In battle for voice assistance, Samsung readies more India features

In battle for voice assistance, Samsung readies more India features
Photo Credit: Reuters
15 May, 2018

As search giant Google and e-commerce firm Amazon wage digital-assistant wars, electronics maker Samsung is getting ready for deployment of more Indian features in its recently launched voice-command service Bixby, said a report. The features will be rolled out for most of its consumer durables in India, such as TVs, refrigerators and air conditioners.

"We are already doing 30-40% of AI-based activities -- training deep neural networks for vision, voice and text -- at our place. Voice is the next enabler.

Bixby is the voice interface and our whole intelligence journey into devices. We already have IoT (Internet of Things) devices other than smartphones that are Bixby-enabled," Aloknath De, chief technical officer, Samsung Research Institute, Bengaluru, was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.

Explaining further, De said that Bixby has already been trained in the Indian context and is capable of picking up Indian accents. "Bixby-enabled smartphones are here and the technology will naturally metamorphose into other home devices. Bixby is the next intelligent interface and we are right on the job," De was quoted as saying.

The company has already released products integrated with Bixby, which allows users to run basic tasks such as playing a favourite movie on a TV, recognising voices of family members, and sharing with them news and weather updates. De told the news agency that the technology is made possible by a connected platform called SmartThings Cloud, which acts as the central dashboard connecting all devices and also helps monitor them.

Interestingly, Google in its annual developers’ conference has showcased some new features and improvements to its assistant. CEO Sundar Pichai said that the assistant could run errands for users in the background in the future and execute tasks such as booking a table at a restaurant or setting up an appointment with a barber. The internet giant had also said that the Google Assistant could now be accessed on 500 million devices across 30 languages in 80 countries. The Assistant is also available in over 40 car brands and 5,000 connected devices.

In contrast, Amazon's Alexa is said to be available across 4,000 connected devices.