It's also launching in five European languages. Samsung is widening Bixby's reach in a big way. The company is opening its AI assistant to developers, giving them the power to build their own Bixby-based apps. A Bixby Marketplace will even help developers make money from the intelligent companion. There will be a Bixby Developer Studio tool for writing Bixby-friendly code. The company is also expanding just where you can use Bixby. It's introducing support for five European languages, including British English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. While that sounds like a simple addition, it's absolutely crucial to the company's plans. Bixby-enabled devices like the Galaxy Home and smart fridges can't be truly global devices if they're only available in a handful of countries.
Samsung today announced the launch of a toolkit for businesses and third-party developers to create voice apps compatible with intelligent assistant Bixby. The Bixby Developer Center will allow developers to create Bixby voice apps using AI-powered software to understand when to apply machine learning to automate tasks. Bixby is also expanding to speak Spanish, German, Italian, and French next year. The assistant currently only speaks English and Korean. A Bixby Marketplace is also in the works to sell and promote the work of third-party developers. Also today Samsung unveiled its first foldable smartphone the Infinity Flex, an API for developers to make smart TV apps with Bixby, and a series of updates for SmartThings, Samsungs IoT app. The announcements were made onstage at the Samsung Developer Conference being held November 7 and 8 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The launch of Bixby Developer Studio was highly anticipated following comments by Samsung mobile division CEO DJ Koh to CNBC in September. Bixby is available in the Samsung S8 and S9 smartphones, smart televisions, the Samsung Family Hub smart refrigerator, and soon in the Galaxy Home smart speaker. Samsung has some catching up to do to create a third-party ecosystem around its intelligent assistant, and new features for Bixby was a main topic during the keynote speech at SDC. By comparison, more than 50,000 skills made primarily with the Alexa Skills Kit are in the Alexa Skills Store, and hundreds of Google Assistant actions have been made with Dialogflow or the Actions on Google platform since 2016. In addition to being slow to build a third-party ecosystem, Bixby, which first became available in early 2017, has been generally considered far behind competitors like Amazons Alexa and Google Assistant in its set of features and capabilities. However, as the maker of 500 million devices a year, Samsung is one of the largest home appliance makers on the planet, and its definition of success may differ greatly from other tech companies deploying AI assistants. Since launch, Bixby has expanded to include things like Bixby Vision for visual search and Bixby Makeup, which lets you try on makeup using augmented reality. The second iteration of Bixby, dubbed Bixby 2.0, made its debut one year ago at SDC and was first included in Galaxy Note9. As intelligent assistants continue to ascend to a more prominent part of their day, consumers will do what they always do: Theyll find their favorites and theyll stick with them, Kittlaus said. As long as those favorites continue to deliver value they become the default. Bixby 2.0 is made to understand context, deep link with apps, remember your preferences, and serve as part of Samsungs effort to move from a content-centric world to a context-centric world, as Samsung head of product innovation Yoon C. Lee recently told VentureBeat. Bixby 2.0 builds upon the intelligence of Viv Labs, a company created by Siri cofounders Adam Cheyer and Dag Kittlaus that Samsung acquired in 2017 for a reported $215 million. More to come