With voice-activation technologies such as Amazon’s Echo, Apple Siri and Google Assistant becoming commonplace features, Samsung has joined the category with its recent updates to Bixby. Select Samsung Galaxy S8 and 8 Plus owners will be able to test the newly added voice-command functionality.
As with its competitors, the app deploys artificial intelligence — or AI — to better understand its users’ behavior to organically provide frequently tapped services like reminders, photo organization and social notifications. The new updates integrate voice-activation controls and touch to allow Samsung Galaxy S8 and 8 Plus owners to navigate their smartphone apps, services and settings.
“We see Bixby as an intelligent interface for your phone — an integral part of our connected ecosystem,” said Injong Rhee, chief technology officer and head of research and development of software and services at Samsung Mobile. “From phones to televisions to refrigerators, we think that Bixby will provide users with a simpler, more intuitive way to control their favorite devices, and live a more connected life.”
The tool works across apps, allowing for users to actively engage with Bixby throughout daily activities. The voice-command features empower Galaxy owners to dictate new tasks on the go.
Voice-activation capabilities have become a new frontier for developers and service-providers to explore. Consumers are shifting their online activity — particularly shopping, product research and crowd sourcing — to mobile devices. Voice-control aims to reduce friction encountered when typing on smaller device screens.
Millennials and Gen Z shoppers are primed for new technology — particularly those that enhance their online shopping experiences. Brands and retailers would behoove themselves to consider how voice-activation might be incorporated into mobile apps.
Product searches and price comparisons — two of the most common behaviors performed on mobile — would benefit hugely by offering voice-command compatibility. “Sixty-eight percent of Gen Z shoppers research before purchasing at least half of the time. Fifty-one percent look for the best price, 16 percent compare with other products and nearly 16 percent read product reviews,” said Interactions Marketing’s report “The Next Generation of Retail.” By bridging this gap, brands and retailers stand a chance to maintain shopper loyalty in an unstable landscape.
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