Samsung announced today that the voice-based feature of Bixby would be available starting today on Galaxy S8 and S8+ devices. You no longer need to know Korean to use Bixby; it now understands English.
While the Samsung smart speaker may still be some time away, the inclusion of Bixby on U.S. late model smartphones shows that Samsung is pushing forward with its own personal assistant features.
“There are over 10,000 functions on our smartphones, but each day, people may use less than five percent of them. The features on your phone are only useful if you know how to find them. Our goal with Bixby is to make it easier to use our phones, creating the best possible user experience for our customers. That is why we created Bixby – an intuitive new way to do more things with your phone,” says Injong Rhee, Executive Vice President, Head of R&D, Software and Services of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics.
SAMSUNG FOCUSING ON PHONE FIRST
Samsung is focusing on phone functions first, similar as to Apple’s Siri. The company integrated Bixby into the operating system to provide more voice enabled services and features to existing apps.
At launch, only a select number of third party apps can use Bixby as part of the Bixby Labs project. This list is expected to grow over time.
AMAZON AND GOOGLE HOLD LEAD ON ECOMMERCE VOICE INTEGRATIONS
As we stated in this week’s eCommerce chat, Amazon and to a lesser extent Google, hold the lead on eCommerce voice integrations. This fact is particularly the case for Amazon after their hugely successful Prime Day where they heavily discounted many of their voice enabled devices.
Samsung’s natural extension for Bixby is likely home electronics such as Smart TVs & appliances as well as other home automation functions. In conjunction with Samsung Pay, the company could provide voice features for P2P financial transactions.
It does not appear that Bixby will be a player in eCommerce soon. This feature extension would likely require some integration with a marketplace or other eCommerce sales channel.
SMB’s in eCommerce should continue to concentrate on structured data updates for Amazon and eBay. Those two marketplaces are effectively the only ones currently able to properly handle voice shopping.
The Bixby update will be available starting today on Galaxy S8 and S8+ from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and U.S. Cellular.