Samsung’s AI Assistant to Support Home Appliances, Wearables

Samsung Logo 2016 AH 11

AI-powered digital assistants are increasingly becoming the rage nowadays, and Samsung won’t leave anything on the table as the company confirmed on Sunday that it will be baking a digital assistant technology called Bixby into the upcoming Galaxy S8. The AI assistant, which Samsung trademarked last month, is designed to work as a digital assistant for personal information management. However, Bixby could also do more than that. Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Electronics vice chairman, has confirmed the company’s vision of increasing its position in the Internet of Things market by expanding voice-assistant technologies to home appliances and wearable devices.

During a meeting with the executives of Viv Labs last week, Lee Jae-yong said the goal is to provide ease with how consumers use Samsung’s products, though the company did not specify what features the digital assistant would bring when the Galaxy S8 debuts next year. It also remains unclear what official name the personal assistant will adopt despite what the trademark indicates otherwise. While Bixby is the trademark name, reports claim the AI technology could be called Viv. Samsung Executive Vice President Rhee Injong said the platform would be integrated with third-party services. All this will be made possible through Samsung’s acquisition of Viv Labs, a company built by the Siri creators whose expertise is expected to lend some weight to how Samsung builds its first digital assistant. With that in mind, Viv Labs CEO Dag Kittlaus said the AI platform will extend its capabilities beyond smartphones to home appliances that users interact on a regular basis. Rhee further explained that the digital assistant could help users to ask a refrigerator to display photos on a mobile device, for example.

There seems to be no significant difference between Samsung’s planned digital assistant and the other personal assistants already offered by Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon, save for the fact that it is expanding to home appliances and wearable technologies. But with the imminent inclusion of the digital assistant to future Samsung devices, the South Korean phone maker seems to be eager to redeem itself. Samsung could be relying largely on the release of the Galaxy S8 to win over consumers again following the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.