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Samsung Wants Bixby 2.0 on Refrigerators, Sprinklers

In the future, Samsung's voice assistant Bixby may be available on everything from refrigerators to sprinkler systems.

At its Developer Conference in San Francisco today, Samsung introduced the next-generation of its Bixby voice assistant. With Bixby 2.0, Samsung is aiming to transform its digital assistant "from a novelty to an intelligence tool that is a key part of everyone's daily life," Samsung's Eui-Suk Chung wrote in a blog post.

Samsung first introduced Bixby earlier this year, and after a delay, it rolled out on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones, and the intelligent assistant is now available in more than 200 countries.

"When we launched Bixby, we focused on how it could help people with getting the most out of their smartphones and apps to make their life easier," Chung wrote. "Now, we are ready to take Bixby to the next level."

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Bixby 2.0 will serve as a "control hub" for not only mobile phones but TVs, refrigerators, home speakers, and "any other connected technology you can imagine." Bixby 2.0 will understand more natural commands, know which member of the family is asking for something, and tailor its response appropriately.

"Most importantly, Bixby 2.0 will be open," Chung wrote. That means developers will be able to "put their services on any and all devices" where Bixby is available and "will not have to reinvent their services each time they support a new device."

Samsung today launched a private beta offering "select developers" access to the Bixby SDK. The company said it will increase the number of participants in the beta over time and eventually make the Bixby SDK available to all developers.

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