Season 1, Episode 4

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This is a transcript of one episode of the Samsung Developers Podcast, hosted by and produced by Tony Morelan. A listing of all podcast transcripts can be found here.


Tony Morelan
Senior Developer Evangelist, Samsung Developers

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Roger Kibbe
Senior Developer Evangelist, Viv Labs/Samsung

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In this episode of POW, I interview Roger Kibbe, Senior Developer Evangelist for Bixby, Samsung’s intelligent assistant technology. Roger is a tech geek when it comes to voice technology, even launching his own voice startup. Join us as we discuss Roger’s journey to Samsung and the great things around Bixby. Learn how to get started building capsules for Bixby, and the magic that drives Viv, the Bixby team at Samsung.


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Topics Covered

  • Intelligent Assistant Technology
  • Multi-Modality
  • Bixby Capsules
  • Bixby Developer Studio
  • Bixby Marketplace
  • Bixby Developers Chat Podcast
  • Adam Cheyer
  • Viv Labs

More about Bixby

Samsung Bixby is a next-generation, AI platform that enables developers to build rich voice and conversational AI experiences for the Bixby Marketplace, and Bixby devices including phones, watches, televisions, smart appliances, and more. Check out the Bixby Developers website at to learn more about creating capsules using Samsung’s Bixby Developer Studio.


NOTE: Transcripts are provided by an automated service and reviewed by the Samsung Developers web team. Inaccuracies from the transcription process do occur, so please refer to the audio if you are in doubt about the transcript.


Tony Morelan 00:02

Hey, I'm Tony Morelan. And this is Pow! Podcasts of Wisdom from the Samsung Developer Program where we talk about the latest tech new trends and give insight into all of the opportunities available for developers looking to create for Samsung. On today's show, I interview Roger Kibbe, senior developer evangelist for Bixby Samsung's intelligent assistant technology. Roger is a tech geek when it comes to voice technology, even launched his own voice startup. But it was when he entered a Samsung hackathon and won, the Bixby team said, we need this guy. Enjoy. Hey, Roger, thanks very much for joining me on this podcast. You know, I have to ask you first, who is Roger Kibbe?

Roger Kibbe 00:44

Well, I guess I can answer that question two ways. Well, one, I'm a husband and a father to two teenage daughters. Oh, boy. But uh, yes, so it keeps me pretty busy these days. But professionally, I'm a senior developer evangelist for Samsung Bixby and what does that mean? It really means I go out and talk to third party developers and agencies and companies and encourage them to go build upon the Bixby platform. You know, I have a long career in technology been doing it for about 25 years and salting. I've been a technology architect, technology strategy I found in my own startup, and I've been in voice for the last several years about the last 18 months or so less than 18 months with Samsung,

Tony Morelan 01:27

right about the same time that I did. And interesting. We both have the same title at Samsung me being a senior developer evangelist for the developer program, doing something similar to what you're doing, you know, going out and teaching developers and designers how to create for Samsung, so pretty cool. We're along the same lines.

Roger Kibbe 01:42

Yeah, I think it's an it's an amazing job, actually kind of a combination of you got to be familiar with the technology. But you also have your you know, love to go talk to people and understand what they're doing and figuring out how technology can help solve their problems or help enable them to do something amazing. What a combination.

Tony Morelan 02:03

Exactly. So tell me a little bit how you actually got your start at Samsung. I heard that you actually won a contest at our developer conference. And that's what put you on the radar at the folks at Samsung. So tell me a bit about that.

Roger Kibbe 02:19

Yes, I heard about Bixby in 2018. It was still a private beta in early 2018. And I was doing my own voice consulting and my own voice start up then. And I thought, hey, there's this new platform. They have this hackathon. I love to play with new technology. I'm one of those people that pies the first piece of new technology too much to my wife's chagrin often. So I went downloaded it and started playing with it. And I realized this is something really cool and doing things in a different way than what the other voice platforms are doing. So I built this capsule is a voice application and Bixby terminal technology, it was all about just being a can I recycle this? Can I compost this? Do I need to throw it in the trash? Right question I often get from my daughters is Dad, what bend is this going to is and then scratch my head, you know, three bins and I want to be a responsible citizen and put it in the right thing. Sure. And I thought, Hey, you know, that's a pretty good use case for voice. Because you want to know that right away. So built that for Bixby. We had this hackathon. I got enough finals. And then in the SDC, Samsung Developers Conference in 2018, all of us finalists were invited to go and then we presented on stage and I ended up winning that hackathon. Wow. Yeah. And then that led to I met Adam Shire and a bunch of the Bixby people had some good conversations. One thing led to another deeper longer conversations that was in I believe, September 20 18th, and in January 2019, I joined Samsung are joined this labs subsidiary of Samsung is behind Bixby.

