“Our focus is really more device-centric,” Samsung mobile unit CTO Injong Rhee said in an interview. “How do we revolutionize how users interact with our devices and our appliances?”
Rhee said it is an area that Samsung is investing more in and said the first fruits should show up in next year’s flagship Galaxy phones, with future plans to integrate the technology into televisions and other Internet-connected gear.
Viv’s approach, Kittlaus said, focuses on the idea that the best artificial intelligence systems will need to work in an open way with thousands of partners, operating more like Wikipedia than today’s more closed automated assistants.
While Samsung doesn’t have the best historical track record of integrating software and service companies, Rhee pointed to the recent purchases of LoopPay and SmartThings as showing that the company can successfully bring outside services into the company.
Kittlaus said he became satisfied in recent months that Samsung was the right partner.
“We, of course, did our own independent inquiries about this issue,” he said. “Samsung has drastically changed in terms of how they handle acquisitions and integrations over the last three years and really gotten good.”