We’ve already learned about options for converting calls forwarded to voicemail to text form, or reading SMS messages using speech synthesis. This time, Samsung promises that you’ll be able to answer voice calls using text messages, which are then read using Bixby. Similarly, replies received verbally are converted to text form, to be read when you can communicate but not speak.
Take, for example, the scenario of attending an important meeting or any activity in an environment with too much ambient noise (e.g. concert). Even if you can’t answer or make yourself understood in a conventional phone call, you’ll be able to answer and communicate via text messages, mediated by Bixby.
“Bixby has evolved over many years as a specialized voice control agent,” said Sally Jeong, vice president and head of the Framework Research and Development Group for Samsung’s Mobile Experience Business, via a translator. “And it requires a lot of training so that Bixby can identify and understand conversations made during phone calls.”
At the moment, the new functionality is only available to Korean speakers, with Samsung seeing it as an experiment in an effort to make multitasking easier on Galaxy devices. Incidentally, the entire One UI 5 overhaul seems focused on this concept, with the South Koreans trying to further differentiate their devices from competing products offered by Apple and Google. The company plans to expand this functionality to support other languages, including English, starting next year.