Samsung today announced the introduction of the Media Control API for streaming video and content companies to create their own apps for Samsung smart televisions. Initial partners include Netflix, HBO Now, Spotify, and Hulu. Starting this December, we are releasing a new voice media control APIs so that content partners can leverage Bixby to create voice enabled TV applications, said Samsung director of smart TV service business Pedro Freitas. The Bixby assistant has been rolled out for Samsung smart televisions over the course of the past year. The news was announced today at the Samsung Developer Conference being held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, alongside Infinity Flex, Samsungs first foldable phone. Also announced were the One UI user interface for smartphones, new features for the SmartThings IoT app, and the Bixby Developer Center to help third-party developers create voice apps with Bixby. The Ambient Mode SDK was also announced today for developers to create experiences that flash on Smart TVs when theyre not in use. Today, ambient mode for Samsung smart televisions today can do things like display rotating art.
Samsung has been suffering through a lot of catch-up in the voice assistant race, but at its annual developer conference the company placed a major emphasis on how its expanding the scale and effectiveness of its Bixby assistant. The company announced that Bixby would be coming to more devices and more languages with third-party developers finally gaining access to building functionality for the AI assistant. For the first time we are opening Bixby to all of you, our developers, Samsung EVP Eui-Suk Chung announced onstage. The company is pledging to bring the assistant to watches, refrigerators, tablets, washing machines and more, and in the coming months will be adding support for five additional languages. While these promises seemed to sit a bit further down the line, the company was ready to talk about their Bixby developer kit during the keynote. The company announced the release of the Bixby Developer Studio, a set of dev tools thats way ahead of the other guys, Viv Labs CEO/ Siri co-founder Dag Kittlaus told the crowd. The company will also be introducing Bixby Marketplace, a home for users to discover the new functionality of their voice assistant. Bixby may have a long road ahead to catch up with other companies, but third-party integrations are something that none of the major voice assistant platforms have nailed. If Samsung can continue to invest in the platform and court developers with sophisticated tools, they may have better luck in gaining third-party integrations that feel more ancillary.