Viv was founded by Siri creators Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham. Samsung's acquisition pits it against other major technology companies including Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft which are investing heavily in AI and personal assistant technology.
Google unveiled Assistant on Tuesday, it's AI-powered system that works through its Home hub or smartphones. Amazon recently launched its Echo speaker in the U.K. which is powered by the AI assistant called Alexa.
For Samsung, the idea is to look at a world beyond just hardware sales to where it can create revenue streams from services. Last year, it launched its contactless payment service called Samsung Pay, for example.
With the addition of Viv, Samsung will be able to bring a digital personal assistant to its phones but also the plethora of devices in its ecosystem from smartwatches to home appliances. Samsung also has its own smart home hub through the company SmartThings which it bought in 2014 for $200 million.
"Samsung has an ecosystem of devices many of which really benefit from voice control and intelligent agents," Ian Fogg, head of mobile at IHS Markit, told CNBC by phone.