Tony Morelan 04:04

You've been in this tech industry for about you said 2025 years assuming then that your education is in the tech field. Did you? Was that what you majored in when you're in college?

Roger Kibbe 04:13

No Good question. No, I actually have a psychology degree. Well, that comes in handy with two teenage daughters. It does, indeed actually comes in handy in a lot of ways, actually. Because, you know, I think our success personally and professionally is, you know, interacting with people and in a lot of ways, but, uh, yeah, you know, I have a deep interest in human behavior and how that works. And so I decided to major in psychology, but I've always been, you know, there's the geek in me. And I've always played with technology. And so for instance, I took a couple classes pewter science classes for fun, including a lisp class. So if anybody knows Lisp out there as a listener, that's usually not such a language that you to equate with fun, but I had a lot of fun with it.

Tony Morelan 04:58

expand a little bit more on Listen, what is that?

Roger Kibbe 05:02

Well, it's a programming language that is used I would think pretty much only in academia by today, but it's often used to teach kind of the fundamental was I don't know what modern CS classes are probably moved beyond it, kind of fundamentals of programming. And there's a lot of what's called recursion in it, where a function that you write calls itself. So it gets very complicated. If you're a developer, you know what I'm talking about, if you're not a developer, there's kind of this circular reasoning where it kind of just goes in circles and calls itself and calls itself so it's, it gets very confusing in a lot of ways at first, but, uh, it's actually a really good way to learn a lot of the fundamentals of programming. I done programming for that. I started in high school, actually, so graduate college, you actually get right into the tech industry just mentioned a little bit about this startup that you had created, and then how that led you into, you know, your interest in voice. Yeah, and you know, a little but it gets back to my thinking about my whole technology career, I served as a consultant and I worked in technology strategy for gapping for many years, and I've always looked for technology to go do something for us, and then get out of the way. And one of the challenges I see with technology today is often Yeah, it's incredibly powerful and does something useful for us or something we want it to do, but then it doesn't really get out of the way. Um, and when I first saw voice and start playing with voice assistance, I was like, I didn't get it at first. But then after playing with him more and more as like, you know what this is, this kind of fulfills that kind of lifelong ambition of, hey, go get something done and get out of the way. It's the best tech I know for getting out of the way. So in back in 2017, I you know, I had a really good kind of technology job, but the big corporation caught my cushy, cushy, corporate tech job. I decided to get you know, a little bit of an itch, I decided to be a little bit crazy and leave that bounced around a little bit with some startup opportunities and ended up founding my own voice startup with the idea being Hey, it's really too hard to build voice applications. today. I'm going to make it much easier for you to do it. Or our tagline was WordPress for voice. You know, WordPress is in the web world course. Yep, lots of templates makes it easy for small business to get online really easily. We wanted to build that for voice. I will say I think it's still a really good idea. And a lot of ways kind of untapped. But, um, you know, I think there's a saying that ideas are cheap, and execution is hard. I certainly learned that, you know, I think we built a bunch of things, but we weren't fully executing it. So I started veering over into the kind of consulting side and doing my own consulting work and that's when I entered that business. hackathon one NAD. And those conversations led to where I currently am. But I'm super happy I did it. It was a it was a great experience. It's something I'd always kind of the back of my head, hey, go off and do your own thing, right? Whether succeeds or fails, it doesn't matter. Got it. You got to itch that itch.

Tony Morelan 08:17

Exactly. I actually once heard that you learn more from failed startups than you do from successful startups. So I too, have ventured into that area. I too, have failed, and lots of great learnings that still come out of that. So you had mentioned Adam Shire, Viv labs, Bixby, Samsung, kind of tell me this whole relationship, how those all have come together. What exactly is Viv lab and who is Adam Shire?

Roger Kibbe 08:42

Yeah. So let me tell you about Adam. First, a legend and voice and Adam has been working in voice for like 25 years back he worked at Stanford Sri on voice Ah, in the, I guess late 20s. 2008 somewhere around there. They founded a startup called Siri and built really what was the first kind of consumer facing voices system? Siri most people don't know was originally an app on iOS. And then very quickly Apple bought it. So Adam and his co-founder dead kit law, worked with Apple for a couple years and then went to leave because they really wanted to build kind of the next generation of conversational AI and voice assistance. And that's when they founded Viv labs and built out the vid labs technology. And then a few years ago, Samsung bought Viv Labs and used it as the foundations of some people called Bixby to Dotto or the new Bixby but the current Bixby that's on modern Samsung phones, is based upon that Viv labs acquisition. So Adam is our kind of our technology guru and leader and quite frankly, his vision and where he'd like to see this industry go is a lot of the reason why I chose Viv labs because I really, I end is thinking about where voice and conversational AI can go.

