Talk to the phone: Samsung unveils Bixby

Talk to the phone: Samsung unveils Bixby

Samsung has unveiled Bixby, a voice-activated intelligent assistant to rival Apple's Siri and Amazon Alexa.

The Korean electronics group says Bixby offers a more rounded experience than rival AI agents, with the application capable of performing all current touch-enabled interactions, weaving voice and touch seamlessly for ongoing work in progress, and responding to incomplete voice commands.

Samsung says users will wake up Bixby by pressing a dedicated button that will be located on the side of its up-and-coming Galaxy S8 devices. Currently 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.

"We have thousands of software developers supporting this effort," says Injong Rhee, vice president and head of R& at Samsung Electronics. "As the Bixby ecosystem grows, we believe Bixby will evolve from a smartphone interface to an interface for your life."

The banking industry has been expanding its user interaction channels to cover voice-activated devices such as Siri and Alexa, from calling up stock quotes to authorising payments. Samsung says it will "eventually" release a tool (in SDK) to enable third-party developers to make their applications and services similarly Bixby-enabled.

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