Samsung unveils its next steps at developer conference
Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone and memory chip maker, presented its latest technologies at a two-day developer conference in California.
SDC19 sought to display the full potential for Samsung users through the adoption of innovations such as fifth-generation mobile networks, the Internet of Things and intelligence. Here are six noteworthy announcements from the event.
‘Flip’ smartphone – the new kid on the block
It was Samsung’s foldable phone that stole the limelight at last year’s developer conference but this year it was a new “flip” phone. The company teased a new foldable concept – not yet named – that looks more like a traditional flip phone. It was shown folding vertically, confirming last month’s reports that Samsung’s next bendable phone will fold to become a ‘compact’ square.
“This brand-new form factor that we are now exploring will not only easily fit in your pocket, but it also changes the way you use your phone,” said Hyesoon Jeong, head of Samsung’s framework research and development. The idea is to make the phone “more compact”.
Samsung opens doors for third-party TV makers
For the first time, the South Korean consumer tech giant is allowing third-party TV makers to use its operating system, Tizen.
This will attract more manufacturers, giving stiff competition to Android TV OS, which has become the de facto choice for the majority of developers.
Consumers will also have the option to turn off advertisement-tracking features in Tizen that is globally supported by popular streaming apps and services such as HBO and Netflix.
Samsung TVs accounted for close to one third of the total shipments worldwide in the second quarter of this year, according to market researcher IHS Markit. It was followed by local rival LG (16.5 per cent) and Japan’s Sony (8.8 per cent).
Bixby becomes smarter
Samsung announced enhanced capabilities for Bixby, its artificial intelligence platform, to help developers and consumers finish tasks more quickly and easily.
Newly introduced Bixby templates will allow developers to create solutions using pre-existing forms – and they don’t need to start from scratch.
Besides this, enhanced Bixby apps will let developers build solutions that go beyond smartphones — to televisions, tablets, smart watches and refrigerators.
Latest update for Android devices
Samsung announced the newest update to the software overlaying Android devices. Named One UI 2, the new update was released through a video with some depiction of basic features. It will streamline different apps and ensure smooth functioning of the device.
Dark Mode is also enhanced to offer improved viewing in lowlight environments and be less tiring to look at for screen-weary eyes. Dark Mode also has a technical aspect: the darker hues burn up less battery power.
Using emerging technologies, such as IoT, AI and 5G, Samsung has announced new tools and programmes.
To give both developers and users peace of mind, Samsung is offering Knox SDK software, allowing partners and app developers to integrate advanced security solutions to their apps and services.
“Knox is built around hardware root of trust, not just implemented after the device is built … giving it a foundation like no other security system in the market,” said Seungyun Lee, principal engineer, Knox platformat Samsung.
Joining forces with IBM
In partnership with American tech giant IBM, Samsung announced a new platform leveraging the latest cloud and AI capabilities.
Built on the IBM cloud, the new platform will allow clients to track a worker’s vital signals, including heart rate and physical activity, to determine if the person is in distress. It then automatically dispatches help.
This is designed to improve the work environments for police officers, fire fighters and other first responders.