Samsung today officially announced Bixby, a new intelligent interface for its devices, starting with the upcoming Galaxy S8.
Samsung said Bixby will be “fundamentally different” than virtual assistants like Siri and Cortana in that it will be deeply integrated within apps. The interface will be able to support almost every task that an app is capable of performing using conventional touch commands, rather than just a few selected tasks.
When using a Bixby-enabled application, users will be able to call upon Bixby at any time and it will understand the current context and state of the application and will allow users to carry out the current work-in-progress continuously. Bixby will allow users to weave various modes of interactions including touch or voice at any context of the application.
Samsung added that Bixby will be intelligent enough to understand commands with incomplete information and execute the commanded task to the best of its knowledge, and the interface will then prompt users to provide more information and “take the execution of the task in piecemeal.”
Samsung said Bixby, at its core, is about removing friction. The interface will have a dedicated button on the left side of the Galaxy S8, and its supposed completeness, contextual awareness, and cognitive tolerance is designed to make using the smartphone more seamless and intuitive.
Dr. Injong Rhee, Samsung’s head of research and development for software and services, speaking with The Verge:
“A lot of other agents are focused on being knowledgeable, providing answers to fact-based questions, glorified extensions of search. Bixby is capable of developing a new interface to our devices, or devices that are going to host Bixby.”
Bixby will initially be limited to ten preinstalled apps on the Galaxy S8. The intelligent interface will gradually expand to Samsung’s other smartphones, and even its other products like TVs, wearables, and air conditioners, while Samsung plans to open up Bixby to third-party apps in the future.
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