Samsung’s artificial intelligence-powered digital assistant Bixby isn’t going away any time soon. The company has big plans for the assistant which extend far beyond its limited availability on its flagship smartphones. The company recently said that it would put Bixby on its home appliances such as ovens and robot cleaners in the coming years and now the head of Samsung’s AI efforts has said that the company will actually ship Bixby on each and every device that it sells by 2020.
Samsung Consumer Electronics CEO Kim Hyun-suk has said in an interview that all of Samsung’s devices will feature internet connectivity and Bixby Voice controls by 2020. Given the sheer number of consumer electronics devices that it sells this year, Bixby’s penetration in the market will surge spectacularly in the next few years.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Hyun-suk mentioned that Samsung views its wide variety of gadgets as a way to get Bixby out to more people “We are a device company,” he said, adding that “The rules of the game are different. It’s not right to see it as a matter of being early or late.” The devices will range from refrigerators to TVs and even robot cleaners with more than half a billion of them being sold annually according to the report.
AI’s push into users’ home is largely focused on smart speakers right now. Amazon, Google and Apple are some of the major companies that have launched smart speakers so far. This is something that perplexes Hyun-suk. “Deep down, I wonder why everyone is talking about speakers,” he said, mentioning that smart speakers would lose their importance if every device in the home could effectively double as the voice-enabled AI hub.
That being said, Samsung is believed to have a Bixby-powered smart speaker in the pipeline which it might launch in the coming months. However, Hyun-suk’s provide a glimpse of Samsung’s strategy for Bixby. It’s pushing for an ecosystem that integrates Bixby with every part of users’ lives, and leveraging its product catalog is a good way to go about it.
Bixby does leave much to be desired in its current form, though, and that’s something that Samsung is going to address with Bixby 2.0 later this year.