Welcome Bixby – Samsung’s own new digital voice assistant. It’s all set to show its face with the upcoming Galaxy S8. The voice powered digital assistant is introduced to compete with Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana.
Injong Rhee, Electronics Head of Research and Development at Samsung said, “Bixby will be our first step on a journey to completely open up new ways of interacting with your phone.” He further added, “Starting with our smartphones, Bixby will be gradually applied to all our appliances. In the future you would be able to control your air conditioner or TV through Bixby. Since Bixby will be implemented in the cloud, as long as a device has an internet connection and simple circuitry to receive voice inputs, it will be able to connect with Bixby. As the Bixby ecosystem grows, we believe Bixby will evolve from a smartphone interface to an interface for your life.”
How different is Bixby from its contemporaries?
Fundamentally different from other voice agents or assistants in the market, Bixby offers a deeper experience thanks to proficiency in these three properties:
When an application becomes Bixby-enabled, Bixby will be able to support almost every task that the application is capable of performing using the conventional interface (ie. 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.
2. Context Awareness
When using a Bixby-enabled application, users will be able to call upon Bixby at any time and it will understand the current context and state of the application and will allow users to carry out the current work-in- progress continuously. Bixby will allow users to weave various modes of interactions including touch or voice at any context of the application, whichever they feel is most comfortable and intuitive.
Most existing agents completely dictate the interaction modality and, when switching among the modes, may either start the entire task over again, losing all the work in progress, or simply not understand the user’s intention.
3. Cognitive Tolerance
When the number of supported voice commands gets larger, most users are cognitively challenged to remember the exact form of the voice commands. Most agents require users to state the exact commands in a set of fixed forms. Bixby will be smart enough to understand commands with incomplete information and execute the commanded task to the best of its knowledge, and then will prompt users to provide more information and take the execution of the task in piecemeal. This makes the interface much more natural and easier to use.