Bixby is Samsung's answer to rivals such as Apple's Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. DJ Koh, president of Samsung's mobile division, revealed the news to CNBC after Samsung's Unpacked/Galaxy Note 8 event. That timeline isn't specific, but at least it's something.
Bixby has a few great features but perhaps the most interesting is that it is contextually aware. Otherwise, it's also possible to set a wake-up command, such as "Hi Bixby".
Ultimately, Samsung would want to make Bixby a ideal digital assistant so that it can compete on level with Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant, besides SIRI.
Bixby allows users to create custom voice commands as short cuts to multiple features at once. So why not a smart speaker?
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Confirmation of a smart speaker by Samsung follows months of speculation on the matter, beginning in May when Samsung filed a design patent with the US government for an audio device with a visual display.
With smart home tech and the Internet of Things, users can perform tasks like controlling lights or their home TVs.
Bixby was unveiled earlier this year when Samsung introduced its flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone. Support for other languages, devices, and third-party apps are expected to expand over time, Samsung added.
But at the same time, Samsung's Vega would be a significantly late arrival to the speaker market.
The Echo hasn't gone completely unchallenged, as current competitors include the Google Home, which showcases the search giant's Assistant program.