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[Video] The Camera. Reimagined.

 

Imagine a camera that can see more than your eyes – one that can help you capture every moment and change the way you experience the world. Now imagine it’s part of the device you already use, every single day.

 

By taking a fresh perspective and exploring new frontiers, we’ve crafted a smartphone packed full of life-enriching features, transforming the common device into something that allows you to do what you can’t.

 

Find out more on February 25. We didn’t just update the camera. We rethought the entire camera experience.

Making it Easier for Organizations and Businesses to Help People during a Crisis

By Asha Sharma, Product Lead, Social Good

People come to Crisis Response on Facebook to let friends and family know they’re safe, learn and share more about what’s happening and help communities recover. Community Help was added a year ago to make it easier for people to ask for and give help during a crisis. But people helping people is only part of the solution. Organizations and businesses also play an integral role in responding to crises and helping communities rebuild.

Today we’re announcing that organizations and businesses can post in Community Help, so that they can provide critical information and services for people to get the help they need in a crisis.

We’re beginning to roll out the feature to Pages for organizations and businesses like Direct Relief, Lyft, Chase, Feeding America, International Medical Corps, The California Department of Forestry and Fire and Save the Children and will make the feature available to more in the coming weeks.

Enabling organizations and businesses to post in Community Help will give them a new way to reach communities impacted by crises. For example, they might post about helping people find everything from free transportation to supplies and connecting volunteers with organizations that need help.

Over the past year, people turned to Community Help for more than 500 different crises. Some of the crises where people used Community Help the most in 2017 include the flooding in Brazil (May), Hurricane Harvey in the US (August), the attack in Barcelona (August), the flooding in Mumbai (August) and the earthquake in Central Mexico (September).

People have also engaged with Community Help more than 750,000 times via posts, comments and messages, and the most frequent categories they use are volunteer opportunities, shelter, food and clothing donations.

Our priority is to build tools that help keep people safe and provide them with ways to get the help they need to recover and rebuild after a crisis. We hope this update makes it even easier for people to get the help they need in times of crisis and will give businesses and organizations an opportunity to build stronger communities around them.

A better way to track your promotions on Google Play Billing

Posted by Neto Marin, Developer Advocate

Promotions can be a valuable tool to increase user engagement or attract new users by offering content or features to a limited number of users free of charge.

We are happy to share an improvement in the Google Play Developer API that makes it easier to track your promotions from your own backend. Starting today, the API for Purchases.products will return "Promo" as a new value for the field purchaseType when the user redeems a promo code. Now, the possible values are:

  • 0. Test (test purchases)
  • 1. Promo (Promo code redemption purchase)

For purchases made using the standard in-app billing flow, the field will continue to not be set in the API response.

Please note: This state is only returned by the Purchases.products API. For subscriptions you may use Free Trials to offer free of charge subscription periods.

For more details about how to create and redeem promo codes, check the In-app Promotions documentation. For more details about the server-side API, check the Google Play Developer API documentation.

Grow, build and connect with Microsoft for Startups

We’re excited to announce Microsoft for Startups, a new program that delivers access to technology, go-to-market and community benefits that helps startups grow their customer and revenue base.  We are committing $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to our technology, and new community spaces that promote collaboration across local and global ecosystems. Startups are an indisputable innovation engine, and Microsoft is partnering with founders and investors to help propel their growth.

Microsoft for Startups logo

Grow with unparalleled access to customers. Microsoft for Startups takes a unique approach to connect qualified startups with new customers and channel partners. Microsoft has over 40,000 sales representatives and hundreds of thousands of partners whose goal is to drive adoption of Microsoft cloud solutions into companies of all sizes and industries worldwide. The program provides dedicated resources to prepare startup marketing and sales teams to effectively sell their cloud solutions to enterprise organizations in partnership with Microsoft’s global sales organization and partner ecosystem.

Build on a trusted cloud that scales with you. The program provides startups with up to $120,000 in free Azure credits, enterprise grade technical support and development tools – supporting the languages of their choice, such as Node.js, Java and .NET.  In addition, qualified startups also get access to productivity and business applications, including Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Connect to the right resources at the right time.  Microsoft for Startups helps startups at every stage in ecosystems around the world:

  • Microsoft Reactors are physical spaces where entrepreneurs, developers, investors and the business community can come together to interact, learn and share. Over the next month, we will open the doors on new Microsoft Reactor spaces in London, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Shanghai and Beijing. These spaces join our existing locations in Redmond, Seattle, San Francisco and New York.
  • Microsoft ScaleUp (formerly Microsoft Accelerators) is an immersive global program that offers late-stage and series A startups who have the greatest propensity to take advantage of Microsoft’s growth programs, such as co-marketing and co-selling opportunities, hone their infrastructure and build their businesses.
  • Microsoft Ventures is Microsoft’s strategic venture capital investment team whose mission is to be an active partner at key stages of a startup’s growth, typically investing between Series A and D.

Startups inspire us by pushing the envelope of the possible and building products that improve our personal and professional lives. Microsoft is excited to partner with startups to empower every person and organization on the planet.

To learn more, please visit Microsoft Startups.

The post Grow, build and connect with Microsoft for Startups appeared first on The Official Microsoft Blog.

‘All In’ on AI, Part 2: Driving the Evolution of 8K Picture Quality and Advanced Sound on TV through AI

What do you consider important when watching the Olympic Games on TV? Vivid picture and sound quality on your TV would be able to provide you a lifelike experience just as if you were onsite at the Games. The artificial intelligence (AI) technology which Samsung Electronics recently unveiled at CES 2018 promises to deliver this kind of experience, with picture quality nearly the equivalent of 8K (7,680 × 4,320) resolution, as well as optimized sound, for real-time and other video content.

 

The new AI technology achieves close to 8K resolution and enhanced sound quality by aligning with the unique characteristics of the specific content, a step up from typical upscaling technology used to improve image quality. So how exactly does it work? Let’s take a closer look.

 

 

Enjoy any content in 8K through Machine Learning

 

The world’s first 8K AI Technology that realizes a definition nearly the equivalent of 8K is based on Machine Learning. Computers or smartphones run according to directive values that humans enter. In contrast, Machine Learning refers to the way AI learns certain patterns and gives optimized answers based on various examples.

 

Samsung’s Machine Learning Super Resolution (MLSR) utilizes AI technology to compare low and high-quality versions of the same content to learn the technological differences between the two and form a vast database. It analyzes millions of pieces of video content and finds a correlation. Based on its analysis, it can select the optimum filters that support brightness, the level of blackness, spread and other errors from all inputs, and transform low-definition content to close to 8K high definition.

 

The input content is recognized as ‘real-time’ based on a frame and is enhanced by scenes, which makes it possible to upgrade image and sound quality immediately, regardless of whether the video source is live streaming or OTT (Over The Top).

 

 

8K picture quality through AI, what’s the difference?

 

Other upscaling techniques require human input to compare low-resolution and high-resolution scenes and find ways to reconstruct them. However, Samsung’s AI Technology enables it to self-study millions of images on its own using MLSR, allowing much-improved accuracy compared to conventional technologies.

 

There are three elements to improving picture quality on displays. First is ‘Detail Creation’ that sharpens the detail of expression and improves the texture to areas with low definition that have become blurry after compressing the file. Second, ‘Edge Restoration’ defines the edges of text, people or objects in a video, moving pixels on the borders to thin them down to increase legibility and visibility. For example, if text context is spreaded along the edges, the video will be adjusted around the text for clarity. In a video that shows the moon, Edge Restoration improves details of the moon’s shadow and enhances the darkness of the background for a clear distinction. Lastly, ‘Noise Reduction’ gets rid of static noises generated during high compression or recompression of files. In order to transmit an image, it is necessary to compress the image. In this process, various ‘noises’ such as a jiggling point or a squared dot can be effectively removed according to the image characteristics.

 

 

AI delivers immersive sound effects

 

When watching dramas or movies, realistic, immersive sounds are as important as picture quality. Samsung’s AI technology not only transforms low-definition into high-definition, but also optimizes the sound quality of content.

 

Conventional TVs provide multiple view settings such as movie mode and sports mode according to the genre of content. With Samsung’s new AI technology, content can be automatically analyzed by characterizing scenes to provide optimum sounds.

 

For example, let’s say you were watching a movie that includes musical performances. AI technology can highlight the music in a way that allows you to experience the sound as the actual characters would. When the crowd applauds after the performance is over, you would hear the clapping the same way as if you were in the crowd in the movie. When characters are speaking, AI adjusts the sound to make sure the lines are communicated clearly.

 

Imagine you were watching a relay broadcast of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics that started last week. AI will enhance the voice of the announcer so that you don’t miss who’s up next. When a game has started, AI will increase the background sound to deliver the liveliness of the actual game. With this tailored sound adjustment scene by scene, audiences can enjoy the best sound quality for any genre of content.

 

Samsung developers plan to continue to improve sound quality according to the preferences of individual viewers so that each viewer can enjoy the best TV viewing experience, right for them. Because volume patterns differ for every user, and the viewing environment can change according to the time of day and other factors, the sound will be accordingly adjusted and optimized to provide the most enjoyable experience to each individual viewer.

 

 

Why does 8K AI technology matter?

