Samsung unveils Bixby in Galaxy S8 as answer to Siri and Alexa

The days of operating devices with just our fingers are long behind us. Siri’s capabilities have been available to iPhone users since the birth of the iPhone 6S in 2013. More recently Alexa has rejuvenated Amazon’s place in the market since it launched two years ago. And soon to join the party is Samsung’s intelligent voice assistant Bixby. Previously rumoured to be in production – after an ‘accidental’ leak – Samsung has finally confirmed that its latest device will feature a voice-activated assistant.

Set to run on the Galaxy S8 smartphone, Bixby will not be triggered by saying its name. Unlike Siri and Alexa, using a physical button on the side of the phone will instead activate Bixby. Set to be released on March 29, the future of Bixby will depend very much on its success within the Galaxy S8. If it proves a hit then Samsung bosses have announced that plans are in place to implement the voice assistant in ‘millions of Samsung devices’, including TVs and washing machines.

"Bixby will be our first step on a journey to completely open up new ways of interacting with your phone," executive vice president of Samsung Electronics, Injong Rhee, said. “The S8 will come with a subset of preinstalled apps that are Bixby-enabled. Over time, this set of apps will expand; Samsung will release a software toolkit to allow third-party developers to Bixby enable their apps and services.”

Despite coming to the market four years after Apple and two years behind Amazon, Samsung argues that Bixby will offer a ‘deeper experience’ than the voice assistants currently on the market. The technology giant claims that its voice assistant will allow users to weave touch and voice commands with greater efficiency. Bixby will also be smart enough to understand incomplete commands and Rhee suggests this makes the voice assistant more ‘natural and easier to use’.

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