Last week, Samsung trademarked the brand name 'Bixby Routine' at the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). This means that the South Korean giant might add a new AI feature to its virtual assistant's repertoire.
Apart from revealing that this supposed new skill is intended to work with various electronic devices including smartphones, wearable computers, smart watches, tablets, and computer, the trademark application doesn't betray any details so it's hard to say with certainty what Bixby Routine would offer.
Samsung's smart assistant Bixby was announced in 2017 and so far, it hasn't caught up with Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa, and Apple's Siri. However, the patent filing is a clear indication of the fact that Samsung is actively working to improve its digital assistant. Bixby is already there on Samsung Galaxy smartphones in the form of Bixby Home, Bixby Voice, and Bixby Vision. If the name of the new feature is any indication, Bixby Routine could be something like Routines in Good Lock 2018.
Good Lock is a UI customization app that enables users to customize their handset's appearance and interface experience. It is compatible with a handful of phones including the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9. Routines draw inspiration from IFTTT services, which make it easier to automate actions. It is short for If This Then That, and as the name implies, the service triggers pre-defined actions when certain conditions are met.
Users can set up different profiles using Routines based on different conditions. For instance, you can set your phone up to enable the always-on display when your phone is charging or you can ask your phone to turn on the silent mode as soon as the GPS detects that you have arrived at your university. Put simply, routines make it easier to automate tasks that you're likely to repeat frequently.
Bixby Routine could possibly help you manage your fixed routines better by guiding you throughout the day. However, it is entirely possible that Samsung has something different in mind. It is also worth mentioning that this is merely a patent application and it could be that Samsung has trademarked the name in advance and is yet to start working on it.
On the other hand, the fact that the trademark was filed a week before the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S10 series raises the possibility that Bixby Routine might be unveiled alongside the 10th anniversary Galaxy flagship. The flagship will be announced tomorrow at the company's Unpacked event, alongside the long-anticipated foldable phone and possibly the Galaxy Watch Active.
Although Samsung is the number one smartphone maker in the world, its sales have been slowing down in recent years. The company apparently wants to go all out this year to revive its sales and making its smart assistant more skillful could certainly help. In any case, Bixby could really do with some new features as it currently has nothing on its rival assistants. The company has been trying to get third-party developers on board to improve the functionality of its assistant, something which Amazon and Google did a long time back.