Following the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, Samsung is under a lot of pressure to impress with the upcoming Galaxy S8. While the device has yet to be officially unveiled, the rumor mill surrounding it has been going strong for months now. One of the most interesting rumors about the device which is most likely true is the existence of the so-called Viv AI Assistant, a smart digital companion developed by the US AI startup Viv Labs which was acquired by Samsung last month.
Well, latest reports not only corroborate that rumor but also reveal some new details regarding the Galaxy S8's mysterious AI assistant. Namely, Galaxy Club has just identified some new trademark applications that Samsung filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. For starters, the filings suggest Samsung has been developing a method to process payments using voice commands. This technology is codenamed Bixby Pay which directly connects it to Bixby, an alleged name for the Galaxy S8 Viv AI. Speaking of names, it's possible Bixby will only be a half of the Galaxy S8 AI as another trademark applications suggest that this digital companion will ship in both male and female versions, with the latter one allegedly called Kestra.
Samsung has not only filed a trademark application for Kestra in the European Union but has also done so in its home country of South Korea. In addition to Bixby and Kestra, the paperwork also includes a number of variations of the former's name like Bix-by, Bix-bee, and Bix:)bee. All of the documents are rather detailed in the context of an ordinary trademark application as they describe Bixby and Kestra as software designed to control a mobile phone with voice commands and general purpose software for processing voice commands. Of course, this is all just speculation, but it could very well turn out that Bixby and Kestra will both be shipping with the Galaxy S8. If that happens, Samsung would be the first tech giant to offer a mainstream voice assistant that's dual-gendered. The company's competitors like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple have so far opted to give their assistants female voices so that move would mark a significant milestone in the digital assistant industry.
In any case, we should know more come February 27th when the Mobile World Congress 2017 is scheduled to start as that's when Samsung is planning to unveil its latest and greatest smartphone.