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article imageSamsung unveils Bixby 2.0, aims to connect all your devices

By James Walker     Oct 19, 2017 in Technology
Samsung has announced the second-generation version of Bixby, the company's digital assistant. Coming just six months after Bixby's launch, Samsung's preparing to significantly expand the assistant's applications by bringing it to new kinds of device.
Bixby's first few months have been far from smooth. It wasn't ready in time to launch with the Galaxy S8 and initial reviews have been far from enthusiastic. Samsung's first attempt at an AI assistant demonstrated the company's inexperience in the field.
Fundamental leap
Samsung's now ready to launch a new Bixby version meant to offer an "ubiquitous, personal, and open" assistant experience. The overhaul was announced during the company's Developer Conference yesterday and introduced as a "fundamental leap forward" for digital assistants.
Bixby 2.0 will roll out across Samsung's diverse range of connected products. This includes regular consumer tech items like smartphones and TVs but also household appliances and smart IoT sensors. Samsung wants to put Bixby in your refrigerator, thermostat and smart speakers, letting the AI continually assist you.
Intelligence marketplace
A key component of the new strategy is Bixby's "marketplace." Samsung's opening the assistant up to third-party developers, hoping to create an Amazon Alexa-like ecosystem of integrations for the AI. The company wants to build a "marketplace for intelligence" where developers can reach users across all of their devices.
Samsung Galaxy Note8
Samsung Galaxy Note8
Samsung
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Samsung's all-encompassing range of household appliances and consumer tech comes into its own here, allowing the company to offer a Bixby-equipped hardware line-up with diversity far beyond that of its rivals. By inviting developers to get onboard, the company could create one of the largest AI assistance platforms by focusing on building an open platform that works around its user.
"I believe that we are not on the cusp of the next major tectonic shift. With our long legacy as the global smartphone leader, we've been brining meaningful innovation and driving digital transformation for the industry, and we are excited to help lead the change during another revolutionary moment," said Eui-Suk Chung, Samsung Head of Service Intelligence. "Personally, I am excited to be part of this next great era and this shift is one of the reasons why we are motivated to continue to develop our intelligent assistant, Bixby."
Connected strategy
The upgrade also improves on Bixby's core functionality. According to Samsung, Bixby's natural language interpretations are now more accurate and get to know who you are. Samsung's ambitious aims for the assistant will be unobtainable if it doesn't polish the basics. Since launch, Bixby 1.0 has trailed behind rivals when completing simple tasks.
Complementing Bixby, Samsung's also moving towards a more coherent connected device strategy that will see three of its dedicated brands consolidated into one platform. SmartThings, Samsung Connect and ARTIK will all be known as SmartThings Cloud going forward, making it easier for Samsung to market its IoT products and integrate them with Bixby. SmartThings Cloud was formerly a startup company Samsung acquired for $200 million in 2014.
More about Samsung, Bixby, digital assistants, Mobile, voice control