Samsung presents what it claims is a "new way to interact with your phone"-- Bixby, its take on the voice assistant likes of Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant.
The result of the acquisition of Viv, an AI specialist founded by the creators of Siri, Bixby promises to be superior to the competition through 3 specific properties. These are completeness (it can handle "almost" any task one can do using the touchscreen), context awareness (Bixby-enabled apps can summon Bixby at any time, and the assistant carries out tasks specific to the app) and cognitive tolerance (it understands commands with incomplete information, and prompts users to tell it more if necessary).
Bixby will also find use beyond smartphones, since Samsung plans to put it a wide variety of connected devices, including appliances, TV remotes and wearables. In fact, the company states Bixby can work on just about anything with an internet connection and a microphone. Uniting all Bixby-enabled offerings is a dedicated hardware button, which Samsung claims eliminates the "confusion around activating a voice interface."
Samsung posits a scenario where one presses the Bixby button on a washing machine and asks it to make a call, with the appliance routing the call through the smartphone in user's pocket.
The assistant will first appear in the upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship in the shape of a number of pre-installed enabled applications. Samsung plans to eventually release the Bixby SDK to 3rd parties, furthering the related ecosystem.