 

As customer needs for high-definition TVs and content increases, some terrestrial broadcasting stations have committed to working towards UHD delivery, and various IPTV and cable channels have initiated 4K UHD (3,840 × 2,160) services. However, even as the TV industry begins to launch 8K (7,680 × 4,320) TVs, the reality is that 4K content is, as of yet, still not fully utilized in homes.

 

In this context, Samsung has proposed a new direction for TV technology by combining 8K UHD display technology and premiere content through AI. Samsung has developed an AI algorithm that automatically enhances picture quality to solve the problem of limited high-quality content. As example, AI technology plays a key role in the 85-inch 8K QLED TV technology that Samsung introduced at CES 2018.

 

Samsung will begin the process of applying AI technology to its 8K QLED TVs from the second half of this year, and viewers will soon be able to enjoy UHD quality video that is nearly 8K in resolution and delivers optimized sound for any type of content. A genuine 8K era is now on the horizon, and Samsung will continue to lead the way.

[Video] A Look into the Future of Connected Cars by Samsung and HARMAN

Did you know that the future of driving is right around the corner? At CES 2018, Samsung and HARMAN showcased some of the innovations that will be featured in the vehicles you will experience in the future. This includes a Digital Cockpit, made to enhance the experience of driving, telematics using top-of-the-line 5G connectivity, and even autonomous vehicle technology.

 

Eventually, people will be driven by their cars – not the other way around. This will open the door to new possibilities. Cars will be a personalized workplace, entertainment center and a vital part of your digital life. And the best thing is, these efforts will also include functionalities to make driving safer and more enjoyable than ever. Samsung and HARMAN are committed to using their deep, combined technological experience to create the revolutionary car of the future. These videos will show you how.

 

 

Rinspeed Snap

 

 

Digital Cockpit Solution

 

 

Telematics

 

 

DRVLine Automated Driving Platform

 

 

Moodscape

 

 

AudioworX

 

 

Configurable Audio Experience

Congratulations to the winners of the Google Play Indie Games Contest 2017 in Europe

Posted by Adriana Puchianu, Developer Marketing Google Play

We have just wrapped up the second edition of the Google Play Indie Games Contest in Europe! The iconic Saatchi Gallery in London welcomed 20 developers, from 12 countries, who showcased their games to the audience of gamers, industry experts, and journalists.

The finalists' games were on show to the public, who spent three hours trying out their games and voting for their favourites, alongside the Google Play team. The top 10 finalists were then selected, and went on to pitch their games, and compete for the big prizes in front of our jury.

Please join us in congratulating the winners! They will be bringing home a well-deserved diploma, along with a prize package that will help them reach more gamers worldwide; including premium placement on the Google Play Store, marketing campaigns of up to 100,000 EUR and influencer campaigns of up to 50,000 EUR, the latest Google hardware, tickets to Google I/O, and much more.

It's really inspiring to see the excitement around this second edition, and great to see the new wave of indie games coming from Europe. We are already looking forward to playing the games that will be developed in 2018!

Check out the main winners and the other finalists on the Google Play Store!

Winner

Bury me, my love

Playdius

France

A reality-inspired interactive fiction designed for mobile phones. It tells the story of Nour, a Syrian woman trying to reach Europe in hope of a better life.

Runners up

Old Man's Journey

Broken Rules Interactive Media GmbH

Austria

A story game about life's precious moments, broken dreams, and changed plans.

Yellow

Bart Bonte

Belgium

A puzzle game for you! A love letter to a marvelous colour and to the little wonder called touchscreens. Warning: very yellow!

The other games that have made it into top 10 are:

Captain Tom Galactic Traveler

Picodongames

France

An open world platformer and space exploration game. Embark on an exploratory mission, discover planets, collect oxygen, play with gravity.

I Love Hue

Zut!

United Kingdom

A minimalist, ambient puzzle game influenced by mindfulness apps and abstract art. Players arrange shuffled mosaics of coloured tiles into perfectly ordered palettes.

Jodeo

Gamebra.in

Turkey

Jodeo is a 2D jelly critter. There's something it's curious about: what if 3D objects and 2D physics are in the same game? How can 2D objects interact with 3D objects?

Kami 2

State of Play

United Kingdom

The calming yet addictive puzzle game is back! With over 100 handcrafted puzzles, it takes you on a mind-twisting journey that combines logic and problem-solving.

Kenshō

FIFTYTWO

Russia

A tile sliding puzzle with a wonderful soundtrack. Mysterious things happen in a ruined room. Doors inside that room lead to different worlds and beautiful landscapes.

No More Buttons

Tommy Søreide Kjær

Norway

A hand-drawn platformer where the buttons are part of the environment.

The Big Journey

Catfishbox

Ukraine

Designed for kids and adults alike, this a beautiful, casual adventure. Tilt to roll around and explore a beautiful world with Mr. Whiskers.

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Feeling the Love with Messenger

Messenger is a special place to connect and share with the people most important to you – whether making date night plans with your partner, arranging a girls night out with your closest friends, or jumping on a group video chat to catch up with your family.

In light of this, today we announced a fun and delightful feature just in time for Valentine’s Day. Starting tomorrow, if you newly indicate you’re in a romantic relationship on Facebook (aka make it “FB official”), you’ll get a Messenger notification that will open to your conversation with your loved one. From there…

  • It’s raining hearts! A heart shower will fall across your screen.
  • Spread the love: Your custom emoji (in the lower right hand corner) will be 😍, so expressing your love will be fast and easy
  • Get personal: You’ll be prompted to personalize your chat and set your own custom text color, emoji, and nickname in case you want to switch things up even more.
  • Chatting with bae: Your loved one will be the first person to appear on the Active tab, so you can easily see when they’re available to chat.

We can’t wait to hear what you think of this new feature. Valentine’s Day may be a perfect time to finally make it “FB official”!

In the spirit of feeling all the feelings, we thought it would be timely to share how people in the Messenger community express their love and adoration.

We found that emojis are the new love language: people share over 2 billion emojis every day on Messenger, with 😘, 😍, and ❤ranking in the top five most popular emojis.

Men and women actually express their love (via emojis) pretty similarly! For example, ❤ is the second most popular emoji for both men and women.

For those who like to personalize their chats, red is the most popular chat color and ❤is the most popular custom emoji.

And to no surprise, Messenger continues to be the place where people come to connect and share when they’re feeling the love. Valentine’s Day was one of the most popular and active days on Messenger last year – we’re excited to see if that holds true for this year!

If you’re planning to send someone a love note tomorrow, make it special this year with a variety of fun filters and effects in the Messenger Camera. Try out the heart eyes filter (open your mouth and you’ll see a fun animation), add some festive flair with a falling candy heart effect, or channel your inner royalty with the Queen of Hearts filter. The Messenger Camera is one tap or swipe away whether you’re already in a conversation or you’ve just opened the app.



All of these festive filters and effects are also available in Messenger video chat! You can call a loved one by starting or opening a one-on-one or group chat and tap the video icon in the top right corner. Then tap the star icon to access all of the fun filters and effects.

Olympians From Around The World Visit Samsung Olympic Showcase In Gangneung Olympic Park During Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018

During the first few days of PyeongChang 2018, athletes from Korea, Italy, and India  experienced the Samsung Olympic Showcase in Gangneung Olympic Park. While at the Samsung Olympic Showcase athletes were able to experience a variety of breakthrough innovations and interactive activities powered by Samsung technology.

 

The Samsung Olympic Showcase is specifically designed to help athletes and fans embrace the excitement of the Olympic Winter Games, enabling them to create, capture and share their own experiences while celebrating the Olympic Spirit.

 

Members of the South Korea Men’s National Ice Hockey team, Bryan Young, Mike Testwuide, Michael Swift, Matt Dalton, and Brock Radunske visit the Samsung Olympic Showcase in Gangneung Olympic Park in South Korea during the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

 

Team members from the South Korea Men’s National Ice Hockey team show off their skills with winter sports skills by participating in the Galaxy Fitness Alpine Skiing at the Samsung Olympic Showcase in Gangneung Olympic Park in South Korea.

 

Matt Dalton from the South Korea Men’s National Ice Hockey team feels the exhilaration of gliding down snowy mountains and precipitous cliffs through the Snowboarding VR experience at the Samsung Olympic Showcase in Gangneung Olympic Park in South Korea. The film is displayed through the Samsung Galaxy smartphone and compatible Gear VR.

 

Inside the Infinity Room at Samsung Olympic Showcase in Gangneung Olympic Park, Matt Dalton, Michael Swift, and Mike Testwuide from the South Korea Men’s National Ice Hockey team experience kaleidoscope like wondrous views controlled by PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition.

 

Inside the Infinity Room at Samsung Olympic Showcase in Gangneung Olympic Park, Matt Dalton and Mike Testwuide from the South Korea Men’s National Ice Hockey team are all smiles at the kaleidoscope like wondrous views controlled by PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition.

 

Snowboarder from Italy, Omar Visintin experiences simulated Olympic Snowboarding through 4D motion virtual reality at the Samsung Olympic Showcase in Gangneung Olympic Park in South Korea. The film is displayed through the Samsung Galaxy smartphone and compatible Gear VR.

 

Six-time Olympian from India, Shiva Keshavan poses for a photo with his PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition at Samsung Olympic Showcase in Gangneung Olympic Park in South Korea. In collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Samsung presented over 4,000 devices to all Olympians, allowing them to capture and share through Samsung mobile technology to enhance their Games-Times experiences.

