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Samsung Infusing AI into its Virtual Assistant Bixby

Samsung Research Institute in India preparing Bixby for IoT home devices

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The South Korean tech giant also wants to focus on consumers' ease of use and convenience.

As tech giants like Google, Amazon and Apple integrate their voice-enabled digital assistants into more devices, Samsung, led by its R&D Institute in India, is busy infusing Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its virtual assistant Bixby for a harmonised Internet of Things (IoT) experience at home.

After smartphones, Samsung aims to make all its home appliance products “smart” by 2020 — a year which, according to Gartner, will see nearly 20 billion connected devices.

Bixby is the next frontier in AI that will help users speak to their refrigerators, TVs, washing machines, dishwashers, ovens and what not.

“We are already doing 30-40 per cent of AI-based activities — training deep neural networks for vision, voice and text — at our place.

“Voice is the next enabler. Bixby is the voice interface and our whole intelligence journey into devices. We already have IoT devices other than smartphones that are Bixby-enabled,” Aloknath De, Chief Technical Officer, Samsung Research Institute (SRI)-Bangalore, told IANS.

Samsung
Samsung. Pixabay

Bixby is now available with customised voice capabilities in India that understand local accents and is helping consumers interact better with their smartphones.

A huge part of the Bixby development was done at SRI-Bangalore — the company’s largest Research and Developement facility outside South Korea. The company has two more R&D centres in Noida.

“Bixby-enabled smartphones are here and the technology will naturally metamorphose into other home devices. Bixby is the next ‘intelligent interface’ and we are right on the job,” De emphasised.

Samsung is busy creating an industry-leading ecosystem of IoT offerings that connect smart devices and simplify daily life. In 2017, Samsung spent more than $14 billion on R&D.

In its next-generation Smart 4K QLED TVs that were unveiled in March are coming to India soon, voice commands to ‘Bixby’ can help you find favourite movies or songs — along with controlling compatible IoT home devices like a robotic vacuum cleaner or cameras inside home.

Similarly, Bixby-enabled “Family Hub” refrigerators offer a wide range of smart features like syncing food storage with meal preparation, and keeping family members better connected and organised.

Also Read: Samsung Wants to be World’s No. 1 Camera Sensor Maker

The refrigerators are able to recognise individual voices of family members and give personalised information such as news, weather and calendar updates.

Samsung Smart TVs and “Family Hub” refrigerators are tuned to operate on a single connected Cloud platform — the “SmartThings Cloud” — serving as a smart dashboard to monitor and control connected devices.

Amid such big plans, the South Korean giant’s India R&D centre has become one of the leading venues for innovations.

There are over 8,000 people working in R&D and SRI-Bangalore takes pride in unveiling several India-first products like Bixby Voice, Samsung Pay, Social Camera and many more.

Samsung Research Institute in India preparing Bixby for IoT home devices
Samsung Research Institute in India preparing Bixby for IoT home devices. (Wikimedia commons)

“We have many firsts to our credit. Going forward, Bixby is maturing over time for Cloud adoption. Building functionalities for IoT-enabled devices are top on our mind,” De noted.

The South Korean tech giant is working towards combining its IoT Cloud platform with its entire line-up of products.

“We believe IoT should be as easy as flipping a switch. We’re making IoT easier and more seamless,” Hyunsuk (HS) Kim, President, Head of Samsung’s Consumer Electronics Division and Samsung Research, said recently.

Samsung is working with partners such as the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) to set common industry standards.

Also Read: Samsung’s New Galaxy ‘A’,’J’ Series in India Soon

OCF is the largest IoT standardisation body in the world and Samsung’s “ARTIK” chip, air conditioner and “Family Hub” refrigerator have already been certified by the association for interoperability criteria needed for IoT.

Samsung has introduced its first Internet of Things-enabled washer-dryer “FlexWash” in India and plans to commence mass production in the coming years.

“Integrating Bixby into more devices, and exploring ways to make more objects intelligent, will eventually allow more households to experience the benefits of a seamlessly-connected IoT ecosystem,” De emphasised. (IANS)

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Samsung Galaxy M40 Tech Review: Stunning Display, Better Chipset

The 16MP front-facing camera also has wide-angle and regular modes to choose from

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The new Samsung S10 phones are displayed Feb. 20, 2019, in San Francisco. Samsung is hailing the 10th anniversary of its first smartphone with three new models that it hopes reverses a sales slump in an industry recycling the same ideas. VOA

In a bid to eat into Xiaomi’s mid-segment market share in India, South Korean tech giant Samsung has brought the fourth smartphone in its “Galaxy M” series to the country.

Galaxy M40 is the first M-series device to come with a punch-hole display and Android 9.0 out of the box.

Priced at Rs 19,990 and goes on sale next week, this is also the first “Galaxy M” phone powered by a Qualcomm 675 chipset which makes it more up-to-date as far as the software is concerned.

The M40 sports 6.3-inch FHD+ LCD display with a tiny circular cutout to house the selfie camera. The overall quality of the display was beyond expectation.

This is the first Galaxy M phone to house an Infinity-O display and the most affordable device with a punch-hole display camera (or in-display camera) in the Indian market, which makes the phone stand apart from its competitors.

In addition, the device has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen protection.

The rear panel is made up of a 3D-curved plastic with a glossy finish, which made the device look decent.

The power and volume buttons are placed on the right of device. To the left of the device is SIM tray which has two Nano-SIM slots while USB Type-C port and loudspeaker are placed at the bottom.

The triple-camera setup is vertically placed on the top left corner, giving the back of the smartphone a subtle look.

Under the hood, Galaxy M40 gets Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC with Adreno 612 GPU and 6GB RAM – the first Galaxy M-series smartphone to get a Qualcomm chipset instead of an indigenous Exynos processor.

Samsung, Home, Privacy
Arvin Baalu, vice president of product management at Harman International, talks about the Samsung Digital Cockpit during a Samsung news conference at the 2019 CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 7, 2019. VOA

There is 128GB internal memory onboard which can be further expanded up to 512GB via a microSD card.

With these combinations, the performance of the device was better then its predecessor. While performing day-to-day tasks, the smartphone showed no sign of slowing down or any hassles while playing games like PUBG Mobile.

The fingerprint scanner is placed at the back of the phone which acts quick to unlock the smartphone and there’s also face recognition which uses the selfie camera to unlock the phone.

Going ahead with the trend of triple camera set up, Samsung has used the very same formula out here. The camera set-up includes a 32MP telephoto, an 8MP ultra wide-angle camera and a 5MP depth sensor. Up front, the M40 gets a 16MP selfie camera housed within the cutout.

In addition, the rear camera is backed by Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based auto scene recognition.

The colours and brightness captured by rear cameras were appreciable. They worked well in presence of good-lighting conditions but faced difficulties to produce same results in the absence of natural light.

Also Read- Towards a Happier, Less Nastier Facebook

The 16MP front-facing camera also has wide-angle and regular modes to choose from.

The device houses 3,500 mAh battery – around 1,500mAh less in capacity than M30. Despite smaller battery, the smartphone delivered a decent battery time of around eight to 10 hours on normal usage.

Conclusion: The Galaxy M40 is a power-packed device with a fresh look and good performance. At the Rs 19,990 price point, the device is set to further challenge rivals like Xiaomi. (IANS)