Next year we’ll see Bixby really expand its reach.
The digital assistant from Samsung won’t be limited to just phones for much longer. With the rise of Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, Bixby will also make its way to different types of hardware. Samsung would like to put Bixby on phones, tablets, televisions, refrigerators, home speakers, and and any other connected devices. The company made the announcement this week at its annual developer conference in San Francisco where the digital assistant’s brief history was praised before its future was laid out.
Since launching a little less than six months ago, Bixby is now available in over 200 hundred countries. More than 10 million people have enabled the digital assistant on their Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, or Galaxy Note 8. Google and Amazon haven’t shared their own numbers, but Samsung should be proud considering Bixby has only been on its own products.
In the future, however, Bixby will be opened up to non-Samsung phones and products that aren’t mobile devices. Samsung’s goal is to make Bixby ubiquitous in your life.
Samsung hasn’t actually said what new things Bixby will be capable of doing. The company merely states it’ll be “more personal, with enhanced natural language capabilities for more natural commands and complex processing, so it can really get to know and understand not only who you are, but who members of your family are, and tailor its response and actions appropriately. Going by that, it seems Bixby will be similar to Google Assistant in knowing who says what and serving personalized information in return.
The success of Bixby after its major update could rely heavily on support from developers. That’s who Samsung introduced Bixby 2.0 in front of, not the media. Its press release also states a paradigm shift if “we all, across all industries, work together, in partnership.” Through now we’ve seen developers focus on Amazon’s Alexa even more so than Google Assistant. Rallying developers at a developer conference is smart, but Samsung needs to prove the platform has value for users.
Bixby 2.0 is already being tested by select developers in a private beta program. Samsung will welcome additional participants over time, so it looks like the new version of the digital assistant will debut alongside the Galaxy S9 in 2018.