Samsung's artificial intelligence assistant Bixby will be able to identify calories in food items in the near future, the South Korean tech giant revealed as part of its appearance at Consumer Electronics Show 2018. Among other things, the company's Las Vegas booth had a demo of an experimental version of Bixby Vision, the augmented reality element of the service, with the prototype being tasked with identifying several meals like a salmon sushi and steak, then giving its estimate of the number of calories contained within them. The functionality itself still appears to be in an early stage of development as it reportedly doesn't have a perfect track record even in Samsung's entirely controlled environment, yet the company is promising that it will be launching it in the near future.
The calorie estimates are given based on generic food data as Bixby obviously can't tell how exactly you prepared a meal based on visual information, though the numbers should still be fairly accurate in a restaurant setting where meals are much more likely to be prepared by the book. Arguably the biggest limitation of the existing version of the service is its inability to identify numerous food items at once; instead of pointing your camera at an entire plate, you're expected to stick it directly above an item whose calories you wish to count and there's still no telling how large its meal database actually is, with the test showcased by Samsung being fairly limited in terms of inspectable food items. Bixby's calorie estimates will be automatically saved to Samsung Health profiles by default, allowing you to check the history of your food consumption through the company's Android app. The Seoul-based firm has yet to provide a concrete availability window for the functionality which should be released in the form of an over-the-air update.
Samsung's AI efforts in 2017 were largely focused on the process of establishing Bixby as a worthy competitor to the Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa, and Apple's Siri. All of the upcoming Galaxy-branded smartphones save for perhaps some entry-level models are expected to feature Bixby moving forward, with the assistant also gradually making its way to other Samsung-made Internet of Things devices like refrigerators.