Tony Morelan 10:07

Wonderful. So let me ask you a quick question about Bixby itself. Can you tell me where the name Bixby came from?

Roger Kibbe 10:14

That's a great question. And I'm going to tell you I actually don't know. Why

don't we ask Bixby Oh,

Roger Kibbe 10:20

might as well Bixby know best.

Tony Morelan 10:24

Hey, Bixby Where did the name Bixby come from?

I've heard that in some cultures Bixby means one with great intelligence who raps. Maybe that's why Samsung chosen for me.

Roger Kibbe 10:35

Very good. There we go. So Bixby is not a name. That's a Samsung invented that name on the original voice assistant. Samsung has a little bit of a history there's something called S Voice. That then became Bixby and the original Bixby is really largely focused on controlling the phone and not so much a general purpose voice assistant. And then when they bought vans, it was really to build that into General Purpose voice assistant. I will say that the name Bixby is a good name for a voice assistant. Why is that? Yeah, good question. Um, so when you say hi Bixby or Alexa, or Hey, Google, what happens is on the local device, it has to understand that phrase, and then most of the rest of the processing of anything you say, really is done in the cloud. But you need local processing power on that device to say, Hey, I heard that Pacific wake up word. Okay. And now I'll wake up and I'll start listening. In order to do that, on the local device, you need to be saying something that's kind of got the right kind of syllables got enough syllables and has a mixture of vowels and consonants that make it easy to understand that term, because you don't want to wake up for a false wake word that's a problem in the industry, is I say something and your voices is It wakes up and you weren't addressing Bixby is a really good term because of that consonants and vowels and the way they're mixed in there. And then also just, it's short. But phonetically, the way it sounds is pretty distinct. And so whoever came up with that word, they were definitely thinking about this. When they came up with that as the as the wake word for Samsung's voice assistant.

Tony Morelan 12:22

Got it? And it's a pretty unique word too. So I would think that it's not getting confused with maybe you know, something that could be more common.

Roger Kibbe 12:28

Yeah, although there is a Bixby there's a city called Bixby I believe in Oklahoma and then down in just south of us around Monterrey. There's a Bixby bridge. So it's fairly unique, but there is actually there are other big cities in the world.

Tony Morelan 12:45

I did not know that.

Roger Kibbe 12:48

And build Bixby on and Bill Bixby played the Incredible Hulk. Oh, yes, he did. Yeah. So interesting. Okay. So not a common word, but there are other uses the word Bixby. Bixby says interesting.

Tony Morelan 13:03

So now you had mentioned that you know Bixby was available on Samsung devices. Can you talk a little bit about other devices? Is it just strictly for Samsung devices for their phones? Or is it beyond the phone?

Roger Kibbe 13:14

Yeah, so is for Samsung devices right now. Here's the situation right now. So right now you can go and develop a Bixby capsule. And you can deploy it on a Samsung phone. And there's a marketplace for end users of the phones to go and enable your capsule. Think about market. The marketplace is the equivalent of the Play Store, the Samsung store, the iOS, the App Store, there but it's for voice applications capsules, as we call them. So that's all enabled for a phone so you can build from end to end to get it out to consumers on the phones. And that's the Bixby marketplace. That's the biggest marketplace. What you can do right now though, is you can build for the TV Samsung is the world's biggest TV manufacturer by a pretty significant margin. The watch, we're the world's second largest smartphone watch manufacturer, and for smart appliances. So we have a refrigerator that has a screen on it. It's a smart appliance. And we're we have huge market share and appliances. So you can build for all those devices, which to my mind is super exciting because I think voice assistants currently have been kind of driven primarily by smart speakers. That's the first thing they introduced and now they're on phones. But that's led to a little bit of kind of smart, Speaker centric or phone centric thinking about what you can do. When you add voice to the TV, or the watch or an appliance. You start thinking of whole different and unique use cases where voice can unlock some pretty rich functionality. As you can say, I could Wayne go on and on about this I get pretty excited about the opportunities on those additional devices. And so you can develop today in those, and in the marketplace is coming later this year. So super exciting stuff coming from us.

Tony Morelan 15:12

Okay, wonderful. So tell me a little bit about you'd mentioned the I know there are their voice assistant, you know, the application software out there. How is Bixby different than its competitors?

