Apple has Siri, now Samsung is set to give us Bixby, a new virtual assistant that will make its appearance in the all new Samsung Galaxy 8 smartphone that will be launched in New York next month according to insiders.
Apart from a new streamlined smartphone Samsung is looking to take on Apple with a new device where the physical home button that will also become a fingerprint scanner, has been moved from the front to the back similar to what LG has with their V20.
The Galaxy S8’s new artificial intelligence-powered assistant, Bixby, is capable of answering voiced questions from users.
For the past two years Samsung, has been working on voice activation and artificial intelligence as a means to improve their smartphones.
In October, Samsung bought U.S. start-up Viv Labs, which was started in part by Siri co-creators Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer.
In recent weeks, Samsung has also posted more AI-related openings on its internal jobs platform to recruit employees from the company’s other business divisions according to the Korean Herald.
Injong Rhee, chief technology officer at Samsung’s mobile division, said in November that the Galaxy S8’s AI service would feature technology from Viv Labs by offering services that are “significantly differentiated” from those sold by the competition.
It’s also been revealed that Samsung will only release a curved-screen version of the new phone, that will be available in two different sizes, an earphone jack is set to be included.
A hint of this was revealed last week when Richard Fink the Vice President of Mobile at Samsung Australia said that “sound is better when plugged into a headphone jack”. At the time, he was demonstrating the new Samsung A7 smartphone which gives Samsung a strong presence in the mid-tier market.
Samsung hopes the new features will convince consumers the S8 is worth buying, given lingering concerns about the safety of its smartphones. Last month, Samsung said its investigation concluded that battery suppliers were to blame for its Galaxy Note 7 phones catching fire.
The Wall Street Journal claims the S8 might use batteries from Samsung SDI Co., the battery-making affiliate that was one of two suppliers blamed by the smartphone maker for the recall.
Cha Nam-hyun, Samsung SDI’s vice president of marketing, told analysts last month that the company signed up to supply batteries for the S8, which would help Samsung SDI’s sales in the first three months of 2017.
Since the Galaxy Note 7 recall, Samsung SDI says it has spent US$130 million to strengthen product safety, while launching an X-ray inspection process for all of its batteries, a change from its previous method of conducting sample inspections.