Who is Bixby? We went to South Korea to meet Samsung’s new A.I.

Bixby, what’s the number for 911?

We’re counting down the days to the official reveal on March 29th of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, probably the most leaked-about cell phone since… well, ever. But less is known about Bixby, the digital A.I. assistant that Samsung will introduce, and they say will be an integral part of the S8 experience. It’s a feature so crucial and different, Bixby will have its own dedicated button on the phone.

“Digital assistants” are nothing new to smartphones – we already have Siri, Cortana and others, but Samsung’s Bixby is going in a new direction, which of course Samsung hopes will differentiate it from what is suddenly becoming a crowded market of high-end phones with A.I. helpers inside. DT Editor in Chief Jeremy Kaplan flew to Digital City in South Korea to talk with Injong Rhee, a head of R&D at Samsung, about what makes Bixby so different.

For one thing, Bixby isn’t going to work like Siri or Cortana. Instead of getting weather reports and telling bad jokes, Bixby will instead be focused on helping you use the Galaxy S8. Because let’s face it: smartphones are so complex now, we typically only use a fraction of their vast capabilities. However, like Siri and Cortana, Bixby will be driven by spoken language, a still-challenging technological feat that is proving incredibly tough to master.

Check out Jeremy’s in-depth article, which includes the story behind how they came up with Bixby’s name, and more information about Samsung’s Digital City.

September is almost sort of virtually here

More smartphone news now, and this time Apple’s iPhone 8 is back in the spotlight, this time no for what it might look like, but for what it might be able to do.

The folks over at Bloomberg have gone on a deep dive into Apple’s foray in AR, or Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality’s more, shall we say, useable cousin. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that he sees AR – not VR – as the next big thing, and he and his Apple team are hard at work on various projects with AR at the core – and that includes the iPhone 8.

Cook tells Bloomberg he thinks smartphones – and not fancy headsets or glasses – are the better vehicle for easing consumers into using VR, and we can’t say we disagree – just think of how Pokemon Go – an AR game – shook the tech industry, and society to some degree last year, and not a single headset was involved. Apple is devoting a lot of smart people, designers, and corporate resources to their AR projects, so go here to read more about their big plans.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is feeling some strain

Resting up for the big release of Mass Effect: Andromeda tomorrow? Remember, sleep is a good thing, as is occasional exercise and actual nutrition. But the big question of course, is how much fun is it to actually play the game? DT game reviewer Phil Hornshaw got an early copy of the game and has the lowdown on what to expect. Big, colorful galaxy full of adventure? You bet. Top-level game play? Well, you should read the review.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s friendly new A.I wants to figure out what you want — before you ask

Move over Siri and Alexa! Microsoft wants to build a new type of virtual assistant that wants to be your friend. Already making waves in Asia, could this be the future of A.I. BFFs?

5G version of upcoming Galaxy S10 may feature 6.7-inch display, six cameras

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

Keep your Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus free of smudges with a screen protector

The display on Samsung's Galaxy S8 is gorgeous, but it's not exactly rugged. Thankfully, these screen protectors will help you safeguard your new device from unwanted wear and tear.
Smart Home

Huawei could soon take on Google and Amazon with a new digital assistant

According to a report from CNBC, Huawei is working on a new digital assistant that could try to take on the likes of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Huawei already has a digital assistant in China, but the new one will be aimed at markets…
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Google Pixel Night Sight, Surface Studio 2, and Netflix at half price

Today on DT Daily, Greg Nibler was joined by Adrian Warner to talk trending topics like the new Google Pixel Night Sight and we got our hands on the $3,500 Microsoft computer that's giving Apple a run for its money.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: Global internet, quantum computing prove the future is now

Global internet, quantum computing, and fire-resistant exoskeletons may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but as we learned on today's episode of DT Daily, all these things may soon be reality.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: D-Wave wants to help developers make the leap into quantum computing

If you are curious about quantum computing but don't know where to start, you're not alone. D-Wave has a platform for people to learn quantum computing, and the company's Murray Thom appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about it.
Digital Trends Live

Nerf product designer has his sights set on upcoming ‘Overwatch’ collaboration

Nerf has a new line of Overwatch tie-in guns coming out in 2019, and Product Design Manager Jae Yoo appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about the collaboration, and how he comes up with designs.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Nissan turmoil, product designer Jae Yoo of Nerf, and more

For today's episode of Digital Trends Live, we turn our attention to the L.A. Auto Show and Lamborghini's race-ready version of the Urus. We also speak with Jae Yoo of Nerf and MLS defender Zarek Valentin about their origins, modern tech…
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Stablecoin expert discusses all things cryptocurrency

The CEO of Pareto Network, Eric Lamison-White, talked about all thing cryptocurrency on today's episode of Digital Trends Live. We also discussed what a Stablecoin is and what the future holds for Bitcoin.
Digital Trends Live

DT Daily: PlayStation 5 rumors, Kroger food robots, and the future of A.I.

Today on DT Daily, Greg Nibler discussed noteworthy headlines from PlayStation rumors to artificial intelligence. We also sat down with Eric Lamison-White, CEO of Blockchain Development Co., to discuss his Stablecoin patent.