Roger Kibbe 15:24

Um, so first, I already talked about all those different devices. Yep. Right. And I think that that's a key differentiator. And let me dive in a little bit one because one, I'm particularly excited. I'm particularly excited about the TV. And why I'm excited about that is I look at my so my two teenage daughters, they don't watch TV without their smartphone in her hand. So and they will stop the TV and play with a smartphone. They want interactive TV, and it doesn't really exist today. And so they use a smartphone to enable that. Now I generally, you know, a different generation TV is kind of a thing and I listened to it. But I've been thinking about the TV and thinking about, hey, what happens the TV was voice enabled, and I can ask it things even when something is playing. The best example I like to think about a sports course. So let's say I'm watching a sports game like, oh man, I want to hear more about that player. Or I don't know I'm watching a football game and they call clipping and maybe I'm new to football, and they're like, what's clipping? Wouldn't it be cool? If I could ask the TV? Hey, watching the Warriors on TV? Hey, tell me how many points for game is Stephen Curry or who's Stephen Curry It is me overlays some information about Stefan curry there. And I can go back to watching the game or a football example. Hey, what's clipping and show me what's clipping is and I could better understand the game. I think that's incredibly powerful to bring kind of interactivity, to TV. A in and kind of empower what I see This kind of younger generation seems to want when they have their, their phones with the TV. And quite frankly, I will often say we have we have some smart speakers next our TV and we'll pause and ask it a question. So we want it to, yes, build that right in the TV, build it into where it just shows up and then goes away. If you gave permission, you know, and I think there's some privacy implications to this, but about what you are watching on the TV to the voices, and then it could be really incredibly contextually aware and give you a really amazing information. So I'm really excited about the devices that are that are coming out for Samsung, and that's a differentiator. The second big differentiator is really related to those devices. All those devices have screens. So if you look at the voice market today, and you look at let's talk about because they're obviously our competitors, Alexa 85 to 90% of their devices are screaming Just a smart speaker. Okay, on the Google side, there's a lot of them, they do have on the phone, a lot of uses on their smart speakers that are in the home. So most of what's being built is voice only with Samsung devices, because all those devices I talked about, and it's fair to say in the future, most Samsung devices will have a screen you need to build not only for a voice experience, but also a screen experience, that kind of multi-modality, which I think opens up a ton of opportunities. And quite frankly, in some cases, some challenges around multi-modality and building that but it's a new frontier and a lot of ways to build truly multimodal experiences, where you can interact with voice and screen and think about how they interplay with each other.

Tony Morelan 18:49

So I hadn't heard of that term before. So multi-modality that is where you have voice and screen at the same time on the same device.

Roger Kibbe 18:59

Yeah, actually, I really refers to kind of you actually are using it today when you use the mouse and the keyboard. So to put a different input mechanism, I say into that is multimodal, you know, I was talking about swiping and typing as the two prompt dominant modalities right now. Voice being a third one, I will tell you it's pretty interesting. If you look at kind of the rise of those modalities. We went from kind of keyboard. And then about 10 years later, the mouse arose in the GUI and then that and then about 10 years later, ah, smartphones with touchscreens were introduced there. So swiping became and tapping became without, well guess what? smartphones of screens are just a little over 10 years old. So by that 10-year cycle, it's about time for another modality to kind of arise sure and voice definitely looks like a modality. It does not replace typing and swiping What it does is it augments, there's things where voice is the very best way to interact with technology. There’re things we're typing in the very best way to interact with technology, there's things we're swiping in your smartphone, the very best way to interact with technology, it opens up a different way of interacting with technology and kind of powers us to do more with our tech.

Tony Morelan 20:21

So then, let me ask you, where do you see voice going, you know, in the next year, and then even beyond that, you know, for talking five to 10 years. Give me Give me your thoughts, your ideas of where we really could be taking voice.

Roger Kibbe 20:33

Yeah, so voice is in its infancy right now. I like to say that we're at the point where we're kind of barking commands. Okay, at the voice assistance. Another one, which gives me a laugh, is we're in the fart app stage. So that was the original apps on smartphones were all apps that party, right? Yeah. So we're kind of in that stage with voice right now really early. What I think I'd like to see in the next year or two is a little beyond just parking command and actually get some things done. I'm actually pretty bullish about voice commerce. And if not actually going and buying things actually starting the buying process, and actually kind of that top of the funnel kind of marketing. And there's a whole idea of paid marketing by listening to the radio or TV, it's a one way push toward me voice. If I could have a conversation about a product or right, I want more information. I don't kind of more of a pull marketing, I like to call it that. And then I also, um, let me just jump in really quickly. It sounds

Tony Morelan 21:35

like what you're saying that maybe where this could go is like, if I'm actually listening to an ad on the radio, I could, in a sense, have a conversation and ask more questions about that product that's being told to me. Yeah, yeah, because that would be amazing.