 

A true example of “Do What You Can’t,” six-time Olympian from India, Shiva Keshavan stops to hold the Olympic torch as he learns about Samsung’s 20-year heritage as a Worldwide Partner in the Wireless Communications Equipment category while visiting the Samsung Olympic Showcase in Gangneung Olympic Park in South Korea during the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

AVG scores “Top Rated Product” in AV-Comparatives review

Independent testing lab AV-Comparatives is the consumer’s best friend. It regularly evaluates leading brand cybersecurity products to report truthfully on the claims they make, and whether or not they deliver. Then, at the end of the year, it issues an annual report summarizing the year’s learnings. That report has just been released, and we’re proud to announce that AVG AntiVirus Free earned one of the coveted “Top Rated Product” awards.

Top Rated Product

Throughout the year, AVG consistently received good reviews for so many of its features, including:

  • Advanced Award — March 2017 Malware Protection Test
  • Advanced+ Award — May 2017 Performance Test
  • Advanced+ Award — July 2017 Real-World Protection Test
  • Advanced+ Award — September 2017 Malware Protection Test
  • Advanced+ Award — October 2017 Performance Test
  • Advanced+ Award — December 2017 Real-World Protection Test

These awards were given after AVG AntiVirus Free was tested for its ability to:

  • Detect and identify thousands of malicious programs
  • Remove malware that had already infected the PC
  • Protect against real-world online threats
  • Maintain this top-tier protection without impacting PC performance

AV-Comparatives conducts their tests under realistic internet conditions, using recent malware samples. To score well, the software must provide swift and effective protection without producing too many false alarms, and without relying on the user to decide if a file is harmful or not. We have earned accolades in this arena because our software offers solid protection with a fully loaded AI-based security network.

In fact, AVG AntiVirus Free scored 99% or above in each of AV-Comparison’s monthly real-world protection tests throughout the year. This consistency is key to providing our users with a reliable antivirus solution.

avg-real-world-protection-av-comparatives

“AVG AntiVirus Free is simple to install, and makes important features easy to find,” reports the study. For more, read the full AV-Comparatives Summary Report 2017. And to protect your system with our award-winning software, download AVG AntiVirus Free today.

Olympians Capture the Excitement of the Olympics PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony with the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition

Olympians from close to 100 nations gathered in PyeongChang, Korea this week for the start of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. During the Opening Ceremony, athletes enjoyed capturing and sharing the moments of the unique Olympic Games experience with the official Olympic Games phone, the Samsung PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition.

 

In collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Samsung Electronics, Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Wireless Communications Equipment and Computing Equipment category, gifted 4,000 devices to all PyeongChang 2018 Olympians, helping them to enhance their experiences in PyeongChang and connect more easily with family and friends around the world.

 

A special edition of the Galaxy Note8, the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition features a shiny white back glass to celebrate the winter theme, and gold Olympic Rings – inspired by the Olympic Torch – an expression of the Olympic Movement with the union of five continents and unity worldwide.

 

Olympian from The Netherlands captures the spirit and excitement of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony on the official Olympic Games phone, PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition, on Friday, February 9, 2018 in PyeongChang, Korea.

 

Olympians from Slovakia at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony

 

Team GB Olympian at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony

 

Olympians from Austria at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony

 

Olympians from Italy at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony

 

Olympians from China at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony

 

Olympians from Canada at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony

 

Olympians from France at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony

 

Olympians from Australia at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony

 

Olympian from Korea at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony

A New Investment in Community Leaders

By Jennifer Dulski, Head of Groups and Community, and Ime Archibong, Vice President, Product Partnerships

Today at the Facebook Communities Summit Europe, we announced the Facebook Community Leadership Program, a global initiative that invests in people building communities. Facebook will commit tens of millions of dollars to the program, including up to $10 million in grants that will go directly to people creating and leading communities.

In addition, we introduced new tools for group admins and the expansion of our London-based engineering team that builds technology to help keep people safe on Facebook.

More than 300 community leaders from across Europe came together today in London including Blind Veterans UK, an advocacy organization that provides practical and emotional support to blind veterans and their families; Donna Mamma, a support group for mothers in France to share advice and information; Girl Skate UK, which celebrates and brings together the female skateboarding community; High Society PL, a group of sneaker enthusiasts who bond over their shared passion; and Berlin Bruisers, Germany’s first gay and inclusive rugby club.

Facebook Community Leadership Program

Community leaders often tell us that with additional support they could have more impact. The Facebook Community Leadership Program is designed to empower leaders from around the world who are building communities through the Facebook family of apps and services. It includes:

  • Residency and Fellowship opportunities offer training, support and funding for community leaders from around the world.
    • Up to five leaders will be selected to be community leaders in residence and awarded up to $1,000,000* each to fund their proposals.
    • Up to 100 leaders will be selected for our fellowship program and will receive up to $50,000* each to be used for a specific community initiative.
  • Community Leadership Circles bring local community leaders together to meet up in person to connect, learn and collaborate. We piloted three circles in the US in 2017 and will be expanding globally this year.
  • Groups for Facebook Power Admins, which we currently run with more than 10,000 group admins in the US and UK, are expanding to more members to help them share advice with one another and connect with our team to test new features and share feedback.

Applications are now open for the residency and fellowship. To learn more and apply, visit communities.fb.com.

New Tools for Group Admins and Members

Group admins want to keep their communities safe, organized and engaged. Today we added four new features to support them.

  • Admin tools: Admins can now find member requests, Group Insights and more together in one place, making it easier to manage groups and freeing up more time for admins to connect with members.
  • Group announcements: Group admins want to be able to more easily share updates, so we’re introducing group announcements to let admins post up to 10 announcements that appear at the top of their group.
  • Group rules: Keeping communities safe is important. Now admins can create a dedicated rules section to help them effectively communicate the rules of the group to their members.
  • Personalization: Each community has its own identity — now admins can add a personalized color that is displayed throughout their group.

Expanding London Engineering Team for Community Safety

A team of engineers across the globe builds technologies that help keep our community safe and secure. London is home to Facebook’s largest engineering hub outside of the US, and by the end of 2018, we will double the number of people working in London on these issues.

Our engineering work on community safety includes the following:

  • Detecting and stopping fake accounts: Working to make sure Facebook is a community of people who can connect authentically with real people.
  • Protecting people from harm: Reducing things like harassment and scams that can happen in the real world and on Facebook, by building better tools to spot these issues and remove them.
  • Improving ways to report content: Making it easier for people to give us feedback about things that shouldn’t be on our platform, which works in conjunction with our automated detection.

People find meaning and support in community, online and in person. The programs and tools we announced today are designed to help the admins who lead these communities to grow and strengthen bonds among members. We are inspired by these leaders and look forward to continuing our efforts to support them.

*The final payment amount in USD may vary due to potential exchange rate fluctuation at the time of payment. At the time of announcement, $1,000,000 USD equates to approximately €810,000 Euros or £718,000 GBP; $50,000 USD equates to €40,500 Euros or £35,900 GBP.

 

Samsung Begins Mass Production of 256GB Embedded Universal Flash Storage for Automotive Applications

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass production of a 256-gigabyte (GB) embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) solution with advanced features based on automotive specifications from the JEDEC UFS 3.0 standard, for the first time in the industry.

 

Following the memory breakthrough of the automotive industry’s first 128GB eUFS in September, 2017, Samsung’s 256GB eUFS is now being shipped to automotive manufacturers preparing the market for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), next-generation infotainment systems and new-age dashboards in luxury vehicles.

 

As thermal management is crucial for automotive memory applications, Samsung’s 256GB eUFS extends the temperature range to between -40°C and 105°C for both operational and power-saving modes. Warranties for conventional embedded multimedia card (eMMC) 5.1 solutions generally cover -25°C to 85°C for vehicles in operation and -40°C to 85°C when in idle or power-saving mode,

 

“With the new temperature threshold for automobile warranties, major automotive manufacturers can now design-in memory that’s even well suited for extreme environments and know they will be getting highly reliable performance,” said Kyoung Hwan Han, vice president of NAND marketing at Samsung Electronics. “Starting with high-end vehicles, we expect to expand our business portfolio across the entire automotive market, while accelerating growth in the premium memory segment.”

 

 

Samsung’s 256GB eUFS not only can easily endure the new temperature specification, despite the heat-sensitive nature of memory storage, but also through its temperature notification feature, a sensor will notify the host application processor (AP) when the device temperature exceeds 105°C or any pre-set level. The AP would then regulate its clock speed to lower the temperature to an acceptable level.

 

Sequential reads for the 256GB eUFS can reach 850 megabytes per second (MB/s), which is at the high end of the current JEDEC UFS 2.1 standard, and random read operations come in at 45,000 IOPS. In addition, a data refresh feature speeds up processing and enables greater system reliability by relocating older data to other less-used cells.

 

The temperature notification, developed by Samsung, and data refresh features are included in UFS specification, version 3.0, which was announced last month by JEDEC, a global semiconductor standards organization.

 

Samsung plans to bolster its technology partnerships with global automakers and component providers, and continue expanding its eUFS line-up with an aim to lead the premium memory market.

[Hands-on] Get Ready to Explore Windows Mixed Reality with Samsung’s HMD Odyssey

 

 

Fusing rich visuals with crisp acoustics, the Samsung HMD Odyssey offers an experience that draws you in deeper to the world of mixed reality, a blend of virtual reality and augmented reality.

