We must admit that we’re on the fence when it comes to Bixby, Samsung’s digital assistant for smart and mobile devices, as it simply does not have the robustness that Google Assistant or Alexa does.

As such we’ve shied away from using it for the most part, but that could change following a recent partnership between Samsung Mobile SA and Syte. The latter is a company which specialises in AI solutions for the retail space.

The new offering is called the Samsung Bixby Shopping Assistant, and while it is a rather long name, the functionality is simple. If you have a Bixby-supporting Samsung device, you can point your camera at almost any product, and Bixby Vision will tell where you can purchase it locally.

If the item is available, you’ll be guided to similar products from local e-tailers like Superbalist, Zando, Cotton On, Wantitall, Homechoice and Bid or Buy, Samsung explains.

“South Africa has enthusiastic consumers that expect engaging and convenient experiences that fit their lifestyle. We therefore decided to expand our partnership with Syte so our devices deliver just that,” says Justin Hume, director of Integrated Mobility at Samsung South Africa.

“With visual search, South Africans can shop with ease, and connect better with their favourite retailers and brands and vice versa,” he adds.

Syte’s retail partners will populate the options that appear for consumers when using the Bibxy Shopping Assistant, which means the more retailers that sign up with the service, the more products will surface for users.

“By powering the end-to-end journeys of shoppers, we bring more value and increase the engagement between our retail clients and consumers,” notes Ofer Fryman, CEO of Syte.

The functionality of Bibxy Shopper Assistant should be available to Samsung smartphone owners in coming days and weeks, with the manufacturer noting that the new feature is only accessible on the Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e, S9, S9+, Note 8, S8, S8+, A7 (2018) and A5 (2018).

The Galaxy Note 9 is not listed by Samsung, but we’re assuming it supports the feature as well.