Roger Kibbe 21:51

Yeah. So it's interesting because I'll mention so both Spotify and Pandora started you know, they have a free ad tier. Yes, and many are experimenting just in the last month or two in 2020, certainly, with this idea of, if they're on a device that has a speaker, and that and you're using their client, they'll play an ad and say, do you want to hear more? If you say, Yes, get more information, you say, No, you don't. Right. And that's really kind of infant kind of simple stuff works. Yeah, that's pretty exciting to me is, Hey, you know, I, like all, many of us, you know, I kind of tune out the ads when I want to, but every once in a while, there's something I'm like, Oh, that is really interesting. I'd like to learn more about that. Or I'd like to call book market, of course. So I think there's a huge opportunity there to say, hey, remind me of this. Or Wow, that sounds really interesting. I'd like to hear more and start a conversation there. So that kind of interactive audio advertising. I don't know when that's all going to happen. But I'd sure like to see that happen in voice in the next few years. I think you did. Ask about like longer term by 10 years out there.

Tony Morelan 23:03

Yeah, definitely.

Roger Kibbe 23:04

Yeah. So I guess the industry likes to call this idea of ambient computing just computing around us. That just does things for us. And sometimes it's just AI that knows we need to get things done and kind of preemptively does it for us. But voice is a big part of that I could just walk into my house and start talking to it, or in my car or in my office and talk and get things done. I'm reminded of there's a funny scene in one of the Star Trek movies, I think it's one of the early ones. When they go back in time and they go back to Earth, in a running lead to a hospital and Scotty sees a mouse and he picks it up, he starts talking to the mouse. And of course, he doesn't do it. He kind of mumbles under his breath about, you know, how advanced they are. You know, maybe we're going to get there where voice works well enough, where much of our interaction with tech is done through voice scores. Yeah, like I said, I think we'll see keyboards have been around forever, they'll probably still be here in 10 years, and miles on swiping and typing, I just think there's a bunch of things that if we think about it, we can do better with voice or voice is part to that multi-modality, part of that interaction with our technology. So that's what I like to seek out five or 10 years be kind of a, not a novel thing, like it is now in a lot of ways. But it just you expect Yeah,

Tony Morelan 24:26

and it's, you know, it's crazy to think, you know, it seems like smartphones have been around forever. But it was not that long ago that truly the first smartphone was introduced to us. And 10 years from now is not much and just think about the advancements that definitely voice will take over that time.

Roger Kibbe 24:42

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, like truly understanding. Yep. human voices really hard. I can say something to you in 10 different ways. Can you understand I'm seeing the same thing? Oh, yeah. That's really hard for an AI to do that. Yeah. Part of the challenges we have right now voice is when you're developing a voice application need to be pretty deterministic about if a user says this this way, then this is what you do. And here's some variations and how they say, because the AI gets better, you won't have to be so deterministic in your development. They'll just say, when the user intends This is their intention. Right? Thank you. Yes, something like that. That's going to be huge, huge unlock for the industry. But it is a really hard AI problem.

Tony Morelan 25:32

Yeah, you know, actually some of the biggest laughs that we get in our house, so it's when we listen to my wife try and talk to one of those voice automated systems that you see on phone systems when you're asking a question trying to be transferred to a different department. And the phone system doesn't understand what my wife says. She doesn't say it any differently. She just says it more aggressively. She gets mad or she gets angrier, but she's still saying the same terms. And it's still sending her to the wrong department. And you know, myself, the kids, we all are just laughing as she just gets have tried to deal with this really, you know, low level AI system.

Roger Kibbe 26:05

Yeah, you know, this industry calls us IVR so they mostly been around for a long time and you know that the driver there was cost reduction right so it's expensive for a CSR to answer phones cause reduction we all understand it, but sometimes doesn't put people first and I think you saw that with IVR it's funny when you were mentioning your wife getting frustrated and I likewise, um, you know, I will say hitting 0000 in an IVR often kicks you out of it but uh um, there's even websites that actually tell you how to if you're stuck in IVR hell, like this is how you say or this is the buttons you press to get out of that which is pretty funny. But that you caught up in something I think is pretty interesting. We can all feel as humans emotions in our voice, happiness, sadness, excited, bored that the There is a lot of research being done around voice assistance, understanding kind of the emotion in there because just hearing a voice we as humans hear obviously the words we also understand the emotion. They're subtle cues and how we say things. Obviously, they're face to face. There's also a body language. One of the challenges and then AI I talked about, is it just understand it's saying, here's the words, what are those words mean? If I could understand the emotion of the user, that could be another input into my understanding, or if you're pissed and angry, and you're talking to an AI voice assistant, maybe you don't want it to be happy, full of personality and cracking jokes. You want it to be direct and to the point and the other hand if you're having fun, maybe the personality of the voice assistant the personas industries likes to call it is more fun and crack some jokes in this Kind of friendly. I think there's a big unlock for voices systems to understand kind of the emotional cues that we as humans are giving with the tone and how we say things. Sure.

