Samsung’s Bixby Views lets developers make voice apps with visuals

Samsung’s Bixby is getting a range of upgrades today including Bixby Templates for easier creation of voice apps and Bixby Views for voice apps to work on visual surfaces like televisions, smart watches, tablets, and the Smart Hub refrigerator.

Bixby Views competes with similar visual-voice app experiences from  Google Assistant and Alexa’s Visual Presentation Language, which was made generally available last month.

Voice app developers in categories like news, navigation, or ridesharing can also register their app in Natural Language Categories, a way for Bixby to recommend a voice app based on user needs if you simply say “I need a ride” rather than asking for a specific capsule by name.

The news was shared at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) today at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.

Bixby Templates will launch with pre-made apps for the creation of facts, joke, or quiz voice apps. There’s also an information graph template.

“With this, you can create a capsule from any table filled with data,” Viv Labs VP of engineer Adam Cheyer said onstage.

Last year at SDC Samsung introduced the foldable Infinity Flex smartphone and launched the Bixby Developer Center for third-party voice app creators that Samsung calls capsules.

Starting today, Bixby capsules will work for all Bixby-compatible devices, Viv Labs CEO Larry Heck said. Enabling Bixby Views only requires a quick change in code in Bixby Developer Center.

Bixby is available on 160 million devices and speaks eight languages, Samsung ES Chung said today.

To compete with Alexa skills and Google Assistant actions, Samsung launched the Bixby Marketplace for capsule voice app for users in the U.S. and South Korea in July. In other updates for Samsung’s AI assistant this year, while introducing the S10 in February, Samsung launched Bixby Routines, a way for the AI assistant to learn your habits and anticipate your needs.

In another developer update a day before the conference, Samsung introduced the Blockchain Platform SDK to enable the creation of cryptocurrency wallets and decentralized apps that use Blockchain.

More to come.

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