Galaxy S8's Bixby tipped to understand 8 languages

With smartphones starting to look more and more identical hardware-wise, the next field of competition could very well be virtual personal assistants. Google has made a more concerted effort to make its presence known in that field and even HTC has joined the fray. But Samsung's still unconfirmed Bixby AI assistant might have an edge over these younger ones. According to the latest sources, it will support as much as 8 languages at launch, making it immediately more usable for more people.

As these AI-powered assistants are driven by language, mostly spoken, support for different languages is critical to widespread adoption. And yet most, especially newer ones like Google Assistant, have very limited support for languages other than English. Heck, sometimes it even has problems with English. Currently, Google Assistant only understands English on the Google Home, English and German on the Google Pixel, and English, German, Hindi, Japanese, and Portuguese on the Google Allo chat app.

On the other hand, Bixby is tipped to support 8 languages that include English, Korean, and Chinese, though the other four or five have not yet been named. It's not surprising to see Korean in that list, given Samsung's home market, but Chinese is one of the harder ones to implement. If this pans out, Bixby could already have more appeal right off the bat.

But that's not the only unique feature Bixby is rumored to have. One particular interesting feature is object as well as text recognition using the Galaxy S8's camera. Users simply need to point the camera at a real-world object and Bixby will try to identify it.

Of course, all of these are based on rumors and it won't be until a few months before we can really verify them. That said, Samsung will supposedly tease the MWC 2017 crowd with a minute-long Galaxy S8 video, which could very well include some reference to Bixby.