By Gerald Lynch
The rise of the voice assistant shows no sign of stopping, with Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant and Apple’s Siri all duking it out. Samsung’s Bixby currently seems the underdog of the pack, but an announcement today shows it’s still got a lot of fight left in it.
Samsung has announced that it will be rolling out Bixby voice commands to a larger range of home appliances this year – namely its robot vacuum cleaners and oven cookers.
Kicking off life in Samsung’s smartphones, the AI has already begun rolling out to the company’s TVs, air conditioning units, fridges and washing machines.
The announcement more of less completes the home appliance line-up’s support of Bixby, with Samsung pledging to have Bixby in all its appliances, right across the ranges by 2020.
So, what sort of things can you do with Bixby as a flatmate? With Bixby now part of Samsung’s Family Hub, understanding multiple user voices, it can manage individual schedules and take stock of essential supplies, as well control multiple devices at once with a single voice command. Saying “good night” for instance could dim the lights, switch off your AV gear and put your air conditioner to sleep-friendly temperatures.
Samsung, with its SmartThings ecosystem, sits in a unique position among the competition, in the fact that its own appliances are central to its smart home plan. For those that invest solely in Samsung equipment, Bixby at the heart could be a very exciting proposition.
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