|Developer(s)||Samsung and Viv Labs|
|Initial release||April 21, 2017|
|Available in||English, Korean, Chinese|
|Type||Intelligent personal assistant|
On March 20, 2017, Samsung announced the voice-powered digital assistant named "Bixby". Bixby was introduced alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ during the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2017 event, which was held on March 29, 2017. Samsung officially unveiled Bixby a week before launch but it only made its first appearance during the event. Bixby can also be sideloaded on older Galaxy devices running Android Nougat.
In May 2017, Samsung announced that Bixby would be coming to its line of Family Hub 2.0 refrigerators, making it the first non-mobile product to include the virtual assistant.
In October 2017, Samsung announced the release of Bixby 2.0 during its annual developer conference in San Francisco. The new version is set to be rolled out across the company’s line of connected products, including smartphones, TVs and refrigerators. Moreover, third parties will be allowed to develop applications for Bixby using the Samsung Developer Kit.
Bixby comes with three parts, known as Bixby Voice, Bixby Vision and Bixby Home.
With Bixby Voice, the user can trigger Bixby by calling it or doing a long press of the Bixby Button located below the volume rocker. A while before the phone's release, the Bixby Button was reprogrammable and could be set to open other applications or assistants, such as Google Assistant. Near the phone's release, however, this ability was removed with a firmware update, but can be remapped using third party apps.
Bixby Vision is built into the camera app and can "see" what one can see as it is essentially an augmented reality camera that can identify objects in real time, search for them on various services, and offer the user to purchase them if available. Bixby is also able to translate text, read QR codes and recognize landmarks.
Bixby Home can be found by swiping to the right on the home screen or doing a short press on the Bixby Button. It is a vertically scrolling list of information that Bixby can interact with, for example, weather, fitness activity, and buttons for controlling their smart home gadgets.
Bixby supports multiple languages including English, Korean and Chinese. It also supports contextual search and visual search.
Currently, Bixby is only available in Korean and English. Bixby Korean was launched on May 1, 2017 (KST).
Samsung reported that Bixby will not be operational on the US version of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ when the devices are shipped to consumers beginning April 21, 2017. Samsung have stated that the key features of Bixby, including Vision, Home and Reminder, will be available with the global launch of the smartphones. Bixby Voice will be available in the US on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ later this spring. However, the release of English version was postponed as Samsung had problems getting Bixby to fully understand the language.
As of December 2017, Bixby is available in over 200 countries, but only in Korean, English, and Chinese (Mandarin). The Chinese version of Bixby is only available on devices officially sold in Mainland China.
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