Voice assistants are here with us and just when you thought this kind of artificial intelligence would stop with Google’s Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa or Microsoft’s Cortana or Apple’s Siri, Samsung shows up and takes the game to a whole new level. On Wednesday this week, the company announced that its US users would now have complete access to the voice interaction feature of their recently released voice assistant, Bixby voice.
Earlier this year, Samsung announced its maiden voice assistant, Bixby voice, and mentioned that it would launch alongside their highly hyped Galaxy 8 and Galaxy 8 plus phones come March. But the following month, just when the company was to start shipping their Samsung phones, they announced that the newly out voice assistant’s voice functionality had suffered a few problems.
Come May, Bixby debuted in Korea. In July the company also launched an early access program in the US with its main target being English speaking users. Well over 100,000 people signed up for it and about four million commands were collected from them. With these data, Samsung had all it needed to enhance Bixby’s functionality.
Even though most users in the US already had the app already installed in their Galaxy S8, it lacked its most defining function: voice interaction. The feature is now available in the form of an update. However, users were still able to enjoy its functions, some of which could assist the user key out objects in pictures, track their day and be reminded of events coming up on their calendar. Unfortunately, Galaxy 8 users in other countries excluding Korea and the US, may not be able to access it.
Few things set the Bixby voice assistant apart from other cell phone-based voice assistants. First off, it’s activated by means of a dedicated button located on the side of the cellphone. This lets you go about the whole thing you would with a walk talkie.
As for the delay, it was well worth it because Samsung wanted to enhance the voice assistant’s functionality across its different sections and make it ready for the mainstream consumers. Some of the things to note include increased ability to comprehend different variations of commands, response time, improved hands-free operations and a read-aloud feature.
You can as well use Bixby voice to operate a few third party apps such as Google Maps. For instance, you can ask it to change your destination or even location.
Samsung’s Bixby voice has without a doubt set itself apart from its peers through its various unique functionalities but the primary role remains the same. Voice assistants signify the start of a new way of interaction between humans and gadgets and most pundits have already predicted its success in the coming years.