Galaxy S8: Will Bixby Use Samsung’s In-House Technology?

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Samsung’s acquisition of Viv Labs in October last year triggered speculations that the upcoming Galaxy S8 would feature an AI assistant powered by Viv Labs’ technology. Samsung’s trademark filings later revealed that the voice assistant could be named Bixby. Other reports claimed that the Viv-based AI assistant would offer “significantly differentiated” services than its rivals such as Siri and Google Assistant.

Is Bixby merely an upgraded S Voice?

A new report claims that Bixby would be based on Samsung’s in-house technology rather than that from Viv Labs. Sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that Bixby is going to rely on an upgraded version of S Voice. The Korean electronics giant launched S Voice with the Galaxy S3 in 2012, but it received a lukewarm response from consumers.

Sources told WSJ that Samsung engineers had been working on upgrading S Voice for the last several months for a “relaunch on the Galaxy S8.” Over the last few months, the company has also posted many AI-related jobs on its internal jobs platform to hire people from its other business divisions for the project. Sources added that Samsung would add a dedicated button on the side of Galaxy S8 to allow users to quickly access the service.

Will the Galaxy S8 AI assistant be called Bixby or Samsung Hello?

Another trademark filing by Samsung in Europe has sparked speculations that the Galaxy S8 AI assistant could be called “Samsung Hello” rather than Bixby. It’s also possible that Bixby and Samsung Hello sit side-by-side on the same device. Another possibility is that “Samsung Hello” could be just a hotword for activating Bixby. We will get a clear picture when Samsung unveils the device in late March.

The description attached with the trademark filing suggests that the phrase “Samsung Hello” will be used for voice assistance. According to the filing, Samsung Hello would respond to voice commands, curate content, manage appointments, provide information about weather, organize the phonebook, control the music player, and offer personalized news articles.

Galaxy S8 to have the same battery as the Galaxy S7

Sources familiar with the development told ETNews earlier this week that Samsung’s upcoming AI assistant would support eight languages including English, Korean, and Chinese. By comparison, Google Assistant supports five languages while Apple’s Siri speaks more than 20 languages. Samsung has been beefing up its AI capabilities to challenge Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana.

Separately, The Investor reports that the 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 would feature a 3,000mAh battery and the 6.2-inch S8 Plus would come with a 3,500mAh battery. It contradicts an earlier report from ITcle claiming that the phones would have 3,250mAh and 3,750mAh batteries, respectively. Due to their bezel-less design, the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus’ bigger displays would consume more power. If The Investor’s report is true, the S8 would have the same battery as its predecessor Galaxy S7. And the S8 Plus’ battery size would be similar to that of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7.

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