Samsung spent $215 million on Viv Labs for Galaxy S8 AI

Deidre Richardson
Mar 23, 2017

AI is becoming all the rage these days, with companies such as HTC, Google, and even Huawei working hard to bring their own mobile assistants to the smartphone experience. Samsung's S Voice has not measured up in this department, but the Korean giant is ever learning and ever growing. The company acquired Viv Labs back on October 7, 2016, for around $215 million (or 283.93 billion won).

The company's decision to acquire Viv Labs and bring forth its upcoming Galaxy S8 AI assistant Bixby is done with the goal of keeping in step with the very best of the trending mobile endeavor. Bixby will support all native phone apps in the Galaxy S8 and extend from the smartphone to the smartwatch and even the smart home. Samsung just announced Bixby a few days ago, confirming the dedicated button beneath the volume rocker on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ is indeed the dedicated Bixby AI button that can activate the voice assistant with a single touch.

Bixby Vision is a special feature of the AI that can recognize objects as well as words and text. Bixby will support up to eight languages at launch and integrate with Samsung Pay Mini, a web service that lets non-Samsung Pay smartphones still experience the latest and greatest in the Korean giant's AI technology.

The Viv Labs acquisition was not one made in haste or done haphazardly; in that, Samsung is conducting itself like a top-performing giant in the field. Of course, Bixby will compete with Google Assistant, among others (such as Amazon Echo, for instance), but the Korea giant known for making a "Galaxy" out of similar services can pull off this feat with a little time. The iris scanner of the Galaxy Note 7 was a pleasant surprise; Bixby can prove just as lethal.

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