Since Samsung announced the acquisition of Viv Labs last month, there have been widespread rumors that the Korean company would add an AI assistant to its next-gen flagship Galaxy S8. Samsung’s VP of mobile communications Lee Kyeong-tae, recently told the Wall Street Journal that the upcoming smartphone would feature “an enhanced artificial intelligence service” besides a slick design and an improved camera.

Samsung Galaxy S8
Image Credit: Jami3.org/Flickr

‘Bixby,’ the AI assistant in Galaxy S8

Now a trademark filing by Samsung has revealed what the AI assistant could be called. The filing was first spotted by Dutch publication Galaxy Club. Trademark applications have tipped us in the past about the company’s unannounced products. In its latest filing, Samsung has sought protection for the name “Bixby” rather than “Viv.” The description accompanying the name suggests that it could indeed be the AI assistant intended for the next-gen flagship.

In its application, Samsung said the “Bixby” brand will be used for “computer software for enabling hands-free use of a mobile phone through voice recognition,” “computer software for personal information management,” and “software used to operate voice recognition system.” The AI assistant is likely to debut with the Galaxy S8 as Samsung is willing to go the extra mile to win back the trust of customers after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

Viv can write its own code for new tasks

Viv Labs was founded by the same people who created Siri and sold it to Apple in 2010. Siri has since become a central feature of the iPhone. But Viv is said to be much smarter than Siri. It is capable of writing its own code to handle new tasks. Viv founder Dag Kittlaus said earlier this year, “The more you ask of Viv, the more it will get to know you.” He said Siri was just chapter one. In the new Internet age, “Viv will be a giant brain in the sky.”

Viv will get smarter as people use it. Getting it in the hands of consumers will help it evolve to challenge Siri and Google Assistant in real life. The timing of trademark application indicates that “Bixby” could be the star of the show at the Galaxy S8 unveiling event. The next-gen flagship is expected to be unveiled on February 26 at a pre-MWC event in Barcelona.

Galaxy S8 to have a 90% display area ratio

According to a report by The Investor, the Galaxy S8 will have an edge-to-edge OLED display. Citing Park Won-sang, a principal engineer at Samsung Display, the publication said the upcoming Galaxy S device will have a 90% display to body ratio. By comparison, most modern smartphones have an 80% display area ratio. That’s not all. Samsung is planning to go beyond 90%. Park Won-sang said the company was aiming for up to 99% display area ratio.

The 5.1-inch Galaxy S8 model is rumored to feature a 2K Super AMOLED display, while the 5.5-inch variant is said to sport a 4K display. Samsung is in talks with LG Chem for the supply of S8 batteries. The phone is expected to be powered by Snapdragon 830 or Exynos 8895 depending on the region.