In a plausible yet obvious attempt to ensure its forthcoming ‘Galaxy S8’ flagship is just a few cuts above the competition this year, a new report surfaced earlier this week alleging that Samsung’s 2017 flagship might boast a dedicated ‘visual search’ assistant. This will let users simply snap a photo of something and instantly be able to contextually identify key objects, text, locations, and more.
Allow us to introduce ‘Bixby’, the byproduct of Samsung’s most recent attempt to one-up Apple’s personal voice assistant, Siri. According to a new report published by SamMobile, once a user captures a photo using their ‘Galaxy S8’ device, ‘Bixby’ will take your freshly snapped photo and intelligently analyze it. You will then be provided a name to each of the objects in your photo, including visual, searchable texts that appear within the frame. Bixby’s functionality will be built right into Samsung’s camera app.
AppleInsider speculated that the features and software powering ‘Bixby’ may have originated from the likes of VIV labs. VIV labs is the AI-based software firm that was comprised primarily of former Siri operatives and co-creators — including Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer, and Chris Bringham — prior to being acquired by Samsung. VIV took the concept of ‘virtual assistant’ to entirely new heights, given its connectedness throughout the ecosystem and deep integration with 3rd party apps. This in effect, makes of VIV a powerful and feature-rich Siri challenger, allowing some equally powerful and helpful tasks to be carried out with the sound of your voice. We mentioned in our previous coverage that VIV would be able to do things like look up movie times, while subsequently being able to check and compare ticket prices, order them, and even make restaurant reservations before the show.
Another platform, for example, that comes close (but no cigar!) to rivaling the functionality that ‘Bixby’ is rumored to be bringing to the table would be the Google Goggles app. While this platform performs similar object-to-text identification it does not, unfortunately, boast the “high degree of interconnectedness to other applications” that ‘Bixby’ will supposedly have to offer.
Of course, all things considered, ‘Bixby’ may very well be Samsung’s last-ditch attempt to bring its otherwise feature-packed Galaxy devices up to par with Apple’s iPhone. However, we’ll just have to wait and see how effective and intelligent ‘Bixby’ really is, once Samsung’s 2017 flagship is unveiled. This will likely be taking place at next month’s Mobile World Congress.
Would you trade Siri in for a ‘Bixby’? Feel free to let us know in the comments!