 

HMD Odyssey is a head-mounted display, developed to explore the world of Windows Mixed Reality. The headset was designed in partnership with Microsoft, creating a device that seeks to reimagine the realms of virtual reality through its high-resolution dual displays, AKG headphones, built-in microphone and intuitive installation.

 

Read on for our hands-on, first impressions look at the new mixed reality headset.

 

 

Out of the Box, Into the Game

Set-up is truly intuitive. As well as being ready to play right out of the box, the Samsung HMD Odyssey’s ergonomic design also allowed me to adjust the device to my satisfaction in moments.

 

The HMD Odyssey does not require any external motion sensors, thanks to its Inside-Out Position Tracking, which frees you from the confines of a single environment and allows you to plug and play, anywhere. Just connect the device to a compatible PC* wherever you are and get ready to explore a virtual world.

 

 

To set up the HMD Odyssey, I first connected my device to a compatible PC. Next, I was instructed to point the headset towards my PC monitor, and draw the shape of the room, while keeping the headset facing the monitor. This allowed the device to map the physical space around me, and any obstacles, such as furniture and walls, in the physical world became “walls” in the virtual world, to prevent me from bumping into anything.

 

Everyone’s body is different, and the HMD Odyssey is designed for an optimal fit for everybody. For example, the hard type headband, with its cushioned Forehead Pad, is easily adjustable and ensures an even weight balance for hours of comfortable play. The headband can be tightened to sit snugly on the head, even while wearing glasses, and blocks out any surrounding light. A nice addition is the physical volume buttons, which mean that you can control sound levels with just one press, rather than scrolling through in-game controls. What is more, the Inter Pupillary Distance (IPD) Control Wheel, positioned under the goggles, adjusts the distance between the left and right dual displays, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your eyes.

 

 

 

See More, Experience More

At the heart of the full visual immersion is superior picture quality. The world may have been virtual, but the sharp, crystal clear images that surrounded me made it feel completely real.

 

The Samsung HMD Odyssey’s dual 3.5-inch AMOLED displays are finely tuned for the mixed reality experience, offering remarkable image definition.

 

 

At the same time as delivering more vibrant colors, deeper blacks and sharper contrast, the HMD Odyssey also renders motions more smoothly. The larger screen size and 1440×1600 high-resolution picture quality per each display on the left and right, provide a fluid and lifelike virtual experience, with fast focusing and a clear and stable experience overall.

 

The HMD Odyssey’s 110-degree Field of View alters the boundaries of the mixed reality world. The scope is greater than that of other devices and closer to the average person’s 120-degree real world field of view, allowing you to explore and move through worlds without viewing distortion, for heightened realism.

 

 

Achieving True Immersion

Incorporating the sense of sound through its built-in headphones and mic, the HMD Odyssey adds another crucial dimension to the mixed reality experience.

 

 

I was pulled further into the world by the device’s 360° Spatial Sound. By simulating 3D sound using direction, distance and environment, 360° Spatial Sound allowed me to pinpoint the source of noise in the virtual realm. The whole effect encourages you to use your hearing as you would in the real world, listening through built-in AKG headsets which produce clear, world-class acoustic and bass.

 

Whether working together as a team to clear missions and battle enemies, or simply chatting to other players, it is well known that building bonds a key part of the gamer’s experience. I found these bonds are even tighter with the HMD Odyssey’s fitted array mic, which allows players to communicate with each other mid-game, without ever having to remove the headset.

 

To help me navigate Windows Mixed Reality, the HMD Odyssey came equipped with two 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DOF) motion controllers that tracked movements inside the mixed reality world. A tutorial guided me through using these tools when I first connected my device to a PC, in which I learnt how to maneuver through the world, performing actions like “teleport” to rapidly shift from one place to another.

 

 

I soon discovered that 6DOF goes beyond the three axes of regular VR controllers: I had the freedom to move not only straight – forward and back, up and down, left and right – but also in the rounded and rolling motions: yaw, pitch and roll. The HMD Odyssey headset also supports 6DOF, so that your head as well as your arms can control motion in the game.

 

 

 

Diving Into Windows Mixed Reality

The first place you will visit in your Windows Mixed Reality journey, and whenever you use the headset, is the Mixed Reality Portal. The portal appears in the virtual world as Cliff House, a spacious villa with an ocean view, that I could explore and customize to access all my Windows apps.

 

 

A wide range of apps and games can be downloaded from the Microsoft store, ready to make you feel totally immersed. There is also support for Steam VR, which has over 2,000 VR games in its catalogue**.

 

 

My first game was the music-themed Rock&Rails, an exhilarating thrill-ride. I struggled not to flinch or recoil as I flew through the sky, fighting off enemies by shooting from my guitar. Rock&Rails is available from the Microsoft store with purchase of the Samsung HMD Odyssey headset, so you can get into the game as soon as you unbox your device***.

 

With a set-up that is effortless, striking 1440×1600 resolution dual AMOLED displays, built-in AKG headphones and support for a wide range of games and media. Samsung’s HMD Odyssey provides all that you need to experience the exciting new realm of mixed reality.

 

 

*Windows Mixed Reality requires a compatible Windows 10 PC and the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Compatibility may be checked using the Windows Mixed Reality PC Check tool available on the Microsoft Store.

**Title availability is subject to change.

***Bundle availability may change with location and date.

Samsung and Cisco Team With Orange for First Multi-Vendor 5G Fixed Wireless Trial in Europe

Orange, Samsung Electronics and Cisco today announced collaboration on a 5G millimeter wave trial set to begin in the second half of 2018, across multiple homes in Romania. The trial marks Orange as the first operator to conduct a multi-vendor 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) customer trial in Europe.

 

 

About the Trial

The trial will be set up as a multi-vendor environment for a month-long period, in Romania. The companies will demonstrate how 5G can complement existing fiber deployments to deliver high-quality, high-speed bandwidth services.

 

 

The Multi-Vendor Solution

Samsung and Cisco are working together to supply Orange with an end-to-end solution to deliver a gigabit-powered experience to trial customers. Samsung will provide commercial 5G home routers (indoor and outdoor customer-premises equipment (CPE)), 5G Radio Access Units (RAN) comprised of a compact radio base station and virtualized RAN elements, as well as 5G radio frequency planning services. Cisco will supply its Cisco Ultra Gateway Platform, delivering a 5G virtual packet core on top of Cisco NFV Infrastructure. The mobile gateway will be deployed with Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS) for enhanced throughput and flexibility.

 

Since 2017, Samsung and Cisco have conducted a series of comprehensive network vendor interoperability tests that demonstrated seamless interworking between the virtualized core network, virtualized radio network and CPE.

 

“Together with Samsung and Cisco, we are joining forces to drive the development of 5G and prepare for its progressive roll-out starting 2020,” said Arnaud Vamparys, Senior Vice President, Radio Networks and Microwaves, Orange. “This trial will demonstrate how FWA, NFV and multi-vendor interoperability create new opportunities and gives us flexibility to build our next-generation network as a multi-service network.”

 

“Samsung is pleased to partner with Orange and Cicso to address new market needs and explore together enhanced user experiences with our trial efforts,” said GY Seo, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Sales & Marketing Team, Networks Business, Samsung Electronics. “To bring Giga-speed broadband to more users across Europe, 5G FWA is a promising, fast-to-market and cost-effective option, as well as a viable alternative where fiber deployment is impracticable.”

 

“Industry collaboration for innovation and multi-vendor interoperability is paramount to the success of 5G,” said Yvette Kanouff, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Service Provider Business, Cisco. “5G is pushing the network to new lengths, with the need for greater bandwidth a top priority for all service providers. Our work with Samsung and Orange on this project spotlights how new scaling models and innovative virtualization solutions can deliver on the promise of 5G for an always on, connected society.”

 

 

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products, and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow’s digital opportunity today. Discover more at newsroom.cisco.com and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.

World’s First! Introducing the Ultimate 3-Dimensional Experience, ‘3D Cinema LED’

A 3D version of the Cinema LED Screen has been unveiled to the world. Samsung Electronics formally debuted its latest product at ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) 2018, the largest commercial display exhibition in Europe, which began on February 6 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This is the second time that Samsung showcased a ‘first of its kind’ screen after its first-ever Cinema LED that made its first appearance last March.

 

Samsung Cinema LED Screen has been acclaimed for overcoming the limitations of existing film projectors in theaters. Viewers have praised the screen for making them feel as if they are watching a 3D film, with its crystal-clear 4K (4,096 x 2,160) resolution picture quality, infinite ‘true black’ HDR, and non-distorted visual imagery.

 

In less than a year, Samsung turned the viewers’ ‘feeling’ of watching a 3D film into a reality. The true 3D technology was incorporated into the Cinema LED Screen, which gives the ultimate 3- dimensional experience by utilizing the brightness and quality of Cinema LED as it is. Samsung Newsroom met with Dongsoo Koo, from Samsung Visual Display Division’s Enterprise Product Planning Group, who participated in the whole process of bringing the 3D Cinema LED into the world.

