Bixby Is Going To Be Samsung’s J.A.R.V.I.S

Posted: Mar 23 2017, 6:14am CDT | by , in News | Technology News

Bixby is going to be Samsung’s J.A.R.V.I.S

We all are now becoming familiar to Bixby, the dedicated voice Assistant which will be featured and debuting in Samsung’s upcoming flagship[p models: Galaxy S8 and S8+. Samsung held so much importance for Bixby that Galaxy S8 duo are all fitted with a physical dedicated button just to activate Bixby. Bixby may be a fancy addition to increase the ease of access in Galaxy S8 and S8+, but Samsung actually has big plans for sidekick.

According to Injong Rhee, implanting Bixby in smartphones was logically a very beneficial step, as it can now be expanded easily and can feature in many devices. Samsung hasn’t been quite attentive to any voice assistant previously, but Samsung’s plans mean that the company strives to join the golden league players of AI voice assistant technology. A league already hosting Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft’s own smart voice assistants.

It seems like Samsung has understood the future potential of an AI voice assistant like the other high rollers in the industry. Although we don’t see a futuristic R2-D2 type AI robot for now, but investing in the field now seems to be an impressive decision as it would allow the goodwill factor to keep each company’s costumers hooked to their products.

With the introduction of IoT (Internet of Things), digitally existent voice assistant will be the way of communication between a user and his IoT interface. So for instance, if you have a smart home 5 years later from now, maybe you will be calling Bixby to open the garage when you get home from work. Also, Samsung has already divulged into a quest of making Bixby more helpful that answering simple questions.

So, if you were to say, “Bixby, call my wife and ask her to meet at her parent’s.”, Bixby will be capable of doing that once Samsung is done polishing the software. According to words of Injhong Rhee, most of the major voice assistants are built to become more advanced search engines by each update. Samsung on the other hand, plans to create a digital assistant which not only can answer question but could also help you in your tasks.

Injhong Rhee is a brilliant mind working in Samsung’s arsenal and has quite a lot to say about the chances of success of digital voice assistant industry. According to Rhee, another revolution in mobile industry is waiting. The first one being the touch screen, smartphones are the current revolution but soon IoT, the Internet of Things will be the ultimate revolution.

IoT is referred to as a network where all of your devices and home and cars and other stuff which can be digitally controlled are present. Like a RC car, all you need is the remote and you can make any device connected to your IoT do anything without direct interaction. Rhee also stated that anything which is currently touch operated, does have the potential to be controllable by voice. Machine Learning and Deep Learning is the next step to revolution of Technology, says the head of R&D department of Samsung, Injhong Rhee.

The negative side:

With so much hype about the voice assistant, it’s easy to forget that there are two possibilities of any plan. It may be successful, but it also has a possibility of failing. A possibility which Samsung in specific, has faced previously in digital assistant industry. We all remember the S Voice which was featured in Galaxy S3 and also followed a few more models of the Galaxy S-series and even a few of Galaxy Tablets. Although, S Voice wasn’t really something to be glorified. It was like a substitute, simply used to fill in the space for a voice assistant in Samsung’s products.

S Voice was sort of abandoned by the company and hadn’t been worked on much, making it absolute in comparison to the rising technologies. Samsung discarded S Voice and now Bixby is set to wrestle from Samsung’s end. Going up against Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa, Samsung will have to present one hell of a debut for the world to take Bixby any serious than S Voice.

Bixby’s Progress:

Bixby will not be much more than a simple search engine at the start, though it will have some of its illustrated traits, control of device’s functionality. Though it won’t be very wide in terms of supported applications that can be handled by Bixby. English and Korean language options are present for Bixby as of now, US Spanish and Chinese languages are expected to included soon. The Flipboard used in previous models of Samsung Galaxy Series are now replaced by Bixby’s home.

Bixby’s home is a sight for sore eyes, it will contains a lot of UI elements but the highlighted objects will be the suggestion cards. The suggestion cards will contain reminders (sort of) which will built on the foundation of how you use your device. If you go for a 4-km run every morning, one of the card will save that information as a suggestion and popup in front of you to remind you that it’s time to go for a run.

Supported Application and Third Party apps:

Only 10 Samsung’s preinstalled applications will be capable of being controlled by the voice assistant. These applications include basic smartphone applications like Contacts, Photos, Settings, and other such, especially excluding Email and Calendar. A development kit will also be distributed for developers to integrate Bixby’s assistance capabilities to third-party apps. For instance, Google may create their own functionality for Bixby’s influence on Gmail application.

Bixby Vision:

A brilliant extension to Bixby’s capabilities is the Bixby Vision, a software which will be able to recognize stuff from the camera and provide information about the objects or places. So to be clear, go to the statue of liberty with a bottle of White Wine and a Swiss Gear backpack with a DJI Phantom 4 in it. Ask Bixby to recognize the place and the items with you, not only will Bixby be able to tell what the place and the items are, it will also take you to Amazon’s pages of the Wine, the drone, and the backpack. The Amazon feature is currently offered in USA only.

Bixby’s story:

Samsung decided to create Bixby 18 months from now. Note that the digital voice assistant wasn’t given a name so early in the development. Millennials have held Bixby in a spotlight, something about the name has that ring to it, although the word means nothing. Reports claim that Samsung bought Viv Labs, an AI startup and Joyent, a cloud computing startup to support further enhancements in Bixby. Although Joyent’s clouds have most probably been put to use as Bixby’s central database, Viv Labs have had no role in the development or the capabilities of Bixby.

Currently, Bixby only consists of Samsung’s own programming while the company plans to use Viv Labs’ capabilities to augment the capabilities of Bixby, add new features to it, and also create a development kit for third parties developers. Viv Labs will create the Machine Learning foundation for Bixby, which will allow Bixby to study its user’s patterns of daily routine in more details and come up with even more helpful suggestions. Updates released from Viv Labs will also be responsible for making Bixby do stuff for you. Bixby is also expected to be as natural sounding as possible by the current technology. Viv Labs also have Da Kittlaus, one of the developers who were in the team that created Apple’s Siri.

Mystery behind the button:

Apple has incorporated Siri with the home button, which also seems to be a logical option. But Samsung refrained from integrating Bixby’s invocation with the home button as the Home button is a frequently used function, which will make it easy to make a mistake and activate Bixby. Thus, a separate button used only to activate Bixby now resides on the side of the Galaxy S8 duo.

As Injhong explained, the Bixby Button will not be the only option to call Bixby. Basically, Bixby is always active, it’s just on standby and waits for the user to call it. Apart from the button, a voice keyword is also integrated in Bixby’s programming which will call Bixby even if the button isn’t pressed. Don’t think the button is just a temporary addition to the Galaxy S8 duo. By the looks of it, Samsung is most probably going to stick a button out on every device that will be featuring Bixby.

Why not Google’s Assistant?

Injhong was asked the question, “Why did Samsung decide to create their own assistant instead of taking help from Google’s technologies present in android?” Injhong told the interviewer that Bixby is meant to stay for the long run. Samsung has high hopes for the digital assistant and has already spent huge investments in its creation. According to Injhong, creating a revolutionary digital voice assistance system from already created technologies was “philosophically” incorrect.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/32" rel="author">Ahmed Humayun</a>
Ahmed Humayun is a technology journalist bringing you the hottest tech stories of the day.




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