Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Samsung Acquires Viv

Remember Viv, that amazing next-level virtual assistant that was previewed back in May? Samsung just bought the company.

Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch:

Ubiquity, [Viv cofounder Dag] Kittlaus said in an interview, is the reason Viv is trundling into Samsung’s bosom. Specifically, when I asked him why Samsung, he said this:

“They ship 500 million devices a year. You asked me onstage about what our real goal is, and I said ubiquity.

If you take a look around what’s going on in the market these days, and our readiness to really expand on our distribution, it made perfect sense when we discovered that our visions are so completely aligned, and our assets using the core technology in this huge distribution, the opportunity that now is the right time, and Samsung’s the right partner.”

Kittlaus previously helped build Siri, both pre- and post-acquisition, but Viv is a leaps-and-bounds improvement. If the future of mobile technology is, indeed, through virtual assistants, and if Viv behaves in the real world anything like it did in its first demoes, this is a critical acquisition for Samsung. It also happens to decrease their reliance upon Google.