Tony Morelan 28:17

So let's talk a little bit about discoverability. Oh, you know, I can only imagine if there's a lot of third-party apps out there. What's Bixby doing to help make discoverability? A little easier?

Roger Kibbe 28:27

Yeah, there are a lot of third-party applications for all the voice assistance. And part of the challenge is, you have to use the name. So if I use if I call my voice app would say voice, the podcast helper. Okay, if I want to use the podcast helper, I have to say something like, ask podcast helper to start or ask podcast helper to play my favorite podcast. The problem there is that ask podcast helper, I have to remember that phrase and I have to remember that term for the name of application. The problem with discoverability is people don't remember that. And so they don't use it. And so if I just say, tell my voices to play my favorite podcasts, it's going to use whatever built in functionality. It has to play podcasts as an example, and not podcasts helper, and not podcast helper. On the other hand, podcast helper may be a better experience. Sure I, as a user, feel that podcast helper is my favorite way to listen to podcasts. So what we did with big Suzy, introduced late last year, somebody called natural language categories, and it's really to address that. And the whole idea is, is these categories are way categories of interactions. So like playing a podcast, podcast is one of our categories. I'll give you another example and give you an actual real-world example. Weather is one of our categories. So if I ask Bixby What's the weather like? Whatsoever like today, what's the weather like next week? What's the weather like? He will answer that in the built-in weather capsule. I answered that, but I actually in my big city, so there is a weather capsule called Big Sky that I really like goes into more detail. It's kind of for weather geeks, and I like weather. And so in Bixby once I enable Big Sky what I can do, because it's part of the natural light, the weather natural language category, I as an end user can go and say, I want this to be the default. So the next time I say, Hi Bixby, what's the weather, Big Sky answers, built in weather functionality. So what lets you do is choose and personalize your voices system. The closest thing I mean, look, look at Android phones. Look at Samsung phones. If you install two different map apps on an Android phone, the first time you go to launch a map, it says hey, you have map app, a or have that be which one you want to use? And do you want to make one-year default? Well, Bixby has really exactly the same thing. But for voice. So what's the weather? Like if I've enabled two of them and say, Hey, you have weather capsule a, or you have big sky? Which one would you like to use? Would you like to make one the default? So I said, Hey, use big sky and make it the default. And from then on Big Sky answers that I can always go into settings and change that. Or I can always go back to that old kind of invocation name and say, ask weather app pay for the weather. And it'll override, right because then I'm specifically addressing the name of a capsule, and that will answer. So we've had this in about 20 different categories. We keep on building these and thinking about it. We think it's a big unlock to not only developers kind of solving this discoverability problem, but to my mind, even more importantly, as a consumer. I said, I like big sky over the in weather app, but everybody has their own preferences there. So let the consumer choose what they want their experience to be sure their favorite provider for X, Y, or Z, and really personalize the experience to the consumer. So suddenly, it may come across in how I'm describing it, but we're definitely super excited about because he thinks there's such amazing possibilities there.

Tony Morelan 32:21

Yeah, no, that sounds that sounds great. So let's talk about getting started. If developers or designers want to think about getting into voice, what advice would you give them? Yeah, so a couple

Roger Kibbe 32:30

things come to mind. The first is when you're thinking about what you want to build is voice the best interface for it. Right. So, you know, obviously, I'm a fan of voice. I think it's amazing. I also think there's areas where typing on a keyboard, or swiping on a screen or better interfaces, right for what you're trying to do. So you need to think about if it's easy are faster or better to do it swiping or typing. I probably shy away from it. Okay. On the other hand, if it's hard or difficult, I always like to think about things where I'm like, wow, I got to go through 12 different menus to go do this Wow. Voice might be really amazing there. So if you're going to replace some functionality, think about stuff that were voices a better interface or where voice is just brand new, it would not work well without voice being the kind of the modality with which you interact with that technology. So that's number one. Number two, I'd say is follow your passion. Okay, you know, the very best apps, PC, a phone or for voice are typically where the developer had some passion about it. So it really comes through. So if you're passionate about cooking, Hmm, maybe there's something cooking voice experience you can build. If you're passionate about exercise. Maybe there's an exercise voice experience you can build. So I say, follow your passions, because you're going to build something that passion will come through to people using your app. And you know what? It's going to be a heck of a lot more fun to build. Yeah. If it's something that follows your passions, you want to build something that you use. Right, exactly. This is fun. I'd use it. This is so cool. I want to share it with the world.

Tony Morelan 34:28

Yeah, yeah, I think that's a lot of great entrepreneurs get started as they're doing something that they want, that they're excited about. And then they worry about, you know, the money in the marketing later. But yeah, completely agree with you. So, in doing a little research for this interview, I, I discovered I learned that you actually host your own podcast. Tell me a little bit about the Bixby developers chat podcast that you host.

