Despite debuting Bixby on the Galaxy S8 just six months ago, Samsung is already moving on to the next iteration of smart assistants. Today at the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, the company revealed that its focus on smart assistants in the future will be a more open platform, similar to Amazon’s Alexa where hundreds of third-party skills are available for use.
Samsung says that today’s iteration of assistants are useful, but still limited in the functions they can provide users. Setting timers and reminders and answering questions is something Bixby, Google Assistant, and Alexa all do well, but Samsung envisions a future in which you have a digital assistant managing your phone, fridge, or even your sprinkler system.
Samsung says Bixby 2.0 will be a “bold reinvention of the platform.” The first step is making it available on any and all devices, not just those manufactured by Samsung. Samsung also hints at a Bixby-controlled hub and device ecosystem that brings phones, TVs, refrigerators, home speakers, and other connected technology together under one umbrella. That’s something they’ve already explored with the SmartThings Hub, but it sounds like Bixby 2.0 will achieve more.
What’s more is Samsung understands that the strength of Alexa is the ability for third-party developers to write skills for the voice assistant. Samsung says Bixby 2.0 will be more open with a Bixby SDK that will eventually be open to all developers. Right now it’s going through a private beta test before Samsung decides to make it available.