Samsung officially unveils Bixby to compete with Siri and Alexa

The AI-powered voice assistant will drop later this month
Samsung officially launches Bixby

Just weeks after the logo for Samsung's Bixby appeared to leak, the company has now officially launched the digital assistant.

And while the oddly-named voice companion will launch alongside the Galaxy S8 smartphone on 29 March, it's also increasingly likely to see support through the company's throng of smartwatches and fitness trackers, too.

Read next: How Viv plans to beat Siri and Alexa in the AI assistant game

This is Samsung's attempt to create a rival to Apple's Siri, Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa, though there does seem to be some slight differences. Bixby will seemingly work primarily as a voice-based interface for app shortcuts, instead of just something you'll ask for weather updates.

"Confusion around activating a voice interface is a barrier we have removed to make it feel easier and more comfortable to give commands," said InJong Rhee, Samsung's executive vice president.

"Instead of taking multiple steps to make a call — turning on and unlocking the phone, looking for the phone application, clicking on the contact bar to search for the person that you're trying to call, and pressing the phone icon to start dialing — you will be able to do all these steps with one push of the Bixby button and a simple command."

Leak reveals logo for Samsung's upcoming Bixby

Though Samsung has now officially confirmed the assistant, some minor questions still linger. Chiefly, just how much will Bixby remain a work in progress after release; Samsung itself described the launch as the "first step" before also indicating an SDK is in the works to open up things to third-party developers.

And, of course, the great unknown here is the work of Viv Labs, the AI company owned by the creators of Siri that Samsung acquired way back in October. While at the time it appeared to be a foregone conclusion that the technology would form the guts of the fresh assistant, what we know so far would indicate the full potential of Viv's smarts won't initially be involved.

Leak reveals logo for Samsung's upcoming Bixby


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