 

Dongsoo Koo, from Samsung’s Enterprise Product Planning Group

 

 

Long History of 3D Films that Began from the ‘Binocular Disparity’

“It is the movie ‘Avatar,’ the box office hit of 2009, that usually comes into people’s minds when thinking of 3D movies. However, 3D technology already existed in the 1890s. In fact, it was in 1832 when the physicist Charles Wheatstone first discovered the principle of 3D, which makes it a more than 180-year-old technology. During the 1950s, about 40 3D films were produced in Hollywood.”

 

The principle of a 3D video is quite simple. There’s a gap between our two eyes, the 65mm disparity between the right and left eye. This ‘binocular disparity’ adds three-dimensional sense to the visual information that our eyes receive. The mechanism of a 3D video is essentially the same. 3D cameras are mounted with two different lenses. For the visual information taken with the two lenses of a 3D camera to be delivered to our two eyes, there should be two screens, too. But since only one screen can be installed, we need a technology to realize 3D video on that screen. Halving the scanline1 to deliver the video to our two eyes respectively can be one way or making the two videos intersect with each other at an extremely high speed can be another.

 

To get a three-dimensional sense, you need separate visuals for each of the left and right eyes and realize the two scenes on a single screen.

 

 

Catching Both Birds: Brightness and Resolution

Likewise, there are various ways of realizing 3D on a screen. However, the number one priority in 3D Cinema LED development was that no matter which method is adopted, the best level resolution of Cinema LED Screen should be maintained. This was what kept Samsung up at night.

 

“The existing 3D cinemas had to compromise between brightness and resolution. The screen is dark as if the viewers are wearing sunglasses in the theater. The brightness is already halved, and with the 3D glasses that audience must wear, it becomes a one-third level compared to other 2D films. The resolution is halved too. It is inevitable as the videos for the left and right eye are overlapped and reflected.”

 

The evident limitation for existing 3D theater clearly revealed the path for 3D Cinema LED. “The brighter the visual information is, the more our eyes receive the three-dimensional impression. Therefore, we had to develop a new product that delivers the same brightness of Cinema LED, even while wearing the 3D glasses. We also could not sacrifice the resolution. It’s clear that lower resolution equals a lower sense of reality.”

 

It was not an easy goal. But Samsung’s know-how on 3D TV and the knowledge of Cinema LED created the synergy for the company to overcome the limitation on brightness and resolution of the existing 3D movie theaters’. 3D Cinema LED’s full and precise color refuses comparison any premium movie theaters.

 

 

 

Less Dizziness in 3D Film Experience

3D technology makes movies to be more immersive, but it can also cause inconveniences such as dizziness and headaches. The 3D Cinema LED screen has significantly improved dizziness that specifically involves 3D.

 

There are two reasons for the dizziness. The dizziness from the content itself occurs due to the mismatch between the reality and what our brain recognizes. That is, our body is sitting still but our brain thinks the body is moving. In addition, when we stare at a certain screen for more than two hours in a dark room, it is natural to develop a headache.

 

However, Koo proudly told that 3D Cinema LED has no degrading of brightness and improves the display-related dizziness by eliminating many of the triggering factors except those coming from the content itself. Therefore, the viewers experience less dizziness. “The left video should be seen only by the left eye and the right video only by the right eye. But there are moments when our eyes receive overlapped imagery. This is called ‘crosstalk,’ and the repetition of crosswalk causes the dizziness and headache. Fortunately, our developers came up with an algorithm for 3D Cinema LED to completely get rid of any crosstalk from happening, therefore dealing with the dizziness and headache issues.”

 

Mr. Koo (right) from Enterprise Product Planning Group and Sandy Kim (left) of Enterprise Marketing Group are introducing the advantages of 3D Cinema LED, which can be enjoyed with the highest picture quality without dizziness.

 

 

Less Distortion, No Matter Where You Sit in the Theater

The 3D Cinema LED has the same viewing angle as the Cinema LED. The 3D Cinema LED provides the opportunity to enjoy the film with less distortion no matter where the viewer is seated, just like the Cinema LED did. “When watching in the conventional 3D theater, the image becomes darker or distorted as people go to the edge of the theater, but 3D Cinema LED has significantly improved the problem.”

 

For theaters to be a space that continuously delivers new experiences, the 3D Cinema LED is expected to play a bigger role. “People say ‘Seeing is Believing.’ One might not believe until seeing something, but once seeing it, there’s no denial. I think this applies to 3D Cinema LED, too. Before experiencing it, some might doubt whether there is an actual difference. But once they experience the new technology of ours, people will believe and understand that it is totally different. This year’s ISE will be the first moment of that unique experience,” said Koo, adding that soon people will be able to enjoy the ultimate 3-dimensional experience through 3D Cinema LED Screen.

 

 

While nothing can compare to actually being there, this video captured the 3D cinema LED screen over 3D glasses. The film is a trailer for “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”.

 

 

1 a line or a row of pixels from a television screen

Samsung Electronics Brings Excitement to Fans, Athletes and Officials at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 through Innovative Experiences at the Samsung Olympic Showcase

Samsung Electronics, Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Wireless Communications and Computing Equipment category, is bringing technological innovations to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 through interactive experiences at the new Samsung Olympic Showcases. Samsung will encourage fans and athletes to “Do What You Can’t” through fun, immersive experiences across multiple Samsung Olympic Showcases.

 

 

Throughout the Olympic Winter Games, a total of nine Samsung Olympic Showcases, featuring a mix of cultural, technological and immersive fan experiences, will be in PyeongChang and Gangneung, including Olympic Parks and the Olympic Villages, the Main Press Center, and four at the Incheon International Airport. Samsung Olympic Showcases @ PyeongChang Olympic Plaza and @ Gangneung Olympic Park opening on February 9th will provide visitors with engaging experiences incorporating Samsung’s legacy of breakthrough innovation and interactive activities powered by Samsung technology.

 

 

Athletes and fans will first experience the Samsung brand history and heritage in engineering, design, and craftsmanship, and then the partnership history with the Olympic Games. Then through interactive experiences, visitors will be able to feel the exhilaration and escape into real-world thrills in winter sports through VR including snowboarding and skeleton, as well as participate in alpine and cross-country skiing contests that will challenge fans’ fitness capacity. For the first time, visitors will be able to experience the ‘Mission to Space VR: A Moon for All Mankind’ created by Samsung. Visitors will experience a full space mission including mission briefing, trying on the training suits and helmets, and the truly immersive experience in the Moon rig where they will feel lunar gravity with every step.

 

“For two decades as a Worldwide Olympic Partner, Samsung has connected fans, visitors and athletes from around the world with our latest technological innovations, which have now evolved to also include immersive experiences,” said Younghee Lee, CMO and Executive Vice President, Samsung Electronics. “We’re delighted to share Samsung’s latest mobile technologies and products so fans and athletes can enjoy new, unique experiences while at the Olympic Winter Games.”

 

“Over the course of our longstanding partnership, Samsung has brought new experiences and technology advancements to each Olympic Games,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “Samsung helps to make each and every one an exciting and meaningful experience for all.”

 

Visitors will experience and engage with Samsung’s products and Galaxy brand through a variety of activities through a comfortable, interactive environment, including:

 

  • Immersive VR Experiences: Unique VR experiences powered by the Galaxy Note8 will allow fans to escape into exhilarating moments on the fresh mountain slopes in snowboarding and skeleton as well as escape to space in Mission to Space VR: A Moon for All Mankind’ – available to consumers to experience for the first time. Other experiences include simulated skiing adventures.

 

  • Playful Experiences: Promoting the playful side of technology, Portrait Pool allows visitors to turn their “selfies” into painted characters for social sharing, S Pen Gallery to create own portraits with Galaxy Note8 and S pen as a paint brush, Infinity Moment to create user generated content with the Galaxy Note8.

 

  • Kids Lounge: A dedicated kids lounge in a hands-on zone, where kids can play, learn and explore Samsung products and expand their creativity through hands-on experience.

 

  • Smart Home (IoT): Multi Device and futuristic demos powered by mobile technology that showcase the IoT, helping visitors to imagine the future lifestyle.

 

  • Unbox Samsung: The journey of ‘Unbox Samsung’ where visitors can experience the Living History of Samsung since 1988 when the first mobile phone was launched.

 

  • Purchase and Customer Service: Visitors will also be able receive customer service and make purchases of the mobile products and its accessories.

 

  • Interact & Relax: Within lounges and in the Cultural Community where various lifestyle programs will take place as well as in the Café where food and beverages will be available for purchase using Buddy Points acquired during the interactive experiences.

 

  • Special Events: A series of events will take place at the Samsung Olympic Showcase to enhance the Olympic Winter Games experience including athlete visits and celebrating holiday moments.

Safer Internet Day: Teaching Children to Safely Engage Online and Supporting Parent Conversations

By Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety

Every year on Safer Internet Day we recognize the importance of internet safety and the responsible use of online technology. This year, Safer Internet Day features a call to action focused on creating a better internet for everyone, including younger generations. As a company that reaches people around the world, we’re taking this call to action to heart.

Creating a better internet for kids starts with empowering parents. The fact that that parents see themselves as the best judges of how their kids should use technology helped guide our development of the Messenger Kids app. Parents control their kids’ accounts and contacts through the Messenger Kids Controls panel, creating a safer and more controlled environment for their kids to talk to trusted contacts.

As a mom and Facebook’s Global Head of Safety, I know how overwhelming it can be to raise a child in an increasingly digital world. So this year to mark Safer Internet Day, we want to help parents start a conversation with their children about technology and the choices they make when they go online.

