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‘All in’ on AI, Part 5: Bixby Creates a Customized Home Experience for Everyday Life
All it takes is a simple sentence: “Show me action movies starring Tom Cruise.” That’s all that’s needed to automatically start browsing through the selection on the TV. This intuitive, hands-free way of accessing visual entertainment is a reminder of how far we have come in getting things done around the home just by speaking to an electronic device.
Take a look at Bixby, Samsung’s intelligent assistant. Voice recognition technology has drawn big crowds at recent home appliance and electronics exhibitions such as CES and IFA, but Bixby stands out in its ability to control appliances and TVs in optimized ways that fit users’ lifestyle. It’s natively embedded into some of the most important electronics or home appliances such as the TV and fridge, and it uses AI to be context-aware. In addition, an entire array of smart home gadgets, not just those made by Samsung, can be connected to the same connected network with just one click of an app. It has created a new way to experience and interact with the home.
No More Hassle in Front of the TV
The TV is one area that Bixby innovates and enhances entertainment. The boredom of channel surfing is banished once and for all. Many will already be familiar with searching for channels or shows with their voice. Bixby goes further by using the power of AI to recommend shows based on previous viewing habits and searching based on additional parameters beyond just the title or channel.
Bixby draws on information from set-top boxes and real-time TV channels Samsung Electronics has accumulated, thus recommending content that exactly meets users’ demand. It analyzes users’ voice commands to hear whether the commands include genre, cast, or title, thereby drawing accurate results. When a user plugs a set-top box into a TV, the TV automatically detects the brand of the set-top box and provides the user with customized content and channel information. So the user doesn’t have to command specifically by saying, “Find Suits.” Instead, if the user says, “Play TV series starring Meghan Markle,” Bixby analyzes the content and channels to deliver the desired result.
Bixby also gives information associated with the content while watching TV. When watching television, users are often curious about background music (BGM) or program details. If the user says “What is this song,” he or she can know right away. Searching information on BGM is possible in Samsung smart TVs, thanks to the collaboration with Shazam.
The viewer’s voice can also control a wide range of TV menu options, not just changing channels, but making sure everything is just right when sitting down to watch a movie.
Users can not only search content but also adjust TV settings using only their voices. Without having to fumble with the remote control several times over, users can change settings to fit their needs through voice commands such as “Make screen sharper,” and “Turn on Game Mode.” Samsung TVs went through the most rigorous tests to make sure TV use is made easy through Bixby.
Do More with Your TV
Viewers in the mood for a movie, or a particular show, may also want their TV to help them set the mood for a perfect night in. A simple command is enough to control the entire smart home, with the TV as the interface. For example, a viewer watching TV can see the contents of the fridge right on the TV screen through a simple voice command, and if it’s empty, can also order food on the spot, all without leaving the couch.
Bixby can also bring up weather information, favorite photos and play music on-screen without the need to open a standalone app. It’s an integrated way to use voice with the TV as the heart of the smart home. Now, commands such as “Show me photos from yesterday,” and “What’s the weather forecast in NY this week,” can become commonplace in the living room thanks to Bixby. These new features all come together in the 2018 premium smart TV. Through its most recent TV line, Samsung Electronics has focused on delivering the most optimal experience to TV viewers via Bixby.
Bixby Becomes Expert Home Assistant in Your Fridge
Taking into account that the kitchen is the ‘heart’ of the home where families and friends share warmth and social interactions, as opposed to just being a place for food and drink, Samsung installed Bixby in the 2018 Family Hub, the company’s smart refrigerator.
While other voice recognition platforms merely control refrigerator functions, Bixby in Family Hub learns and interacts with multiple users of the fridge and helps to manage the food inside. Bixby is an excellent home assistant that can even lend a hand when users’ hands are full with food or kitchen utensils.
Organizing the fridge inventory and preparing meals is easy and practical with Bixby. For example, after coming home with groceries, users can simply put everything away in the fridge and tell Bixby, “Move all items on Shopping List to the fridge.” With the list saved in the interface, Bixby can also help users find optimized recipes that work with the ingredients on hand while taking into consideration users’ dietary preferences. Users will then be guided on how to prepare the dish.
Another noteworthy function of the 2018 Family Hub is that it recognizes individual voices, so everyone gets the information they need. When a user asks, “Hi Bixby, what’s new today?” it will provide a readout of the news, weather and calendar updates specifically tailored to the user. Bixby’s role as a home assistant will continue to grow as it provides better, more personalized solutions in the future.
Bixby Connects the Home More Tightly than Ever
Bixby communicates with various appliances in the home. In fact, thanks to Samsung’s SmartThings IoT platform, all Samsung devices can be connected easily. Bixby handles simple voice commands to control devices and provide solutions based on what users need. It’s like having a normal conversation.
Samsung Electronics’ plan to upgrade Bixby is based on the company’s vision to maximize the usability of home appliances and is rooted in a deep understanding of consumer needs. Rather than simply executing the user’s commands on behalf of the remote control, Bixby will constantly evolve based on user experience so that it can understand and perform with more precision.
What’s more, as Bixby continues to evolve, users will be able to access and control various home appliances at once, all by simply talking to Bixby. For example, by telling Bixby “I’m going to bed,” users can automatically turn off the TV, dim the lights, and switch the air conditioner to sleep mode—all thanks to the fact that home appliances are becoming easily customizable through a connected learning system. Samsung Electronics plans to continue expanding Bixby to various home appliances in the near future.
*Specific features and availability may vary by region and market