Samsung's Family Hub refrigerator is Bixby's next stop.Image: Daniel Lewis/REX/ShutterstockBy Karissa Bell2017-10-18 17:00:00 UTC It was only a
It was only a matter of time: Samsung’s Bixby assistant isn’t confined to just phones anymore.
The company will soon bring its digital assistant to appliances, starting with its own refrigerators and smart TVs. Samsung is also working with third-party developers to open up Bixby to non-Samsung products “in the near future.”
The news is part of Samsung’s “Bixby 2.0” update, announced today at the company’s developer conference in San Francisco. The revamped Bixby is smarter, has better voice recognition capabilities, and has improved personalization features.
It’s also the first time Samsung has started to bring its much-hyped assistant to devices other than its smartphones — a significant move for the company, whose assistant lags behind Amazon and Google.
Adding Bixby to appliances, though, stands to eventually give Samsung a leg up over Amazon and Google, which have already been slowly integrating with home appliances. But given that Samsung already sells a whole lot of its own washers, dryers, TVs, and fridges, the company could easily make up a lot of lost ground fairly quickly — at least in theory.
It’s not clear just how many of Samsung’s appliances will be ready to support Bixby anytime soon. The company says it’s beginning with its smart TVs and Family Hub refrigerator (that’s the camera-equipped fridge that lets you check what’s inside even when you’re not home.)
Additionally, the company is working on opening up Bixby to third-parties so other developers can add the assistant to their products. Samsung is starting with a small group of developers but plans to open up the Bixby SDK more widely “in the near future.”