Meet Bixby, Samsung’s Personal Assistant That Doesn’t Pretend To Be Alexa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Alexa had plenty of suitors in Las Vegas — that’s Amazon’s personal assistant, at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. The ‘smart speaker’ technology was integrated into everything from a baby monitor to a Ford F-150. Now Samsung is getting in on the action, but the company is taking a different tack.

Bixby will make its debut as Samsung’s digital assistant on the Galaxy S8 smartphone, which will be unveiled next week.

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The Android devicemaker isn’t trying to take on Alexa, Apple’s Siri, or Google Assistant. Instead of adding milk to your shopping list or answering questions like ‘how many cups are in a gallon,’ Bixby is designed to let your voice replace all that you can do by touch: press the side button to bring it to life, and tell it to send a photo to your daughter or add a number and email address to your contacts.

The company contends current mobile virtual intelligence can only accomplish a fraction of what your phone can do. Its aim is to change that, but also (eventually) how you use Samsung appliances: Bixby will be able to help with complex features on TVs, washing machines, even that microwave (which, while it may not have a camera, it will be listening).

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