Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are industry leaders in so many areas. They’re obviously the fastest-selling smartphones of the year, and they’re also already the best-selling smartphones released in 2016. Apple’s latest iPhones are of course the fastest and most powerful handsets in the world as well, crushing every rival device when it comes to benchmark test scores and real-world performance tests. There are a few important areas where many people think Apple’s iPhones fall short though, and Samsung has an opportunity to quickly outshine Apple in a key area thanks to a recent acquisition that could add tremendous value to the upcoming Galaxy S8.
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Last month, Samsung confirmed that it had acquired Viv, a company founded by one of the minds behind Siri. Of course you’ll recall that Siri began its life as a startup before being acquired by Apple and transformed into a central iPhone feature. Central though it may be, Siri remains a key point of contention among iPhone users. While Apple’s virtual personal assistant has certainly improved in recent years and has become increasingly useful and accurate, many people still have trouble getting the results they want when interacting with Siri.
“The more you ask of Viv, the more it will get to know you,” Siri co-creator and Viv founder Dag Kittlaus said earlier this year when discussing his new company. “Siri was chapter one, and now it’s almost like a new Internet age is coming. Viv will be a giant brain in the sky.”
It’s entirely possible that Samsung’s acquisition of Viv will lead to a next-generation assistant platform that rivals Google Assistant, which is widely believed to already have surpassed Siri in terms of utility and accuracy. Artificial intelligence is the driving force behind these products, and AI is an area where Viv already shines. Of course, Viv also gets smarter as people use it, so getting it in the hands of end users is crucial to the system’s development.
But when will the public finally get a taste of Viv on a Samsung smartphone.
Good news: Dutch Samsung fan blog Galaxy Club has discovered a trademark application filed by Samsung that clearly suggests Viv will soon make its way to smartphones. The trademarked term is “Bixby” though, and not Viv. So, what is Bixby, exactly? It’s still a bit of a mystery, but Samsung’s paperwork accompanying the trademark application is likely quite telling. According to the filing, the Bixby trademark covers:
- Computer software for personal information management
- Computer application software for smartphones, mobile telephones, portable computers and tablet computers, Namely, software used to operate voice recognition system
- Computer software for enabling hands-free use of a mobile phone through voice recognition
Nothing is confirmed for the time being, but all signs point to an upcoming launch. And what’s the next big smartphone Samsung has on tap that would be a perfect platform on which to debut Viv? That’s right, the Galaxy S8 is now likely about four months away from being unveiled, and don’t be surprised if “Bixby” is among the stars of the show during Samsung’s next big press conference.