tolerance , 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.
Further, the fourth button we had been seeing in many Galaxy S8 renders, which was believed to be a dedicated button for Bixby, has been confirmed. Samsung says the Bixby button that will be located on the side of our next device. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ prices revealed, along with more color options: Here s everything you need to know
Confusion around activating a voice interface is a barrier we have removed to make it feel easier and more comfortable to give commands. For example, instead of taking multiple steps to make a call turning on and unlocking the phone, looking for the phone application, clicking on the contact bar to search for the person that you re trying to call and pressing the phone icon to start dialing you will be able to do all these steps with one push of the Bixby button and a simple command.
Also, Samsung has announced that at the launch of the Galaxy S8, a subset of preinstalled applications will be Bixby-enabled. And it plans to eventually release a tool (in SDK) to enable third-party developers to make their applications and services Bixby-enabled easily. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy S8 tops with over 205,000 points on AnTuTu benchmark
While for now Bixby will debut on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, Samsung s new virtual assistant will be gradually applied to all their appliances, which includes home appliances like television sets and refrigerators as well. Basically, in the future Samsung users will be able to control their 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.
Late last year, Samsung acquired Viv Labs, a California-based startup. The company is known for its development of intelligent interfaces that can be applied to everything, and most importantly, it is known for creating Apple s Siri, which is now a part of Apple iPhones, iPads and the MacBooks too. RELATED: Samsung acquires Viv, AI startup founded by Siri creators
Soon after, Samsung filed a trademark for the name Bixby (and Kestra) back in November last year. In the EU patent application, the description of the trademark rather clearly described the nature of Bixby and Kestra, reading, Computer software for enabling hands-free use of a mobile phone through voice recognition and Computer software used to process voice commands. Back then Kestra was being heavily speculated to being the assistant s feminine alter ego.
And here is a bonus fact for readers. For the ones wondering where the name Bixby comes from, roll back to the Star Trek world. For the ones who don t know, Jerome Bixby is an American writer, who produced four screenplays for Star Trek episodes back in the 60s, and that s what is also believed to have inspired the name of the virtual assistant. ALSO READ: After Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, Samsung hopes 2017 to be a tremendous brand, confidence rebuilding year
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