Five years after Apple introduced Siri, its virtual private assistant, Samsung is playing catch-up: it is launching Bixby, a “new intelligent interface”, on the new Samsung devices. In the press release announcing the feature, the South Korean company touts three Bixby features that make it stand out from the competition: completeness, contextual awareness and cognitive tolerance.
Bixby can be triggered by a dedicated button on the Galaxy S8, Samsung says, and at launch, a handful of apps will be Bixby-enabled. That means users will be able to perform any task they would usually do using touch commands with their voice.
When triggered, Bixby will also understand the current context and state of the app, and allow users to continue their work within the Bixby-enabled app. Of course, the app needs to support the Samsung virtual private assistant.
An interesting feature of Bixby is that it will be smart enough to understand commands with incomplete information and “execute the commanded task to the best of its knowledge”. It remains to be seen how it will perform in real life, because outlining the stand-out features is one thing, whereas using it in real life situations is another.