Tips to Keep Kids Safe

We often hear that parents aren’t sure how to approach these topics with their kids. To make it easier, we’ve compiled some tips to jump-start the conversation.

  • Let your child know the same rules apply online as they do offline. Just as you’d tell your child to look both ways before crossing the street or to wear a helmet while riding their bike, teach them to think before they share online and how to use the security and safety tools available on apps and devices.
  • Be a good role model. The saying that children will “do as you do, not as you say” is as true online as it is offline. If you set time restrictions on when your child can use social media or be online, follow the same rules yourself.
  • Engage early and often. Data suggests that parents should be a part of what their children are doing online as soon as they start to participate. Consider adding them as a friend them when they create a social media account or an account on a messaging app, and have conversations with them often about what they’re doing and who they are talking when they go online.
  • Set the rules and know the tools. When your child gets their first tablet or phone and starts using apps, it’s a good time to set ground rules. It’s also a great time to take them through the basics of the tools available on the app. For instance, teach them how to report a piece of content and how to spot people who don’t have good intentions.
  • Ask your children to teach you. Children are often even more in touch with the newest apps and sites than adults, and they can be an excellent resource. The conversation can also serve as an opportunity to talk about issues of safety, privacy and security.

Listening to Parents

We recently conducted a survey of parents to get a fuller and clearer understanding of their attitudes toward technology. The survey found that:

  • 64% of parents trust themselves the most to guide their child’s technology use.*
  • 77% of parents say they are the most appropriate to determine how much time their child spends using online technologies.
  • 77% of parents say they are the most appropriate to decide the right age for their child to use online digital technologies.

When creating products for kids, we know we have to get it right. That means going beyond the basics of complying with child privacy laws. It’s why we we’ve been talking to thousands of parents and top experts in the fields of child development, online safety and children’s media. It’s also why we’re investing in further research about kids and technology.

We’ve committed resources to partner with independent academics on research studies about kids, tweens and teens and technology. Our goal is to better understand the connection between young people’s well-being and how they use digital technology. We will also convene conversations with stakeholders over the course of this year, beginning with our Global Safety Network Summit in Washington, D.C., this March.

Introducing Parent Conversations: A New Section of the Parents Portal

We want to provide parents with information to make the decisions that are best for their families.

Today we’re launching a new section of our Parents Portal where parents can find the latest information from child development experts, academics, thought leaders and people at Facebook about topics related to kids and technology. We’ll post videos and Q&As, as well as interactive polls so parents can express their voice in these important conversations. To visit Parent Conversations and find tips on keeping your kids safe online in today’s digital age, visit facebook.com/Safety/Parents/Conversations.

*In February 2018, Facebook conducted an unbranded survey with an online panel provider. The participants were a nationally representative sample of 275 US parents of 6th – 12th graders and 604 children aged 8-17.

Samsung Introduces The Wall Professional for Improved Commercial Content Delivery at ISE 2018

At ISE 2018, Samsung Electronics literally will take LED engagement to new heights with the introduction of ‘The Wall Professional’ – a modular, large-format indoor MicroLED display that can extend to hundreds of inches in size while delivering outstanding brightness, contrast and viewing angles. The Wall Professional will serve as the centerpiece of a futuristic Samsung booth (4-S100) experience that welcomes ISE attendees into the future of commercial and professional interaction.

 

Samsung also introduces a host of cutting-edge technologies including 3D Cinema LED that empowers cinemas to deliver fresh, compelling and memorable movie contents to vital movie-goers.

 

“By upgrading to powerful LED displays that blend into all professional environments without space or size restrictions, businesses can deliver a next-level content experience that captivates audiences and ultimately translates to significant growth,” said Seog-gi Kim, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “The Wall Professional is just one component of our broad ISE 2018 lineup that offers futuristic solutions to emerging operational challenges, and we look forward to sharing our vision for what’s next with our customers, partners and peers at this one-of-a-kind pro AV and electronics forum.”

 

 

The Wall Professional: Fully Configurable in Size

A business-ready variation of one of CES 2018’s most talked-about consumer displays, The Wall Professional’s modular design allows for customized configurations beyond or below its 146-inch size standard. Users can add or remove unlimited LED screens to and from The Wall Professional without impacting performance or presentation quality. The display’s self-emitting MicroLED pixel modules produce brilliant imagery free of color filters or backlighting and envelop viewers through elevated peak brightness (up to 1,600nit) and a near infinite contrast ratio.

 

 

The Wall Professional builds upon its consumer counterpart with the integration of Samsung’s MagicInfo content management platform. Within MagicInfo, users can create, schedule and deploy content across a single Wall Professional display or Wall Professional display network from any location. The platform also provides complete display performance visibility for immediate error detection and troubleshooting.

 

 

3D Cinema LED: A Star-Studded Sequel

ISE 2018 attendees will be the first to see the next evolution of Samsung’s pioneering cinema display technology with the debut of the world’s first 3D Cinema LED screen. This enhanced display maintains consistent brightness to deliver subtitle text, images and even minor visual details with unprecedented accuracy, even while viewers wear 3D glasses. Unlike standard 3D cinemas with more limited visual reach, the Samsung 3D Cinema LED screen delivers these quality-enhancing benefits throughout the entire theater, ensuring that all movie-goers enjoy the same immersive viewing experience.

 

 

This 3D film accommodation marks a significant advancement upon the initial Samsung Cinema LED screen model. First introduced in March 2017, Samsung’s High Dynamic Range (HDR) Cinema LED Screen surpasses the capabilities of legacy screen-and-projector operations to deliver superior visual quality, technical performance and reliability for theaters and their guests.

 

 

Intelligent UHD Signage: A Consistent UHD Presentation

Samsung’s new QM (450nit brightness) and QB Series (350nit brightness) Intelligent UHD displays foster a next-level content experience thanks to an integrated conversion engine that automatically upgrades FHD materials to sharper, clearer UHD quality. As a result, business users can achieve bolder and more brilliant message delivery without the need for manual picture presetting. The Intelligent UHD displays’ Optimal Color Mode also intuitively adjusts picture quality to match usage and visibility trends.

 

The QM and QB Series displays also simplify the content delivery and maintenance processes for various forms of implementation. Each enclosed, wall-mounted Intelligent UHD display provides a centralized infrared receiver (Center IR) for user-friendly control and management. For added durability, the Intelligent UHD displays also undergo rigorous IP5x certification to maintain performance even when exposed to dust, dirt and other potentially hazardous environmental variables.

 

 

IF-D Series LED Signage: A Creative and Clear Content Center

Samsung’s fine pixel-pitch IF-D Series LED Signage invites booth visitors to explore new opportunities to deliver stunning and inspiring content within customizable, easy-to-manage formats. The IF-D Series displays align Samsung’s market-best video processing tools with HDR picture refinement to produce visuals that shine even against white or dark backgrounds. This combination elevates peak brightness levels (2,400nit) and initiates scene-by-scene gradation and optimization through Scene Adaptive HDR technology.

 

 

For additional eye-catching impact, businesses can configure the IF-D Series LED displays in a range of traditional and unconventional formats. The IF-D Series’ design flexibility includes curved compositions, with concave and convex implementations.

 

 

Samsung Flip Display: Flip the Future of Collaboration

Fresh off a successful debut at CES 2018, Samsung will also formally introduce its Samsung Flip interactive digital flip chart to the European market at ISE 2018. The Samsung Flip centralizes and expands collaborative capabilities within any business environment, eliminating the frustrations of the modern meeting and fostering more productive interaction.

 

 

The interactive display captured two 2018 Top New Technology (TNT) Awards, emerging victorious in the program’s Commercial Digital Signage Solutions: Hardware and Commercial Digital Signage Solutions: Software categories. Sponsored by CE Pro, Commercial Integrator, Essential Install and TechDecisions, and distributed annually at the start of ISE, the TNT Awards call attention to the top new technologies in the commercial, professional and residential integration spaces.

 

To learn more about ISE 2018, visit www.iseurope.org.

Samsung’s ISOCELL Dual Software Solution Enables Dual Camera Features in a Wider Range of Smartphones

Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today introduced a total dual camera solution with ISOCELL Dual image sensors and proprietary software for two popular features – refocusing (bokeh) and low-light shooting (LLS). While such dual camera features had generally been exclusive to premium smartphones, Samsung’s ISOCELL Dual sensors and its library of proprietary software algorithms enable these features in lower price mobile devices.

 

“Dual cameras are delivering new and exciting photo-taking experiences on mobile devices,” said Ben K. Hur, vice president of System LSI marketing at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung’s total solution for ISOCELL Dual will make our customers’ product development process easier, allowing them to bring the most optimized dual camera features to a wider range of consumers.”

 

 

Dual camera smartphones have two image sensors that capture different light information, enabling new features like refocusing and LLS. With these benefits, dual cameras are a growing trend in premium mobile devices. However, integrating dual cameras can be a difficult process for original equipment manufacturers (OEM), as it requires time-consuming optimization between the OEMs and different vendors developing the sensors and algorithm software. Samsung’s total dual camera solution will simplify that process and enable mid- to entry-level mobile devices to take advantage of certain camera features mainly available in premium devices equipped with an extra image signal processor.

