Virtual assistants are quickly making their way into just about every product category with the word ‘smart’ attached to it at this point. CES 2018 was dominated by new Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant laden devices from smart home gear to helper robots, sound bars and much more. Clearly, virtual assistants aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, despite what Cortana has to say about it. And now it looks like Alexa and Siri might be getting a new friend courtesy of the folks at Ubisoft…
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Aimed specifically at gamers, Sam is a new assistant currently being tested in beta form inside the Ubisoft Club app. While it might not be the most obvious place for a new Alexa-like competitor to pop-up, the specificity of its central focus could give it some legs in a crowded marketplace.
While Siri and Alexa already demand most of our attention when it comes to services of this nature, a virtual assistant able to tightly integrate with your gaming experiences (like Cortana to some degree) could find a place of its own. And by the looks of it, that is exactly what Ubisoft is trying to do here.
Sam will likely be able to handle most of the more menial tasks in Siri’s arsenal at some point, but for now, in its prototype form, it is mainly geared towards gamer related queries and Ubisoft titles.
It can handle general knowledge questions, but is much more helpful when asking something along the lines of when a new Ubisoft game is coming out. From there, Sam will greet you with pertinent links for purchase/pre-order, the latest trailer and more.
As another example, Ubisoft’s new digital concierge can offer up fictional weather details from inside Assassin’s Creed Origins. It can apparently understand gamer acronyms like ACO (Assassin’s Creed Origins). While not the most useful of data, it is easy to imagine how this kind of capability could be handy, especially if it were tied directly to our current save data. But the real benefits (at least so far) appear to be mostly for competitive/online gamers.
Competitive or online players can use Sam to get recent match data, loads of different stats for online play and even offer up curated web content tailored to the games you’re currently playing most. It also sounds like future iterations could bring Sam right inside Ubi games (if you want) to offer up real-time data, stats and helpful information.
While certainly in its infancy, there is some potential here, even if it is more for hardcore gamers than casual players. It is possible for Sam to surpass the likes of Cortana, if indeed it manages to spread its wings outside of the Ubisoft eco-system in some way or other. But it is certainly going to be an uphill battle. Until then, don’t be surprised if Sam makes an appearance in Watch Dogs 3 or something like that.