It was only a matter of time: The Bixby assistant of Samsung is not confined to just phones anymore.
The company will soon incorporate its digital assistant to appliances, starting with its own smart TVs and refrigerators. Samsung is also collaborating with third-party developers to introduce Bixby to non-Samsung products “in the near future.”
The news is part of the “Bixby 2.0” update of Samsung, announced on October 18 at the developer conference of the company in San Francisco. The renovated Bixby has better voice recognition capabilities, has improved personalization features, and is smarter.
It is also the first time that Samsung has began to bring its much-hyped assistant to devices other than its smartphones — a vital move for the company, whose assistant lags behind Google and Amazon.
However, adding Bixby to appliance stands to eventually help Samsung get a leg up over Google and Amazon, which has already been integrating slowly with home appliances. But given that Samsung already sells a lot of its own dryers, washers, fridges, and TVs, the firm could easily make up a lot of lost ground fairly instantly — at least in theory.
It is not clear just how many of the appliances of Samsung will be ready to support Bixby anytime soon. The company says that it is beginning with its Family Hub refrigerator (that is the camera-equipped fridge that lets you check what is inside even when you are not home) and smart TVs.
Additionally, the company is working on offering Bixby to third-parties so other developers can include the assistant to their products. Samsung is beginning with a small group of developers. However, it plans to open up the Bixby SDK more widely “in the near future.”