Thursday, December 15, 2016

Samsung has acquired Viv, a firm started by Siri creators

Samsung on Wednesday announced it has agreed to acquire Viv Labs, which was started by the team who created and sold Siri to Apple. The company made headlines earlier this year after showing off a work-in-progress AI platform capable of understanding complex, natural language queries. You can see a demo of that product below.

In a post to Medium, Viv CEO Dag Kittlaus said the company will continue to operate independently from Samsung but will work to provide its technology to future devices. What makes Viv’s new software so spectacular is that it’s capable of understanding more complex questions while teaching itself new tricks. According to Viv, the software “builds itself.”

Kittlaus says Samsung’s enormous resources will help the company reach more devices across the world.
Samsung, as you surely know, is the market leader in smart devices across a wide range of use cases and industries. They ship 500 million devices a year. They also sell more smartphones and TVs than any other company in the world, not to mention a hundred million appliances and their ambitious Virtual Reality product line. Their product mix naturally fits Viv’s “simplify your interactions through conversation.”
Not only can Viv become part of all future Samsung smartphones but it can also be in every Samsung gadget in your home. That’s why Kittlaus mentions the company is a major player in appliances, TVs and other product lineups. Viv’s customer base was just expanded by several hundred million people.
It’s still unclear when Viv’s technology will first be available to the public but today’s news will only accelerate development. This is a huge win for Samsung and if the software can be integrated into future devices correctly, Google’s recent Assistant could have some major competition.

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