Samsung has announced its next smartphone, the Galaxy S8, will feature a new intelligent voice assistant called Bixby. Although at first it will only operate with some preinstalled apps, Samsung has said it intends to open up the platform to developers in the future.
In a press release, Samsung stated:
“Bixby will be our first step on a journey to completely open up new ways of interacting with your phone. At the launch of the Galaxy S8, a subset of preinstalled applications will be Bixby-enabled. This set will continue to expand over time. Our plan is to eventually release a tool (in SDK) to enable third-party developers to make their applications and services Bixby-enabled easily.”
While Bixby will debut on a smartphone, Samsung says the virtual assistant will eventually be integrated with other Samsung products, from the television to air conditioners. Provided the device has an internet connection and is able to hear voice commands, Bixby can be used.
“As the Bixby ecosystem grows, we believe Bixby will evolve from a smartphone interface to an interface for your life.”
Bixby will work in various apps on the Galaxy S8, providing voice control for almost every task within it, and understand context when called into action. Samsung says Bixby’s ability to understand commands that don’t follow a set pattern, or include set keywords in a certain order, makes, “the interface much more natural and easier to use.”
The Galaxy S8 and Bixby are expected to launch on March 29, but no release date for the SDK has been provided yet.