Until now, Samsung did not have its official virtual assistant. All the other big companies do, from Apple to Google. Well, on Monday, Samsung officially announced its own version of a personal and smart virtual assistant. It is called Bixby. However, if you think this will be just another classic virtual assistant, you might soon change your mind. The company does not take the usual approach, as the other companies and assistants like Cortana or Siri.
This “agent” will not only answer to your questions like an encyclopedia. Instead, it is supposed to help you with your device and guide you. It will be there to enlighten you when times seem dark and you do not know how to use a certain option on your smartphone. Or, to put it frankly, Samsung invented Bixby to help the users with the phone’s difficult to navigate interface. Basically, to do all the explaining work in their place. It may seem like an excuse for a virtual assistant. Interestingly enough, Bixby is really useful and well-done.
Galaxy S8 with Bixby
Bixby will make its first ever appearance on Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone. The company will reportedly announce it later this month. According to Samsung, the device will come with a special button, destined only for launching Bixby. However, they also stated that at first, the assistant might not do much. The device will come with only a few apps, but that they will be adding more and more in time. For now, Bixby will know only two languages: English and Korean. However, there are plans to add Spanish and Chinese too, in the near future.
As for how will the assistant work, nobody knows too many details for now. However, Samsung said that at first, Bixby will not do too many things. Still, users will be able to access it and require assistance. Bixby will reportedly understand the context of the phone’s situation and provide help. Rumor has it that Bixby might also be able to see what is on your screen at all times. So, when you are in trouble, it would come out and guide you through.
A different purpose
Many people might wonder how exactly is Bixby different from assistants like Cortana or Siri. The practical capabilities of the assistant are not radically different. However, the purpose and concept behind Bixby is another one. Samsung does not want it to be some sort of database full of information which users can access or require a certain fact from.
Dr. Injong Rhee, Samsung’s head of research and development, stated that Bixby is not the sort of virtual friend which users can ask about the weather, news or sports results. Instead, it is a guide, an assistant which will help you when you are looking at a photo too much and you do not know how to send it. He also said that Bixby should be considered more of a helpful interface than a virtual guide. It remains to be seen how will users receive it when they will get their hands on the new Galaxy S8 device.
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