SAMSUNG'S BIXBY voice assistant was launched in a hail of Korean promise last year, but so far it is yet to launch in English.
Now, it appears that the problem comes from a lack of "big data" in English to make a product that can compare with other English voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri.
According to the Korea Herald, the problem has come because Samsung started its big data mining long after its rivals. This is coupled with the issue of co-ordinating between engineering teams operating in two different time zones and in two different languages.
"Many engineers in the US are making full efforts to develop the English version. But, (due to geographical and language barriers) their frequent reports to and communication with the management located in Korea makes the progress much slower than developing the Korean version here," said an anonymous source.
Although Bixby is now available for beta testing in the US, early results have been less than good, and we're still some way off a proper release as yet.
Promised for a spring launch, analysts now expect Bixby to launch in the autumn of this year, possibly alongside the long-awaited Galaxy Note 8. It was, of course, supposed to ship with the Galaxy S8.
Samsung's mobile boss, Koh Dong-jin, had said back in April, "Bixby's English version and Chinese version will be unveiled in May and in June, respectively."
Figures by analysts at Ovum expect Bixby to leapfrog rivals to become the second biggest digital assistant by 2021 at 14.5 per cent, well behind Google Assistant (23.3) but in front of Siri (13.1) Alexa (3.9) and Cortana (2.3). Though this could prove to be different on a country-by- country basis where Alexa is proving much stronger, thanks to the ubiquitous Amazon Echo.
The same report suggests that there will be more digital assistant installations by 2021 than people.
Even if the English version does launch, there's no indication that a UK English version is anywhere close to ready. We could be waiting another couple of years for that. Or not. Just be thankful you're not Greek or Spanish. Who knows how long that one's going to take? µ
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