Samsung’s latest squeeze is the smartest yet

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Viv CEO Dag Klittaus.YouTube/TechCrunch

Exploding phones aside, Samsung has a vital nonplus to solve.

The association creates some-more phones than anyone else and dominates a Android ecosystem. But when it comes to relocating over a smartphone to a subsequent vital computing paradigm, it doesn’t have most to go on.

Artificially intelligent assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are apropos some-more and some-more able — to a indicate where it won’t be prolonged before they concede us to wean ourselves divided from a smartphone screen.

That’s because Samsung’s merger of Viv, an AI startup run by a same group that built Apple’s Siri, is a smartest squeeze Samsung has made.

Historically, Samsung has attempted to build all in-house, nonetheless looking to acquire talent and record from a outside. (It attempted a possess digital partner called S Voice several years ago, nonetheless it bombed.)

But in new years, Samsung has altered a attitude. It bought a intelligent home association SmartThings in 2014, that it’ll use as a height to bond all a appliances together. It also bought LoopPay, a Boston-based startup that now powers a lot of a record behind Samsung Pay.

Viv is a best squeeze of them all.

Even nonetheless a product hasn’t launched yet, what we’ve seen so distant is impressive. During a demo during TechCrunch’s Disrupt discussion in May, Viv’s CEO Dag Kittlaus showed that a partner is some-more than a approach to get we simple information like news and weather. It’s an open height that any developer can build into. Instead of a apart app for everything, we only tell Viv what we wish to do, from grouping flowers to engagement a hotel.

The Viv demo during Disrupt already felt distant forward of what we’ve seen Siri do, and it fills a vital opening in Samsung’s product portfolio. Samsung might rest on Android for a lot of a success, nonetheless for now, Google’s new Assistant will sojourn on Google’s possess hardware like a new Pixel phones and Google Home speaker. 

Buying Viv isn’t a approach to attract users. Samsung will continue to sell boatloads of phones in a future. But eventually, assistants like Viv will be so customary that shipping a phone nonetheless able AI will be as foolish as shipping one with an bursting battery.

Samsung doesn’t have a time to build a possess AI. It needs something now, and Viv is a answer. 

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