Enlarge /. S-Voice on its starting device, the Galaxy S III.
You have a month and a half to say goodbye to Samsung's S-Voice voice assistant. SamMobile reports that Samsung will shutdown the servers on June 1, 2020. From then on, the original Samsung voice assistant will stop trying to respond to your voice requests.
S-Voice emerged in the early days of voice assistants when Android OEMs sought to photocopy Apple's Siri voice assistant, launched in 2011. Samsung licensed the same underlying technology for S-Voice that Apple originally used for Siri speech recognition – Nuance Communication – and set about building its Siri sibling. S-Voice was Samsung's selected voice assistant for its smartphones until it restarted its voice efforts with the launch of "Bixby" in 2017. Samsung's Bixby project originated from the takeover of Viv Labs, one of the original Siri team (see sample here?).
The Galaxy S8 and any device after starting with Bixby and not with S-Voice, so this shutdown should only affect older devices. SamMobile looked for a list of applicable devices and said, "The affected models with the S Voice icon on the app screen include the Galaxy A3, A5, A7, A8, A9, the Galaxy Note FE, the Galaxy Note 2, 3, 4, 5, Galaxy S3, 4, S5, S6, S6 Edge in addition to Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, Galaxy W, Galaxy Tab 4, Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 / 10.1, Galaxy Tab S8.4 and S10.5. "
All of these devices are quite old. The latest I could discover is the infamous Galaxy Note FE, a phone made from salvaged, unexploded parts of the Galaxy Note 7 that was released in mid-2017. Most of these devices need to work with another voice command system, such as the Google Assistant, which the devices can freely install.
The future for Samsung is always Bixby, but there is still a rocky future ahead of us. Samsung has launched Bixby on smartphones, smartwatches, televisions and refrigerators, but has not yet launched any of the most important voice assistant hardware: an intelligent speaker. Samsung announced the Bixby speaker "Galaxy Home" in 2018, but has not yet come on the market. The company announced it would switch lanes and launch a cheaper Galaxy Home Mini sometime this year, but waiting until the second half of 2020 to enter the smart speaker market appears to be a step who will fail. Millions of Amazon Echo, Google Home and Siri speakers are already available. Amazon launched the market six years ago, and it's unclear why Bixby would prevail over its more powerful and widespread competition.
I will always remember my first practical exercises with S-Voice in 2012, when the word "S-Voice" was prophetically transcribed as "Ass Voice".
Goodbye, ass voice.