Roger Kibbe 34:56

Yeah, yeah. So just started that in January. This year, you know how to get started, I went and told my boss and said, I want to start a podcast. He said, Go for it. I don't know what that means. I mean, he knew what it meant. But it was kind of like, go for it. Let's figure it out and see how it works. And really the Genesis is, you know, every time I go to a voice conference, I have these kinds of long in-depth kind of conversations with people around. Hey, what are you building with voice? What's your thinking about it? Where can you go in the future? And I really wanted to share some of those conversations with the world. You know, I'm passionate about voice and these great conversations with it to my earlier point about what you're passionate about, go share it, so wanted to go share it with the world. And so I think we're done. We've done 11 podcasts right now. We do one every two weeks on breeding, typically people in the voice industry in when we talk about what they're doing, what they've built what they think the future will look like on these Our general conversations. We definitely talk about Bixby somewhat, but I really the whole idea was a little bit kind of a halo effect is Hey, people who are interested in voice would go listen to this podcast. And yeah, absolutely. We want them to go listen and go, Hey, I got to go check out that Bixby and go try it out or develop something on it. I like what those guys are doing. Yeah. But the podcast Yep, wide ranging. I've talked to voice designers, I talked to some podcasters I've talked to developers and I continue to think of who would be an interesting guest to talk about it. It's a lot of fun. Um, I continue enjoy it. listenership seems to be growing pretty well. So I don't know for one podcaster to another. Yeah, I think podcasting is a lot of fun.

Tony Morelan 36:48

Yeah, definitely. So for our podcasting fans. How can they find your podcast? Where are you guys hosted? What's it called?

Roger Kibbe 36:54

Yeah, great question Bixby developers chat. So any of your major podcast players, if you start Searching for Bixby, your Bixby developers that'll come across. We're also built in the Bixby capsule. So if you enable it you can say hi Bixby, play Bixby developers chat. And then we're online. If you just search for Bixby developers chat, and you can see it and please listen, and then let me know what you like your what you'd like to see in the future. I think a lot of the value of podcasting is listening to your audience and they'll say, I love this. I'd like more of this, less of this love to hear about it.

Tony Morelan 37:31

Wonderful. So you've been around voice for a long time. In fact, you know, not just with your podcast, but prior to that with all of your work with voice. I'm sure you've got a lot of experiences around voice. So tell me some of your favorite experiences and why

Roger Kibbe 37:43

Yeah, I'm going to say maybe my favorite capsule and Bixby is something built in it's the Yelp capsule. And why I really like that is I talked earlier about I said, Grace is a great way to interface in many ways, but not always. So Voice is a really great input modality. So if I wanted to find a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco, that's open past 10pm on Saturday nights. That's a pretty easy you, you can understand exactly what I'm saying. Sure, um, there's a lot of information than that. Now think about that if I was to search using a typical web interface, right, there's a lot of clicking and typing and things like that and drilling down I need to do there. Yeah, but if I just ask the Bixby Oh, capsule, something like that, it could parse all that input, and then show me the results. So it's great for input modality. On the other hand, I get a list of restaurants and a list of restaurants via voice may be kind of overwhelming. So that's a great place where the screen etc. screen, this list here and then I kind of go back to touch when I swipe through those and touch and find more information. Why I like that is it's a great example of multi-modality and kind of using the mix the modalities together. So the Yelp capsule and Bixby the other thing I'll say one of my favorite things to do on voice is, or just generally is I love trivia. There’re some pretty fun voice trivia experiences. One I really like on a very popular question of the day. It's actually quite simple but really well done. So boom, start Question of the day aspects be hi Bixby star Question of the day, it gives you one question, multiple choice answers. If you get the answer right, you get a bonus question. And you can ask that what's really well done in that is the content is really well done. So the questions are great, the content is great. I'm going to say our content is king invoice and that's a great example. It's incredibly simple what they built but incredibly great because the content so great, there's experience that isn't on Bixby I'd love to see come to Bixby What's that? It's a trivia game called feel the pressure feel the pressure which is on Alexa. Yeah. And you've done great content and really great sound effects. The sound effects in that game made me want to play that game more. And I love the thinking of what set sound effects and the impact upon your kind of psyche are so I love that game. But yeah, those are two examples of things that I think are done really, really well with voice.

Tony Morelan 40:22

Excellent, excellent laughter definitely check those out. So if people want to learn more about Bixby or even you as an evangelist, what's the best way for them to get in touch with you?

