Back in 2012 when launching the S3, Samsung included a voice assistant “S voice’’ with its new products as a means to make inroads in the ‘’smart house’’ trend that has arisen in recent years.
Smart houses are the way of the future; being able to control many of the electronic functions of your house with just a phone app would certainly be a major selling point to both potential and current customer of Samsung.
However, the S voice did not catch on, looking marketplace to other apps such as Siri.
An upgrade of S-Voice
In 2017 Samsung announced a successor to S-voice, Bixby. Bixby was essentially a retooled and updated version of S voice that is being incorporated into the S8 series as well as other Samsung products in the future, with the hope that consumers will use it to integrate their houses.
One of the strategies the company is pursuing is that of acquiring multiple small businesses that specialize in this and associated voice/control technology;
Viv was a program that functioned as a more powerful version of the popular Siri app, it was also designed by the same people who made Siri and was bought by Samsung in September of 2016. More acquisitions have been made in this time; recently Samsung announced the acquisition of Korean Chabot Fluenty.
Part of a Plan
The aim seems to be to take the best of Fluenty and Viv and incorporate them into one of the upcoming versions of Bixby in 2018. Samsung has been struggling with the pick-up rate of its’ voice apps, the lukewarm reception seems to be over the apps struggle in recognizing and adjusting to both English and Chinese, the two largest language markets on the planet.
Another factor to consider is that of rivals Apple and Google. Both companies are actively engaged in both the hardware and software markets that Samsung operates in, these 3 massive companies shape the technology of the world we live in.
It’s not just speech recognition and communication that Bixby can enable. The Fluenty app that is being largely incorporated in Bixby has extensive abilities to incorporate a written text into its commands, for those situations where sound is not a viable option either because the surrounding environment is either too loud or soft.
The Future is now
Currently Bixby is available all across the globe, but only in Korean and English. The app is expected to be expanded in 2018 to include German, Chinese, French, Japanese and Spanish in rolling updates as the languages brought into the program.
The eventual goal for both the company and Bixby itself to fully integrate a home (even if it has products from different manufacturers) into one smart device, and from their enable the customer to have the functionality and ease of access that has been the dream of tech guru’s the world over.
Bixby is compatible for the following Samsung devices (and their Edge counterparts); Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Active, S7, S6, Galaxy Note FE, Note 8, Galaxy A7 and the Galaxy Tab. Bixby will also be incorporated into upcoming models for 2018 onwards.