SAMSUNG SEEMS to be flogging Bixby like a proverbial deceased equine, as it has launched the Bixby Marketplace to encourage developers to add in abilities to the somewhat lacklustre virtual assistant.
The marketplace is officially open in the US and South Korea, and will effectively act as a place where developers can offer their own custom-made Bixby services, that Samsung gadget users an integrate into the Bixby on their devices.
If you're getting a sense of deja vu, then no need to panic you're going mad as you've head this story before as Amazon pretty much did the same with its Alexa skills.
The Bixby Marketplace will let folks search for all manner of third-party bits to prod Bixby into doing more stuff. But the main attraction is what Samsung calls "capsules".
Organised into categories, such as "productivity" and "shopping", the capsules let Bixby users add in more customisation around certain tasks and topics.
"For example, if a user says 'get me a ride to San Francisco airport', Bixby will prompt the user to pick one of the supported rideshare capsules. Users will have the option to set their favourite provider as their preferred rideshare capsule," Samsung explained.
"Once that is set, any rideshare request would automatically go to the user's preferred provider, even if the user does not mention the capsule name."
At the time of writing, these capsules and other Bixby integrations will be free to use, but we wouldn't be surprised to see premium capsules with a price tag and subscription services pop up at some point.
Such a process allows for apps to bake in Bixby capabilities and vice versa, which would be Samsung's way of pretty much saying 'please use Bixby more, pretty please with a smart fridge on top'.
There's no word on when the Bixby Marketplace will wing its way over to Brexit land; Samsung has in the past been very slow to roll out Bixby updates beyond a few test nations.
But it the marketplace does end up being a success, it could give Bixby and injection of capabilities that'll help it catch up with other virtual assistants like the Alexa and the Google Assistant. μ
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