​Samsung Bixby voice feature expands to 200 countries

Samsung's long delayed Bixby voice feature is now available in over 200 countries, including the UK, Australia, Canada, and South Africa.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Samsung Electronics has expanded availability of its virtual assistant Bixby's voice feature to over 200 countries, including the UK, Australia, Canada, and South Africa, the company announced.

Bixby was introduced with the launch of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus earlier this year but without voice recognition. The feature was later added for Korean and US English, in April and July, respectively.

In South Korea, the feature has 1.3 million users and has accumulated 250 million voice commands so far.

Bixby allows users to create custom voice commands as short cuts to multiple features at once. For example, "good night" can be set to turn on do-not-disturb, set an alarm, and turn on the blue light filter all at once, Samsung said.

It also has natural language understanding that will allow cross-application commands such as "send the picture just taken to mom". Recognition of personal preferences will increase as time goes by, the company said.

Samsung will expand Bixby's voice feature language availability, device support, and third-party applications going forward. Samsung mobile's CTO previously said it will expand availability of the virtual assistant to other devices at a later date.

Earlier this week, the company said it will apply artificial intelligence and voice recognition technology to all its home appliances by 2020, though Bixby was not mentioned.

Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy Note 8 on Wednesday, which will also have Bixby. Leaked images show that the phone will retain the controversial dedicated button on the sides, which is used to activate the assistant.

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