• X
  • Listen in to our latest podcast!

    October 6, 2016

    Remember Viv, the virtual assistant of the future? Samsung just bought it

    samsung buys viv

    Samsung has bought Viv; the virtual assistant from the makers of Siri that can understand complex commands and natural language.

    Earlier this year, we got a glimpse of Viv; a ‘next-generation’ intelligent assistant from the makers of Siri. As opposed to Apple’s virtual assistant, Viv would be able to handle complex commands and process natural language. Now, just days after Google demonstrated its new Assistant at its October event, Samsung has announced it has bought the personal assistant.

    Viv, which works with third party applications from the get-go – unlike Google Now or Siri, which both only recently gained that ability – will compete with Siri, Assistant, and Cortana for dominance in the smartphone arena.

    Read: Google Event: The smartphone race is over, but the AI war has just begun

    Speaking on the acquisition, co-founder Dag Kittlaus stated that the company’s decision to sell to Samsung was based on the fact that “They ship 500 million devices a year” a fact which Kittlaus believes will help Viv become a ubiquitous entry alongside the likes of Siri.

    Viv is unique for its ability to answer complex questions – whereas one might as Siri “What’s the weather today?”, the AI-driven personal assistant would be able to handle more complex queries such as “What’s the weather going to be like in San Francisco three days from now?”

    The move essentially gives Samsung its own AI moonshot to compete against the likes of Google’s Assistant, which its phones (that support Android 7.0 Nougat) will soon benefit from. Notably, the acquisition could tie into to Scoop – Samsung’s rumoured home brain unit which it hopes to unleash against Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple’s own supposed contender.

    In fact, considering Samsung’s vast product portfolio and expertise in appliances, it might well put the company in better reach of becoming the center of your home than any tech company at present.

    Read: Samsung‘s leaked Scoop could be an Echo and Google Home competitor

    What are your thoughts? Could Samsung use Viv to compete in the AI arena? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

    Listen in to our latest podcast!