Former director of Siri now working with Samsung on 'internet of things' initiative

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Former Apple software engineer Luc Julia, who was in charge of developing the company's Siri virtual assistant, is now working at Samsung on SAMI, a platform that looks to aggregate and distribute data from Internet connected devices.

Samsung Open
Samsung's Open Innovation strategy. | Source: Samsung


Julia, who is now a vice president at Samsung's Open Innovation Center, on Friday showed off an early build of the Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions (SAMI), which looks to bring together and digest data from multiple connected devices, reports IDG News (via MacWorld).

Once the platform is built out, SAMI will be able to access data from wearable computers, "smart home" devices, cars and more, then spit out the results as a normalized feed. As a demonstration, Julia generated data onstage by running around with various fitness trackers attached to his body, with all information being funneled through a single app.

Interestingly, the system appears to feature a type of virtual assistant component much like Apple's Siri. Following the workout session, Julia asked, "SAMI, how am I doing?" The app responded by saying he had reached a predetermined exercise goal for the day.

Apple's Siri fetches and aggregates data as well, though the assistant is iOS-only. SAMI, on the other hand, will supposedly be somewhat more open. Currently, Samsung is working with a number of partners to develop the technology, including Fitbit, Pebble and Withings, among others. Altogether, about 50 companies are part of SAMI's development and testing.

With SAMI, Samsung is attempting to "normalize" the data from various products and offer it up in a feed available to other apps, the publication said.

"We're doing this normalization and delivering the data through an API, because people don't want to learn all the APIs for all the individual products," Julia said.

A main concern for Samsung is the development of SAMI's software, something foreign to the hardware-focused tech giant. Apple is not expected to lend its expertise to Samsung's program, due to the companies' ongoing worldwide patent struggle and smartphone rivalry.

"It's something Samsung doesn't know very well today, because Samsung is a hardware company," he said. "But we want to enter the space, and offer something different from iCloud."

Julia previously held the role of director on Apple's Siri team for ten months after the virtual assistant's co-founder Dag Kittlaus departed in 2011. He ultimately left Apple in 2012 to take on a job at Samsung.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    What a traitor.
  • Reply 2 of 53
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member
    I don't really see an issue with engineers moving companies to create or recreate similar technologies. (one trick pony jokes aside.)

    However if Samsung releases an interactive virtual assistant-like product named "SAMI", this is certainly not going to help the saga of looking like Apple-obsessed plagiarists.

    "SAMI" / "SURI".. at least pick a dissimilar name.

    Earning the title "innovator", is not taking an already mature product and rebranding it. It shouldn't look or feel like anything out there.
  • Reply 3 of 53
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    LOL. Get ready for some internet-connected toaster-fridges.
  • Reply 4 of 53
    "Open innovation"? "Synergy"? "Cooperation"? Sounds like a feel good word salad. Where's "suing others with SEPs" on that slide?
  • Reply 5 of 53
    Gotta pay raise and a lofty title, eh? Just couldn't crack the hierarchy at Apple and your ego too frail to cope? Samsung is on the phone!
  • Reply 6 of 53

    Good luck to him, he's probably going to need it. As we've seen company culture has a lot to do with companies making great things. (Example: Ron Johnson). Those who have done well at Apple don't always go on to bigger, better things.

  • Reply 7 of 53
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ECats View Post



    I don't really see an issue with engineers moving companies to create or recreate similar technologies. (one trick pony jokes aside.)



    However if Samsung releases an interactive virtual assistant-like product named "SAMI", this is certainly not going to help the saga of looking like Apple-obsessed plagiarists.



    "SAMI" / "SURI".. at least pick a dissimilar name.



    Earning the title "innovator", is not taking an already mature product and rebranding it. It shouldn't look or feel like anything out there.

    How about "IRIS"? Just like the Sony product name Samsung ripped off by spelling it backwards.

  • Reply 8 of 53
    Samsungs motive with this move is obviously to connect all the other samsung home appliance with the smart phones with voice enabled software. Like connect the fridge , toaster, vaccum, washing machine etc..

    And make applications by connecting them up. Like a fridge ordering for milk automatically from the store when the milk content is low or expired.
    How bout the vacuum machine being navigated across the home when u just ask voice assistant "Get the house cleaned up" while ur sitting at office.
  • Reply 9 of 53
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,309member
    You know you're insecure about your own innovation when you need to use a name like "open innovation center".

    LOOK AT US WE INNOVATE WE INNOVATE

    Yeah keep telling yourselves that
  • Reply 10 of 53
    Whatever Sami comes up with better not small and taste like what this guy was working on at Apple or some one will get Papermastered....
  • Reply 11 of 53
    So there making another fake Siri and a rip off of iCloud?
  • Reply 12 of 53
    High treason
  • Reply 13 of 53
    Samsung's S-Voice needs the help. I just wish someone from the Google Now team would make Siri faster.
  • Reply 14 of 53
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,309member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by akqies View Post



    Samsung's S-Voice needs the help. I just wish someone from the Google Now team would make Siri faster.

     

    Siri is pretty damn fast on iOS7. 

  • Reply 15 of 53
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,299member
    slurpy wrote: »
    Siri is pretty damn fast on iOS7. 
    It is when it works, but I often get the server down "I'm sorry, but I'm crap & can't help you right now" message. At least for me in the UK Siri had never been and continues to be of little use.
  • Reply 16 of 53

    Originally Posted by akqies View Post



    Samsung's S-Voice needs the help. I just wish someone from the Google Now team would make Siri faster.

     

    except that google's stuff usually looks like crap.  google maps looked better on iOS then android.  and in Korea where i am living, siri works just fine, in Korean and U.K. English.
  • Reply 17 of 53
    imatimat Posts: 194member

    As much as I don't like Samsung, I must admit that this seems the way ahead. If you want your digital assistant to be ubiquitous, then you have to work with partners and normalize the APIs to get it to work for as many products as possible.

    Problem with Samsung is that they are such a big conglomerate that the companies "helping" them with their new assistant will get the short end of the stick. Because Samsung already produces TVs, Fridges, Scales, Cargo Ships, heavy machinery. Heck, they produce almost everything (including theme parks).

     

    Whereas Apple will be, hardware-wise, less competitive with some companies (fridges, etc etc). Apple has a long story of negotiating with Hollywood content producers and providers, not so much with other HW providers (think Siri in the car, and other initiatives). I don't know what is boiling in the basements of Cupertino, but my perspective is that some more openness with regards to Siri's accessibility will be of great benefice to Apple's bottom line. Sort of a "license" program for "Siri certified Apps". You want your APP to be Siri capable? You have to follow certain guidelines, use certain methods in the correct way and, if necessary, pay a license fee to be Siri certified. If not, your Siri integration will not be offered on the App store and your software will not be installed on a Mac. Similar to what Apple does now for software on the OSX that comes from outside the App store. If it is "signed" no problem, else you install it at your own risk.

  • Reply 18 of 53
    revenant wrote: »
    google maps looked better on iOS then android.

    Double answer, choose what you like:

    That's because Apple designed the app for iOS.
    That's because Google designed the app for Android.
  • Reply 19 of 53

    fleeing a sinking ship....

  • Reply 20 of 53
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    Double answer, choose what you like:



    That's because Apple designed the app for iOS.

    That's because Google designed the app for Android.

     

    It's because the Drawing Backend Primitives with Display PDF 2D Vector graphics from the metal up to the highest layer in Quartz Extreme and a superior WindowServer with OpenGL accelerated primitives in 3D is decades ahead of Linux/XOrg/Google.

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