Samsung Electronics is all set to unveil Bixby 2.0 - the next generation of its proprietary virtual assistant - sometime later this year. In fact, the company has confirmed that the AI-based Bixby 2.0 will first make an appearance on the upcoming Galaxy Note 9 phablet expected in the second half of 2018. Apart from mobiles, Bixby 2.0 will have a particular focus on expanding to other electronic categories such as Samsung's upcoming QLED TVs and other home appliances in its Family Hub range.
Samsung's mobile division CEO DJ Koh, speaking to ZDNet at MWC 2018, said, "I think we will be able to unveil Bixby 2.0 when we launch the Galaxy Note 9." Koh also said that public beta for Bixby 2.0 went live back in December last year, and over 800 companies are testing out the new software. The next generation of Samsung's virtual assistant is claimed to have an upgraded level of speech recognition. Incidentally, this is also the first instance where the 'Galaxy Note 9' naming scheme has been confirmed by Samsung itself.
"For Bixby 1.0, we focused on a fast rollout to the market. Expanding the ecosystem was difficult. So Bixby 2.0 will strengthen this aspect and we are working intensely," said DJ Koh talking about Samsung's strategy for the rollout. We can expect Bixby 2.0 to make an appearance on several devices outside the world of smartphones. For starters, Samsung is set to incorporate the feature in its flagship QLED TVs that are getting a refresh next month. Even a Bixby-based smart speaker is confirmed to launch in the second half of 2018.
The ZDNet report states that the South Korean giant is also looking to create a technology that will enable Bixby to distinguish between different voices in case of a multi-speaker setup.
Koh has been up to a lot of stuff at MWC 2018. Separately, the Samsung Mobile CEO claimed that the Galaxy S9 will sell a lot more than the Galaxy S8 has till now. He owes this optimistic prediction to the favourable release date and "convenience of features" of the Galaxy S9, whatever the latter might mean.
Lastly, Samsung is looking to expand its trade-in programme in the South Korean market for users wanting to exchange their old phones. The programme will begin in the country on Wednesday and be operative until late June 2018.