Musings on Samsung Developer Conference 2014

This year some of us at the AppsLab attended the Samsung Developer Conference aka #SDC2014. Last year it was Samsung’s first attempt and we were also there. The quality and caliber of presentations increased tenfold from last year. Frankly, Samsung is doing it really hard to resist to join their ecosystem.

sdc2014

Here are some of the trends I observed:

Wearables and Health:

There was a huge emphasis in Samsung’s commitment with wearable technology. They released a new Tizen based smartwatch (Samsung Gear S) as well as a biometric reference design hardware and software called SIMBAND. Along with their wearable strategy they also released S.A.M.I, a cloud repository to store all this data. All this ties together with their vision of “Voice of the Body.”

Voice of the Body from Samsung on Vimeo.

During the second day keynote we got to hear from Mounir Zok Senior Sports Technologist of the United States Olympic Committee. He told us of how wearable technology is changing they way Olympic athletes are training. It was only a couple years ago when athletes still had to go to a lab and “fake” actual activities to get feedback. Now they can actually get real data on the field thanks to wearable technology.

Virtual Reality:

Samsung released the Gear VR in partnership with Oculus. This goggles can only work with a mounted Galaxy Note 4 in the front. The gaming experiences with this VR devices are amazing. But they are also exploring other cases like virtual tourism and virtual movie experiences. They released a 3D 360+spherical view camera called “Project Beyond.”

IoT – Home Automation:

Samsung is betting big with IoT and Home Automation and they are putting their money where their mouth is by acquiring SmartThings. The SmartThings platform is open sourced and has the ability to integrate with a myriad of other  home automation products. They showcased a smart home powered by SmartThings platform.

Mobile Innovation: 

I actually really like their new Galaxy Note Edge phablet. Samsung is showing true innovation here with the “edge” part of the device. It has it’s own SDK and it feels great on the hand!

Overall I’m pretty impressed with what Samsung is doing. It seems like their spaghetti-on-the-wall approach (throwing a bunch spaghetti and see what sticks) is starting to pay off.  Their whole UX across devices looks seamless. And in my humble approach they are getting ready to take off on their own without having to use Android for their mobile devices. Tizen keeps maturing, but I shall leave that for another post!

Please feel free to share your experience with Samsung devices as well!

3 comments

  1. I am impressed with Samsung’s phone offerings They are showing innovation in hardware that I did not see in the iPhone 6 and 6+. I haven’t seen anything really amazing in their tablets, though.

    I’m contemplating upgrading and making the leap from my trusty (but now slow) iPhone 4S to a Samsung phone, provided I can get a cell phone plan that will accommodate the millions of text messages that are currently free via Apple’s iMessage. All of my friends are iPhone users, and are prolific in their texting. 😛

  2. @Joyce, yes as mentioned I really like the Edge. On of my main problems with samsung is Touchwiz (their UI, and launcher). They need either to align with Android Lollipop Material design or even do a more modern redesign of it.

  3. @Noel: did you get to try out the Gear VR or experience a more in-depth demo? I’m intrigued, as VR has been “on the verge of changing everything” for about 20-25 years now.
    I am most interested in the Simband, though. I love the idea of being able to swap out sensors and thus completely change the nature of your phone. Did you see a demo of that? I think that’s the wearable I’m most interested in (and of course, curiosity about the Apple Watch).

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