After “accidentally” mentioning it by name a couple of times to build hype, Samsung has decided to formally confirm and detail Bixby today via an exceedingly poetic press release. Of course, we’re still more than a week away from Galaxy S8’s own announcement, but that’s no coincidence.
While we now know for certain the latest Siri contender will debut on Samsung’s next flagship phone, the mid to long-term goal is to turn Bixby into a “new intelligent interface on our devices.” Not just a digital assistant, mind you, but an “interface” or “agent” that’s purportedly “fundamentally different” from your Google Assistant, Cortana or Alexa.
How so? Thanks to proficiency in “completeness”, “context awareness” and “cognitive tolerance”, apparently. That’s sure to sound a little pompous and vague for down-to-earth mobile users expecting to hear exactly what Bixby can do today, or rather starting next month.
Call us dreamers or even suckers, but despite Samsung’s word of warning about a measly “subset of preinstalled applications” enabled to support Bixby on the Galaxy S8, we’re psyched to see the company’s “bold vision of revolutionizing the human-to-machine interface” realized.
Samsung’s voice-commanded agent essentially aims to do everything your touch can currently achieve… and more, not just support a “few selected tasks”, like the competition. Better yet, Bixby promises to be contextually aware, versatile and adaptable, keeping up with you at all times and understanding a wide array of requests instead of forcing you to memorize the precise way questions and commands need to be articulated.
Those are some audacious ambitions, especially when you also consider intentions of “gradual” Bixby expansion from smartphones to all of Samsung’s appliances. TVs, air conditioners, whatever has an internet connection and “simple circuitry to receive voice inputs.” Now that sounds groundbreaking!