Samsung launches new voice assistant in 200 countries

Samsung released a new digital voice assistant last week, called Bixby. The smart application, which is Samsung’s answer to Google’s Assistant and Apple’s Siri, has been launched in 200 countries.

Bixby is currently only available in US English and South Korean. Samsung hopes to expand its language range in the future but has yet to announce a timeframe to fulfil this. Its launch was initially delayed because the application struggled to interpret commands.

According to Ian Fogg, an analyst at IHS Markit, Bixby is different in that it provides integration with many Samsung-specific functionalities, such as VR Support and the stylus. He said that, over time, Bixby might be integrated with other Samsung devices, rather than just Android phones.

Bixby promises to support a range of functionalities, including pausing playback on your device to cropping images. The user can activate the application by saying “Hi Bixby” while holding down a button dedicated to the digital assistant.

In reference to rival digital assistants amongst the tech giants including Apple’s Siri, he said: "A lot of people believe one voice agent will become the sole agent everyone will use. But in life we don’t have one single expert that we trust for everything. It might be they are good at different things.”

The essential criteria of any voice assistant, he concluded, was its ability to reliably understand what the user says: “If you don’t do that nothing else happens. That should be a given.”