Lowe's Home Improvement is becoming Bixby's retail partner on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, Samsung's latest Android flagships that officially started retailing yesterday. The move will allow the chain of home improvement and appliance stores to offer its products through the Bixby Vision service, i.e. allow consumers to purchase them online after the artificial intelligence assistant identifies them. In practice, users will be able to scan objects in their vicinity and add them to their virtual shopping carts if Bixby successfully manages to recognize them and identify a partner retailer that's selling them. The augmented reality shopping service originally debuted with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus early last year and has been adding new partners to its ecosystem ever since.
While Samsung announced its cooperation with Lowe's in the context of the Galaxy S9 launch, the same functionality should also be supported on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 lineups, as well as all future smartphones from the company that end up running Bixby. Other large brands such as Walmart and Sam's Club have already integrated their inventories into Bixby in recent times, whereas Samsung also partnered with CoverGirl and Sephora which support its Bixby Makeup feature, allowing consumers to "try out" cosmetics in augmented reality while deciding which product to buy.
The South Korean tech giant is expected to announce a number of similar partnerships in the coming months as it seeks to place a larger accent on both the AI and AR capabilities of its latest flagships. The newly released phablets are expected to outsell all of their Android competitors over the course of this year, according to numerous analysts and Samsung itself. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are presently available for purchase in approximately 70 markets and will be making their way to 40 more countries by the end of the month.