 

To accelerate development and reduce optimization difficulties with dual camera smartphones, Samsung now offers the industry’s first total dual camera solution, with both ISOCELL Dual sensor hardware and sensor-optimized algorithm software. This enables even mid- to entry-level mobile devices to utilize popular dual camera features like refocusing and LLS. Samsung is coupling its refocusing algorithm with a 13 megapixel (Mp) and 5Mp set of image sensors, and its LLS algorithm with a set of two 8Mp sensors, to simplify implementation by OEMs.

Introducing Android KTX: Even Sweeter Kotlin Development for Android

Posted by Jake Wharton (@JakeWharton), Florina Muntenescu (@FMuntenescu) & James Lau (@jmslau)

Today, we are announcing the preview of Android KTX - a set of extensions designed to make writing Kotlin code for Android more concise, idiomatic, and pleasant. Android KTX provides a nice API layer on top of both Android framework and Support Library to make writing your Kotlin code more natural.

The portion of Android KTX that covers the Android framework is now available in our GitHub repo. We invite you to try it out to give us your feedback and contributions. The other parts of Android KTX that cover the Android Support Library will be available in upcoming Support Library releases.

Let's take a look at some examples of how Android KTX can help you write more natural and concise Kotlin code.

Code Samples Using Android KTX

String to Uri

Let's start with this simple example. Normally, you'd call Uri.parse(uriString). Android KTX adds an extension function to the String class that allows you to convert strings to URIs more naturally.

Kotlin
Kotlin with Android KTX
val uri = Uri.parse(myUriString)
val uri = myUriString.toUri()

Edit SharedPreferences

Editing SharedPreferences is a very common use case. The code using Android KTX is slightly shorter and more natural to read and write.

Kotlin
Kotlin with Android KTX
sharedPreferences.edit()
           .putBoolean(key, value)
           .apply()
sharedPreferences.edit { 
    putBoolean(key, value) 
}

 

Translating path difference

In the code below, we translate the difference between two paths by 100px.

Kotlin
Kotlin with Android KTX
val pathDifference = Path(myPath1).apply {
   op(myPath2, Path.Op.DIFFERENCE)
}

val myPaint = Paint()

canvas.apply {
   val checkpoint = save()
   translate(0F, 100F)
   drawPath(pathDifference, myPaint)
   restoreToCount(checkpoint)
}


val pathDifference = myPath1 - myPath2

canvas.withTranslation(y = 100F) {
   drawPath(pathDifference, myPaint)
}

Action on View onPreDraw

This example triggers an action with a View's onPreDraw callback. Without Android KTX, there is quite a bit of code you need to write.

Kotlin
view.viewTreeObserver.addOnPreDrawListener(
       object : ViewTreeObserver.OnPreDrawListener {
           override fun onPreDraw(): Boolean {
               viewTreeObserver.removeOnPreDrawListener(this)
               actionToBeTriggered()
               return true
           }
       })
Kotlin with Android KTX
view.doOnPreDraw { actionToBeTriggered() }

There are many more places where Android KTX can simplify your code. You can read the full API reference documentation on GitHub.

Getting Started

To start using Android KTX in your Android Kotlin projects, add the following to your app module's build.gradle file:

repositories {
    google()
}

dependencies {
    // Android KTX for framework API
    implementation 'androidx.core:core-ktx:0.1'
    ...
}

Then, after you sync your project, the extensions appear automatically in the IDE's auto-complete list. Selecting an extension automatically adds the necessary import statement to your file.

Beware that the APIs are likely to change during the preview period. If you decide to use it in your projects, you should expect breaking changes before we reach the stable version.

androidx: Hello World!

You may notice that Android KTX uses package names that begin with androidx. This is a new package name prefix that we will be using in future versions of Android Support Library. We hope the division between android.* and androidx.* makes it more obvious which APIs are bundled with the platform, and which are static libraries for app developers that work across different versions of Android.

What's Next?

Today's preview launch is only the beginning. Over the next few months, we will iterate on the API as we incorporate your feedback and contributions. When the API has stabilized and we can commit to API compatibility, we plan to release Android KTX as part of the Android Support Library.

We look forward to building Android KTX together with you. Happy Kotlin-ing!

KT, Verizon and Samsung Collaborate to Demonstrate and Advance Next Level of 5G Innovation

KT, Verizon, and Samsung Electronics joined to demonstrate Samsung 5G solutions and use cases, including a prototype 5G tablet device, and a successful live video call conducted over 5G between Minneapolis, USA and Seoul, Korea during a sponsored sport event. The 5G international video connection, which featured Samsung’s 5G end-to-end (E2E) solutions in each location, served as an example of how use of commercial 5G mobile devices and connectivity is growing closer to reality.

 

“It brings great pleasure to see where all the contributions we have been making on 5G specifications are leading us,” said Hong-beom Jeon, Executive Vice President, Head of Infra laboratory, KT. “The fact that 5G is no longer a dream owes its debt to the collaborations we have carried out with operators like Verizon and vendors like Samsung. Our efforts have enabled some of the most demanding tasks to come to fruition.”

 

“By working closely with industry leaders like KT and Samsung, we are finally making 5G a reality,” said Ed Chan, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Architect, Verizon. “Seeing Samsung’s 5G end-to-end solutions in action, including a working prototype 5G tablet, underscores how important our collaborative relationship has been in helping accelerate the availability of commercial 5G mobility for customers. As we say at Verizon, ‘we don’t wait for the future, we build it.’ We are glad to be working with like-minded partners to build the 5G future globally.”

 

“We have been working closely with KT and Verizon to demonstrate mobile 5G use cases at two prestigious global events,” said Woojune Kim, Senior Vice President and Head of North American Business, Samsung Electronics. “This demonstration conducted today with KT and Verizon represents a huge milestone for us, showing our contribution to the development of early 5G global specifications and 3GPP NR (New Radio), and spotlighting the next generation Samsung technologies that let operators implement robust new services.”

 

Samsung enabled the demonstration of 5G experiences at the event by supplying network Infrastructure composed of 28GHz 5G access units, 5G home routers(CPEs), virtualized RAN and virtualized core network, as well as the prototype 5G device. Samsung has leveraged in-house technology and assets to develop the first commercial ASIC-based 5G modems and mmWave RFICs, and with these technical advancements, Samsung has been able to bring one of the smallest 5G radio base stations and 5G home routers (CPEs) to market.

 

Among the Samsung 5G network products demonstrated at the Verizon and KT sponsored sports events is the fully-functioning prototype handheld 5G tablet – capable of running on multi-gigabit per second speeds via 5G networks, as well as the latest 4G LTE network speeds. The proto-type tablet is also capable of supporting data session handovers between 4G LTE and 5G and demonstrates advancements in chipset and antenna technology required to support future commercial devices.

 

The three companies have been working closely on 5G research and development since 2015, including in Verizon’s 5G Technical Forum (5GTF) and KT’s PyeongChang 5G Special Interest Group (5G SIG), which collectively released early 5G specifications with the aim of building a strong 5G ecosystem. This collaboration generated valuable data that helped inform and accelerate the 3GPP NR 5G global standard.

 

 

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York City, generated $126 billion in 2017 revenues. The company operates America’s most reliable wireless network and the nation’s premier all-fiber network, and delivers integrated solutions to businesses worldwide. Its Oath subsidiary reaches about one billion people around the world with a dynamic house of media and technology brands.

Samsung Electronics Partners with World’s Largest Theater Operator, Wanda Cinemas, to Launch China’s First Cinema LED Theater

 

Samsung Electronics today announced a partnership with the world’s largest theater operator Wanda Cinemas to bring its pioneering Cinema LED Screen technology to Wanda’s Wujiaochang theater, located in Shanghai’s Yangpu District. The theater marks the first implementation of Samsung’s Cinema LED Screen in China, and follows successful implementations in Asia last year in Seoul and Busan, Korea, and Bangkok, Thailand, and also in Europe, at the Arena Cinemas Sihlcity in Zurich, Switzerland.

 

“Since its introduction mid-last year, Samsung’s Cinema LED Screen has captivated the cinema industry with its potential revolutionize the theater and filmgoing experience. Through sharper colors, true-to-life audio and an ultra-wide viewing environment, our Cinema LED Screen makes viewers feel as if they are part of the picture,” said Seog-gi Kim, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “Through Cinema LED, we are confident that consumers in China will embrace the opportunity to engage with their favorite films like never before, and are thrilled to partner with Wanda Cinemas to bring this advanced technology to this growing market.”

 

The new partnership expands Samsung’s relationship with the world’s leading cinema chain. A Fortune 500 company, Wanda Cinema Line Corp. operates nearly 14,347 screens at more than 1,352 theaters around the world, and also owns recognizable global cinema brands including AMC, Carmike, Odeon and Hoyts Group. Even as Cinema LED at Shanghai’s Wujiaochang theater launches, Samsung and Wanda Cinemas already are finalizing a second cinema conversion in Beijing, with plans to open the venue to the public in the first half of this year.

 

As the world’s first Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI)-compliant High Dynamic Range (HDR) LED theater display, Samsung’s Cinema LED Screen delivers excellent visual quality, technical performance and reliability that surpass that of legacy projector-based operations. Stretching nearly 10.3 m. (33.8 ft.) wide, the Cinema LED Screen fits comfortably in usual theater configurations, maintaining the same stunning picture quality at even the widest viewing angles. The display also transforms content with ultra-sharp 4K resolution (4,096 x 2,160) and peak brightness levels nearly 10 times greater than the typical cinema standard. As a result, viewers can experience more immersive content supported by bright colors, pristine whites and deep blacks.

