In its upcoming flagship smartphone Galaxy S8 Samsung is expected to implement a Siri or Google Assistant style virtual assistant named Bixby. According to sources of SamMobile, Bixby will include visual search capabilities and be able to analyze a photograph and identify objects within the frame. The system will also perform optical character recognition on visible text. Users will be able to launch the service via the camera app or a dedicated button on the side of the device. 

We have seen apps with similar functionalities before, for example Google Goggles, but Bixby is reportedly aiming to take things to the next level by offering a higher degree of interchange with other applications installed on the phone. For example, users will be able to use detected objects or text to order on shopping apps or perform searches.  

The Bixby technology is likely to have come from Viv Labs, a startup created by former Apple employees and Siri co-founders Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer, and Chris Bringham. Viv Labs was acquired by Samsung last October. It's not quite clear at this point when the Galaxy S8 will be revealed to the public. It could be at the Mobile World Congress at the end of February or on a dedicated event as late as April. In any case, we're looking forward to the camera being used in innovative ways on the new Samsung.