In the battle of the voice assistants, one entrant still appears to be staying rather quiet.
Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant was initially supposed to launch alongside the company’s Galaxy S8 smartphone, but after a series of delays the English-language version may not be reaching U.S. customers until late June, the WSJ reports.
Sources tell the WSJ that Bixby isn’t quite ready for prime time:
Recent internal tests of the service have revealed the voice-activated assistant is struggling to comprehend English syntax and grammar, one of the people said.
Bixby is about more than voice, with text entry and camera-based computer vision modes of analysis, as well. While those two use cases launched with the device, the much-hyped voice assistant has remained elusive. In many ways, the entire AI-powered Bixby assistant has still felt rushed.
The voice feature has been an important one for the South Korea company, which is still reeling from the disastrous rollout of its Note 7 smartphone last year that was cancelled because of battery issues. Bixby was lauded as a hallmark feature during the phone’s reveal earlier this year, and was seen as a shot for Samsung to compete in the hot AI-powered voice assistant race alongside Google, Apple and Amazon.
Samsung has been pushing back the English-language release since it first announced that the voice assistant would not be launching alongside the S8 phone.
The company hasn’t been entirely clear about the eventual release, noting in April that the feature would simply be launching “later this spring.” Nearly every section head on the company’s Bixby site comes with a rather visible asterisk denoting the varying availability of specific features based on country and language.
We’ve reached out to representatives from Samsung for more details on release timing and will update if we hear back.