Samsung Electronics today announced that it has agreed to acquire Viv Labs, the intelligent interface to everything. Viv has developed a unique, open artificial intelligence (AI) platform that gives third-party developers the power to use and build conversational assistants and integrate a natural language-based interface into renowned applications and services. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.
The deal showcases Samsung’s commitment to virtual personal assistants and is part of the company’s broader vision to deliver an AI-based open ecosystem across all of its devices and services. With Viv, Samsung will be able to unlock and offer new service experiences for its customers, including one that simplifies user interfaces, understands the context of the user and offers the user the most appropriate and convenient suggestions and recommendations.
Viv was founded by AI visionaries Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham. As part of the acquisition, the founding team will work closely with Samsung’s Mobile Communications business, but continue to operate independently under its existing leadership.
“Unlike other existing AI-based services, Viv has a sophisticated natural language understanding, machine learning capabilities and strategic partnerships that will enrich a broader service ecosystem,” said Injong Rhee, CTO of the Mobile Communications business at Samsung Electronics. “Viv was built with both consumers and developers in mind. This dual focus is also what attracted us to Viv as an ideal candidate to integrate with Samsung home appliances, wearables and more, as the paradigm of how we interact with technology shifts to intelligent interfaces and voice control.”
With the rise of AI, consumers now desire an interaction with technology that is conversational, personalized and contextual—an experience that fits seamlessly within their everyday lives. To achieve this, Viv has developed a new and proprietary platform that allows this interaction to scale.
Viv’s platform also allows developers to teach the system how to create new applications or to use existing applications, building an open ecosystem of intelligence that is greater than the sum of its parts and gets smarter every day. Viv’s superior platform combined with Samsung’s leading devices, services and global resources will help drive the next generation of AI solutions.
“At Viv, we’re building the simplest way for anyone to talk to devices and services everywhere. We see a future that is decidedly beyond apps—where you can get what you need quickly and easily no matter where you are, or what device you are near,” said Viv co-founder and CEO, Dag Kittlaus. “Samsung offers us a unique opportunity to deliver a single conversational interface to the world’s apps and services across a diverse range of products, at global scale.”
Samsung’s Global Innovation Center spearheaded the acquisition for Samsung’s Mobile Communications business. “At GIC we’re always looking for startups with a compelling vision and breakthrough experiences we can help build, grow and scale,” said Jacopo Lenzi, SVP of Business Development and Strategic Acquisitions. “We see great potential in the Viv AI software and platform, and we’re excited for Viv to reach our millions of users through Samsung’s global presence and distribution.”