Everything you need to know about Bixby, Samsung's new virtual assistant

The phone will have a dedicated button to launch the assistant, however, initially the assistant will only be capable to control few of preinstalled apps with others added over time.

Sources predict the new phone is highly likely to sell more than its predecessor Galaxy Note 7 that sold some 400,000 units during a 13-day preorder period previous year.

Samsung said that the assistant will first appear on Samsung smartphones and then expand to all Samsung appliances.

"In the future you would be able to control your air conditioner or TV through Bixby". This means that apps will be able to integrate Bixby to a degree that every function within said apps that usually require a tap or press with your finger will be accessible via your voice, not just certain commands that may or may not work.

In the world crowded with AI-assistants, Samsung has detailed how it plans to stand out. Well, time will tell out the real result of Bixby.

The last key feature of Bixby will be its tolerance. Completeness refers to Bixby's deeper integration into enabled applications, meaning that Samsung expects Bixby-enabled apps to support voice commands for almost everything that can be normally accessed through the touch interface. Google Assistant and Siri entertain voice commands only to an extent. "The completeness property of Bixby will simplify user education on the capability of the agent, making the behaviours of the agent much more predictable", Samsung stated. Now operating over a subset of preinstalled applications, Bixby will gradually be extended to mimic all touch gestures and applied to all appliances in the Samsung range from smart TVs to fridges.

Samsung doesn't say whether you'll be able to summon Bixby with a voice command, nor does it say whether it will be also able to respond to traditional knowledge-based queries, or deliver weather forecasts or sports scores. The goal is simple- to let smartphone users switch between touch and voice on the fly, without having to confirm whether a given task or action supports voice commands. I also believe that this is the next logical step for the other major players in the digital personal assistant space. However, maybe things do get interesting with Bixby support.

Additionally, Rhee said Bixby will come with some serious smarts - enough to understand commands with incomplete information, and ask for next steps when it needs them.

  • Arturo Norris