Roger Kibbe 40:29

Yeah. So for Bixby so that is our website. And by the way, that is where you can go I mean, today, you can start developing for Bixby so you download the Bixby developer studio or ID, you can do all your development. There's even a simulator in there. So if you don't yet have a Samsung device, you can go and build that simulator. And just from a phone to watch the TV and smart appliance so you can build all that. So that's Kind of your home hub for everything big sweet. The other things I'd say Follow us on social. We try to be pretty active on Twitter. So at Bixby Developers can also find us at Facebook Bixby developers search for Bixby developers on social myself. I am definitely pretty active on Twitter at Roger Kibbe. I love to talk about voice what people are doing, what's happening, learn about new areas that people are exploring. So let's connect and continue the conversation on Twitter.

Tony Morelan 41:37

Excellent, excellent. So let me ask you a few questions about Bixby studio. So that's the software that's used to create your capsules. Tell me a little bit about getting Bixby studio is this free? does it cost?

Roger Kibbe 41:49

Yeah, hundred percent free. You literally it's on the homepage of Bixby developers calm for Mac, Windows and Linux. You download it. It's a full-blown Id with develop debug, there's a testing suite in there. There's a simulator, like I said, so you can go from end to end testing and you all do it. In that ID, there's no it automatically syncs to the cloud. That's actually kind of a big competitive advantage for us is our idx. Some of our competitors require you to do things and kind of sync to the cloud or use two different interfaces. Everything in Bixby developer studio isn't one you can do it all there and do all your development there until you're ready to submit to the marketplace. And then you start that within that, that studio as well. So is there a process where developers have to be approved to publish their capsules? Yeah, so much like what happens with the other voice assistants and happens in various mobile phone app stores. There is a process. So you submit your capsule with information for the marketplace. And that is Some information with the reviewers if necessary, and then there's a review process and they make sure you know, there's certain rules around, you know, appropriate content, or have you does that actually work particularly tricky with voice, right? People won't always phrase something the same way. So you want to build over flexibility. You create these things called hints, which are kind of phrases that will kick off your voice experience or capsule. You want those to work. So the reviewers check all that and make sure it all works. And if that's all working, then we'll go live in the marketplace. And if it doesn't, they'll give you some feedback. One of the things we're particularly proud about is our developer kind of outreach in a lot of areas around there. And if somebody doesn't pass, we try to give really useful feedback about hey, here's what you need to fix. And we also get feedback around Hey, this, maybe this went live, but this could be even better. X, Y or Z because it's always in our interest to have really great capsules on the marketplace, so our developers spend our, our capsule review team spends a little more time reviewing things, because part of their job is to give some constructive feedback on Sure. You know, good degrade, I like to say,

Tony Morelan 44:18

exactly. So not just does it work or does it not, you know, pass or fail? You're actually giving more insight on how to improve this to get more success. Yeah,

Roger Kibbe 44:25


Tony Morelan 44:26

Wow. That's great. That's great. All right. So I am going to finish off with our last question here, our last topic, in doing a little research on Viv labs and Adam Shire. I came across this Penn and Teller video of him doing magic. So and I've been found some other videos of Adam doing magic, and I'm wondering, does magic work its way into Viv labs. I mean, a little bit about that.

Roger Kibbe 44:53

Yeah, so absolutely this So Adam is actually this pretty talented amateur magician. He probably kickoff professional if you really put his mind to it. So he loves to talk about magic and he seems to know everyone in the magic industry, he's incredibly well connected there. Um, so a couple things happen. One, we have what we call Friday magic. So every Friday afternoon, kind of near the end of the day, we have a magician come in use of magic, which is really kind of a cool way to start the weekend, you know? Sure. All right, you know, the work week is over, well laugh and be entertained with some magic and then we all we all go home. That happens. It's a lot of fun. We definitely when we go to trade shows, we often bring magician in place, sometimes very entertaining results there. But yeah, it's just one of these fun little side things that happens. We had that Friday, magic. We talked about it. We do it at trade shows. And yeah, it makes me smile thinking about it.

Tony Morelan 45:59

Yeah. No, that's awesome that those things were great. It was a it was a nice discovery. Well, hey, Roger, absolutely appreciate you taking the time. This has been a great interview. I love getting to know more about you and also about Bixby and voice. So again, thank you very much for joining me on today's podcast.

Roger Kibbe 46:13

Oh, my pleasure. Always love to talk to voice thanks so much.

Tony Morelan 46:17

So before I end this show, I want to do something a little fun with Bixby. Bixby said she can rap but I want to know Hey Bixby, can you beatbox?

Roger Kibbe 46:28
check this out.

Outro 46:39
Looking to start creating for Samsung, download the latest tools to code your next app, or get software for designing apps without coding at all. Sell your apps to the world on the Samsung Galaxy store. Check out developer today and start your journey with Samsung. The Pow! Podcast is brought to you by the Samsung Developer Program and produced by Tony Morelan.