Samsung is delaying the launch of Bixby voice assistant, a key feature expected to debut on the new flagship smartphone Galaxy S8 when they ship to consumers on April 21.
The S. Korea-based tech giant did not specify the reason for the delay.
"Key features of Bixby, including Vision, Home and Reminder, will be available with the global launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 on April 21," Samsung said in a statement. "Bixby Voice will be available in the US on the Galaxy S8 later this spring,” the firm added.
Bixby was introduced as the headline feature of the Galaxy S8 when it was unveiled in late March, with the smartphone featuring a dedicated button on the left side to activate the feature.
With the launch of Bixby, Samsung was aiming to break into a surging market of voice- activated virtual assistants, which includes Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana.
The latest personal digital assistant was said to distinguish itself from competitors by using voice commands rather than touch to control handsets or applications, factoring in location awareness and image recognition.
However, some early analysers reported disappointing results from the voice-assistant when it failed to speak during the demonstration.
"It's not talking yet," Bob O'Donnell, an analyst and consultant with Technalysis Research told AFP. "They have room to expand and grow."
"Bixby is trying to do things a little differently but careful assessment of what Samsung demonstrated shows a service that has very little intelligence at all," Richard Windsor, an independent analyst who writes the Radio Free Mobile blog told AFP.
Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates said Bixby might face challenge scatching up with its rivals, which have been deployed for some time.
Last year Samsung acquired US artificial intelligence platform developer Viv Lab, a firm run by a co-creator of Apple’s Siri voice assistant program. However, Viv technology is yet to be infused in Bixby.
"You can't build these things overnight," Kay said. "It would take years to create something as developed as Siri."...