Putting rumors to rest, Samsung Electronics announced Monday (March 20) the launch of Bixby, its virtual assistant aimed to take on Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.
In a press release, Samsung said Bixby will be a new intelligent interface on the electronic company’s devices. Samsung said it is different than other voice-activated virtual assistants on the market because it has more proficiency in completeness, context awareness and cognitive tolerance. Take completeness, for starters. Samsung said Bixby will be able to support nearly every task the application is capable of performing using touch commands.
“Most existing agents currently support only a few selected tasks for an application and therefore confuse users about what works or what doesn’t work by voice command. The completeness property of Bixby will simplify user education on the capability of the agent, making the behaviors of the agent much more predictable,” said Samsung.
As for context awareness, Samsung said when using a Bixby-enabled app, users will be able to access Bixby at any time and the virtual assistant will understand the current context and state of the app, enabling users to carry out work in progress continuously. In the case of cognitive tolerance, Samsung said when the number of supported voice commands gets big, most users have a hard time remembering the exact voice commands that many virtual assistant programs require. But Bixby is smart enough to understand commands with incomplete information. This, said Samsung, makes the interface more natural and easier to use.
“We know that adopting new ways to interact with your devices will require a change in user behavior. The inconvenience of learning a new interface can cause friction and force users to revert back to old habits (e.g., the touch interface). At the same time, we believe the key to success for a new voice interface is to design a scheme that reduces friction and makes the experience significantly more rewarding than the existing interface. So at its core, Bixby will help remove friction. It will simplify user education with new voice interfaces and will make using your phone even more seamless and intuitive,” wrote Samsung.