Last year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) focused on Alexa in everything. It was a major trend. But this year’s CES, Samsung is opposing the pattern as it adds a new voice assistant to its smart Family Hub refrigerator. This time, it’ll be using Bixby, instead of Alexa.
The company announced its plan on integrating its own voice assistant into its devices, like TVs and Hub fridges, last year.
Its voice assistant, Bixby, was first introduced in Galaxy S8 phones. Then, the company made updates slowly. Over the next few months after its launch, it has made some improvements.
Samsung said that its voice assistant is better than Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The reason for this is that Bixby can adapt to the user. It can learn from users’ habits and speech patterns. But, compared to Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, Bixby is still young. And not everyone will love to use it on his/her phones.
Bixby on Family Hub Fridge
You can activate Bixby by saying its name and what you want it to do. For example, if you wish to add an item to your shopping list, you can say, “Bixby, add milk to the shopping list.”
The Family Hub fridge can be integrated with Instacart and other grocery delivery apps. The fridge has its own speaker. In that case, you can listen to music through it. Plus, you can connect it to Pandora or Spotify.
Apart from performing tasks from the Hub’s screen, Bixby can tell you what the weather is, or you can ask it about the events on your calendar.
Furthermore, you can personalize it by adding profiles of your family members. In that way, each family member will have customized results. This voice assistant can also distinguish your voice from that of your spouse and kids.
Apart from integrating Bixby with its Hub fridge, Samsung is also ditching the appliances app. It replaces it with SmartThings integration. It’s an open platform that can work with hardware from various companies, like Philips, Netgear, and several others. With this integration, you’ll have one app that connects to multiple gears.
While you’re working in the kitchen, you can browse some apps on the fridge. For example, you may open the Pinterest app to look at some recipes. It also comes with a Meal Planner that offers suggestions on what you can cook based on what’s in your fridge or dietary restrictions.
All four new models will be available later in 2018. The company will bring 14 Family Hub refrigerators to the market. But each fridge costs more than $3,000.
Bixby is different from Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. As mentioned earlier, it can anticipate your needs and give you contextualized reminders. Furthermore, it can edit photos, compose email as you command it or send messages.
With the addition of this voice assistant to Samsung’s Family Hub fridges, there’s no doubt that it can control your Samsung smart home appliances and other Internet of Things devices. It may not be perfect yet. But it’s slowly improving.