TORONTO – Samsung’s next Galaxy S8 will feature a screen, power, and a new personal voice assistant with artificial intelligence: Bixby (which will have a dedicated physical button). But the application will not be exclusive to flagship, the manufacturer intends to make it the cornerstone of all its next models.
The information was confirmed by Injong Rhee at the head of R & D mobile software and services from Samsung. The interest for the giant is to offer this application to less high-end models in order to take market share in the very competitive segment of so-called “affordable” smartphones (sold between 200 and 350 euros). But also on PCs, tablets, TV … “Any terminal equipped with an Internet connection and a microphone will have vocation to use Bixby,” he explains.
Especially since Bixby will be “fundamentally different” from competing tools like Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant or even Microsoft’s Cortana, says the manager. “It will provide contextual understanding (taking into account, for example, the context of the application from which it is launched) and cognitive elements in order to execute an action in spite of incomplete information or an incomplete request.” It can be piloted orally but also tactile.
One last thing, the Viv acquisition happened a bit late to incorporate into Bixby. Amazingly, everything you'll see this month is homegrown.
— Phil Bixby (@philipberne) March 20, 2017
According to rumors, Bixby would support the release 7 or 8 languages, against only two (English and German) for Google Wizard on Pixel. The Google Allo app, which also operates Google Wizard and runs on more terminals, supports 5 languages. Bixby, would be deeply integrated into apps, should also be able to manage payments, control native apps or even identify objects and text through the camera …
The manufacturer, which tries to dominate the world of smartphones facing the iPhone and new competitors, could win fans if its assistant Bixby proves capable of surpassing the Google wizard, Apple Siri and Alexa Of Amazon, which will land on its first phone later this month.
In short, it seems that the war of the smartphones moves slowly on the ground of the AI, the other elements of differentiation being today rather few in number. It will still require that users beconvinced by this type of tool.