Smart home control has been the surprising killer app for voice assistants, and at Samsung Developer Conference 2017 today Samsung announced a new version of Bixby which is set to tie together their disparate Internet of Things efforts.
Bixby 2.0 will be escaping from the confines of the smartphone and will be available on a variety of devices including Samsung Smart TV and Family Hub refrigerator. It will feature enhanced natural language abilities and new deep linking capabilities, meaning the AI will be able to do more with apps and services e.g. make bookings via the Hotels.com app or send money via the Venmo app when the user makes the request using natural language.
This is part of Viv’s technology, who created Apple’s Siri many years ago and was acquired by Samsung last year.
Bixby will also be able to better recognize individual users, and create a predictive, personalized experience that better anticipate their needs.
This will be particularly useful when Bixby is in your home rather than your phone, and to make this easier Samsung is introducing Project Ambience, a device which includes WIFI and a microphone which can be attached to dumb devices and bring Bixby to every room in your home.
To help spread the technology Samsung is releasing a Bixby SDK to select developers in a private beta, and is letting other companies integrate Project Ambience devices in their hardware.
“At Samsung, we’re constantly innovating in order to deliver smarter, connected experiences for our consumers. Now we’re taking a big step forward with our open IoT platform, intelligent ecosystem and AR capabilities,” said DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “Through an extensive open collaboration with our business partners and developers, we are unlocking a gateway to an expanded ecosystem of interconnected and intelligent services that will simplify and enrich everyday life for our consumers.”