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Bixby 2.0 is here and it wants to power your, er fridge

KOREAN PHONE MAKER Samsung has unveiled Bixby 2.0, just six months after the initial rollout of its hard of hearing AI assistant.

Bixby 2.0, described by Samsung as “a fundamental leap forward for digital assistants”, takes the fight to Alexa and Google Assistant with its aim to power everything from your smartphone and connected speakers, to smart TV and, er, fridge. 

“Bixby 2.0 will be ubiquitous, available on any and all devices,” said Eui-Suk Chung, Samsung executive vice president, in a blog post.

“This means having the intelligence of Bixby, powered by the cloud, act as the control hub of your device ecosystem, including mobile phones, TVs, refrigerators, home speakers, or any other connected technology you can imagine.”

Samsung says Bixby will also have better natural language capabilities, recognise individuals and offer more personalisation than the first iteration, which was held up after struggling to comprehend English syntax and grammar.

Bixby will also be integrated with technology from the recently acquired Viv, an AI assistant built by the creators of Apple’s Siri.

Given that it was announced at Samsung’s Developer Conference in San Francisco, it’s no surprise that the firm will be opening up the AI assistant to third-party developers via its new Bixby SDK. 

A private beta programme is now available to “select developers”, but Samsung says a public launch will be coming in the near future. However, it remains to be seen whether it will manage to convince developers to develop for Bixby, given its current lack of widespread adoption.   

Starting today, we’re announcing our first private beta program with Bixby SDK, which will be available for select developers.

Samsung also announced on Wednesday that it is partnering with Google to bring the firm’s new ARCore framework to its Galaxy smartphones, no doubt in a bit to take on iOS 11’s new augmented reality (AR) capabilities. 

This means that developers can now design ARCore apps that work on both Google Pixel devices and Samsung Galaxy devices, including the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. µ

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