Today at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) 2017 in San Francisco, I was honored to share Samsung’s vision for intelligence, with the introduction of Bixby 2.0--a powerful intelligent assistant platform that will bring a connected experience that is ubiquitous, personal, and open. Bixby 2.0 will be a fundamental leap forward for digital assistants and represents another important milestone to transform our digital lives.
Today’s assistants are useful, but ultimately still play a limited role in people’s lives. People use them to set timers and reminders, answer trivial questions, etc. We see a world where digital assistants play a bigger role, an intelligent role, where one day everything from our phones, to our fridge, to our sprinkler system will have some sort of intelligence to help us seamlessly interact with all the technology we use each day.
To understand where we are going with devices, it is important to understand how far we’ve come. It is hard to believe, when you think back to just a decade ago, how we used our phones. It was likely a feature phone, which was primarily used to make calls and use a limited number of apps. But I knew, we at Samsung knew, that there were greater possibilities for the mobile phone. During the early and mid-2000, I led the team at Samsung in creating the Mobile Intelligent Terminal by Samsung (MITs), which was an early generation of smartphones before the Galaxy and Note series were finally born. Powered by an open API and application eco-system as well as innovative touch UI, the smartphone market has, ever since then, exploded and become a life-essential tool for everyone. It also brought new opportunities for businesses and developers.
I believe that we are now on the cusp of the next major tectonic shift. With our long legacy as the global smartphone leader, we’ve been bringing meaningful innovation and driving digital transformation for the industry, and we are excited to help lead the change during another revolutionary moment. Personally, I am excited to be part of this next great era and this shift is one of the reasons why we are motivated to continue to develop our intelligent assistant, Bixby.
We introduced Bixby to the world earlier this year with the launch of our flagship mobile devices, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and the Note 8. Bixby is now available in over 200 different countries, with more than 10 million active users. But this is just a start. When we launched Bixby, we focused on how it could help people with getting the most out of their smartphones and apps to make their life easier. We integrated a few close partner applications on the device to make those devices more intelligent. We created multi-step, and cross-app capabilities that have allowed more than millions of Bixby users get things done faster and easier, but it is just a stepping stone for us.
Now, we are ready to take Bixby to the next level. Bixby 2.0 is a bold reinvention of the platform. A reinvention aimed at transforming basic digital assistants from a novelty to an intelligence tool that is a key part of everyone’s daily life.
Bixby 2.0 will be ubiquitous, available on any and all devices. This means having the intelligence of Bixby, powered by the cloud, act as the control hub of your device ecosystem, including mobile phones, TVs, refrigerators, home speakers, or any other connected technology you can imagine. Soon, developers will be able to put their services on any and all devices and will not have to reinvent their services each time they support a new device.
It will be more personal, with enhanced natural language capabilities for more natural commands and complex processing, so it can really get to know and understand not only who you are, but who members of your family are, and tailor its response and actions appropriately.
And finally, and most importantly, Bixby 2.0 will be open. We know Samsung cannot deliver on this paradigm shift by ourselves--it can only happen if we all, across all industries, work together, in partnership. With Bixby 2.0, the doors will be wide open for developers to choose and model how users interact with Bixby in their services across all application domains e.g., sports, food, entertainment, or travel – the opportunities are truly endless.
Starting today, we’re announcing our first private beta program with Bixby SDK, which will be available for select developers. We will work as one team, innovating, collaborating, and bringing Bixby 2.0 to life. Over time, we will increase the number of participants in the beta, and ultimately make the Bixby SDK available to all developers.
Bixby 2.0 will ultimately be a marketplace, for intelligence. A new channel for developers to reach users with their service, not just on mobile devices, but through all devices. Over time, we will roll out a variety of revenue models to maximize our partners’ business opportunities in this new paradigm. Hopefully making it as fruitful as the move from feature to smartphones was for our partners.
The future is yours. Whatever your technology platform, device category or industry sector, we call on all developers to unleash their creativity and help us to democratize intelligence, so that we can move beyond devices and into an open, connected ecosystem to simplify the lives of everyone.