 

To go with the stunning picture technology, Samsung has paired its Cinema LED Screen with state-of-the-art audio technologies from JBL by HARMAN. This integration includes powerful speakers bordering the screen, and an expanded audio “sweet spot” throughout the theater’s seating area, producing a true multi-sensory experience the way the content creators intended.

 

 

“As the world’s leading cinema company, our customers expect a differentiated and memorable theater experience both worthy of their investment and reflective of the Wanda Cinemas brand,” said Qi Wang, Vice President, Wanda Film Holding Co., Ltd. “We are honored to work with Samsung to set the new luxury theater standard, and look forward to making the Shanghai Cinema LED theater a must-see destination for both movie enthusiasts and casual consumers alike.”

 

With the demands for theater space evolving across the industry, Samsung’s Cinema LED Screen will enable Wanda Cinemas to expand the service offerings inside its improved Shanghai theater. The display’s consistent presentation, even against dark or ambient lighting conditions, accommodates non-movie content including gaming competitions, corporate events and presentations, and sports and concert simulcasting, among others.

 

For more information about Samsung’s Cinema LED Screen, as well as related articles, photos and videos, visit http://news.samsung.com.

 

On February 4, the launch ceremony of the first Samsung Cinema LED of China was held at Wujiaochang’s Wanda Theater in Shanghai, China. From left, Jason Kim, VP of Samsung Electronics Visual Display Business, Yontak Jin, VP of Samsung Electronics China Consumer Elecronics Division, Wang Qi, CTO of Wanda Cinemas, Zeung Guang, VP of Wanda Cinemas, Frank Xiao, VP of HARMAN China Enterprise Business and David McKinney, VP of HARMAN.

This Friends Day, Show Gratitude for Your Closest Friends

By Mike Nowak, Product Director, Goodwill

Think through your closest friends. Is there someone who always has your back? Someone who never forgets your birthday? Or perhaps someone you consider your very best friend…aka your bestie?

February 4 is Friends Day, a day to show gratitude for all the important people in your life. To help you celebrate, you will see a message from Facebook at the top of News Feed wishing you a Happy Friends Day with a personalized Friends Awards video.

After the short video you can create and share your own Friends Awards — pre-made or by creating your own from a template, like “Bestie,” “Great Listener” and “Knows How to Make Me Laugh.”

For those who want to participate in other ways, there are three unique Camera filters for people to share.

Facebook will also celebrate Friends Day with a series of short films that highlight five remarkable friendships from around the world.

From the beginning, Facebook has been about connecting with your friends, which is why we’re inspired to see more than 750 million new friendships formed on Facebook each day. We hope everyone will take time this weekend to show a little gratitude.

Check out Friends Awards and all the Friends Day films at facebook.com/friendsday.

[Interview] The Works of Pine Tree Photographer Bien-u Bae Comes into The Frame

 

Forty-eight years ago, renowned photographer Bien-u Bae pressed a shutter button for the first time. Since then, he has become one of Korea’s most important artists, and is most known for his meditative landscape photographs, particularly those that feature pine trees as their primary subjects.

 

Today, Bae’s works are being introduced in a completely new light; eight of his famous photographs are available via The Frame’s Art Store starting February 1. And, thanks to The Frame’s cutting-edge digital technologies, viewers can experience Bae’s photographs in a way that has never been possible before.

 

Samsung Newsroom recently visited Bae’s workshop in Korea to talk about the digitization of his works, as well as his thoughts on art and The Frame.

 

One of Bae’s pine tree series, filled with uniquely Korean sentiment. The British singer/songwriter Elton John bought this picture.

 

 

The Global Appeal of Pine Trees

Bae’s most popular photographs to date are those that reflect the haunting and ethereal qualities of Korea’s pine tree forests. These images, like many of Bae’s, have an almost calligraphic quality and are saturated with a Korean-influenced visual vocabulary.

 

Pine trees have singular symbolic importance in Korean culture, but they also exist in various corners of the world, as Bae points out when he shows us a beautiful image of pine trees on a small island not far from Cannes, France. Pine trees are universal but there’s a subtle distinction from region to region.

 

Whatever the different characteristics may be, however, the pine trees in Bae’s pictures are all meant to encapsulate the traditional, meditative sentiment of the Korean culture. His unique ability to capture various pine trees in this way, as Bae playfully quips, is perhaps why he has “been able to take pictures of pine trees for such a long time.”

 

Bae explains how pine trees can be found all around the world, though their characteristics are slightly different depending on their environment.

 

The universality of pine trees, and Bae’s inspirational ability to capture their intrinsic beauty, is one of the reasons why Bae’s works are appreciated worldwide. So appreciated, in fact, that he has achieved international attention with prominent collectors owning his work. Both the singer Elton John and former US president Barack Obama have Bae’s photos hanging in their halls.

 

 

The Frame – An Extended Definition of Art

 

To make his work even more accessible, Bae recently collaborated with Samsung Electronics to make his photographs available on The Frame, a product he feels will change how we interact with art.

 

“I love the idea that by simply hanging a TV on a wall, viewers can feel as if they are inside of a museum,” Bae said. “The Frame will change the way we appreciate art in our daily life.”

 

To ensure that his photographs are displayed as accurately as possible, Bae participated in the detailed calibration of the digitization of his works. By taking extra care to calibrate the micro pixels of each image, he was able to make certain that his photographs maintained the best possible quality.

 

“I think The Frame makes my works more colorful,” Bae explained. “If we look at ‘Jongmyo,’ one of my photographs of a royal ancestral shrine in Korea, we need to closely examine the image to see the rain in the scene. But when viewed on The Frame, the rain is easier to see and the background looks livelier.”

 

“Jongmyo” by Bae

 

 

Merging the Analog and Digital Worlds

Bae went on to further explain his thoughts about the differences in the analog (or film) and digital.

 

“The experience of taking pictures with a film camera is completely different than that of using a digital camera,” he said. “In order to capture the perfect shot with a film camera, we have to calculate every aspect of the photograph before taking the shot.”

 

But just because Bae admires the beauty of film photography does not mean that he does not recognize the advantages of digital technology.

 

“When I see my works displayed on The Frame, I’m automatically reminded of my favorite poem,” Bae noted. “My photographs have become poetry for me. Thanks to digital technology, anyone can now enjoy art in their daily life as if in a gallery.”

 

 

 

Film Photography, in a New Light

Bae reproduces images with cameras and light is his medium. It has been said that he “paints” through his photographs.

 

“Both photographs and paintings are kinds of art that capture light within a specified border. It could be meaningless to categorize these forms of art because they both revolve around light,” he stated.

 

The Frame will provide a new way for people to enjoy numerous forms of art, including Bae’s inspirational photographs, as the digital revolution continues to change the way we experience the world around us.

 

Bae still uses the film cameras pictured above, which have grown old with him during his long journey as a photographer.

 

 


The Frame Is

A lifestyle TV that transforms from a television into a gallery-like art display. The Frame is designed not only to provide a premium entertainment experience, but also to enhance the look of a home, just like a piece of artwork that the consumers would hang on their walls.

 

Through Art Mode, users can select to display works from Samsung Collection, Art Store or their own personal images in My Collection. Samsung Collection offers more than 100 free pieces of art, while Art Store showcases more than 600 works available for purchase.

 

76 percent of users who connect The Frame to the internet frequently use Art Mode, with the average time of daily operation being 5.5 hours. Meanwhile, 80 percent of users are maintaining the subscription to the Art Store, which is a similar figure compared to music and movie subscription services.

 

Grab and Samsung Sign MOU to Drive Digital Inclusion in Southeast Asia

Grab, the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, and Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s largest electronics companies, today announced that they have signed a multi-year MOU to drive digital inclusion in Southeast Asia. Grab and Samsung will work together on a wide range of initiatives to bring the benefits of technology, such as enhanced customer experiences and improved income opportunities, to millions of consumers and Grab driver-partners across Southeast Asia.

 

Grab is the market leader in ride-hailing in Southeast Asia, an industry that is one of the fastest growing Internet services sectors and expected to be a $25 billion market by 2022 in this region1. As part of the wide-ranging strategic collaboration, Grab and Samsung will develop customised solutions for the ride-hailing industry, including micro-financing schemes for Grab’s over 2.3 million driver-partners, improved customer booking and in-car experiences, and new mobility solutions. The two companies will also work together to expand into Southeast Asia’s fragmented mobile payments ecosystem and provide a mobile payments solution that will serve the needs of consumers in Southeast Asia.

 

Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder, Grab, said, “Southeast Asia is home to the world’s fastest growing emerging markets, yet many in the smaller towns and cities do not have easy access to the growing digital economy. Mobile technology can bridge the infrastructural divide and make economic growth more inclusive. Samsung is one of the world’s most innovative technology companies, and we’re thrilled to partner with them to empower more people in Southeast Asia to improve their livelihoods and provide more digital services for everyone on the Grab platform.”

 

Sangchul Lee, President and CEO, Samsung Electronics, Southeast Asia & Oceania, said, “Here at Samsung, developing meaningful innovations for the betterment of our consumers’ lives is always at the heart of what we do. We believe in the Internet of Things; the various benefits a more digitally connected world brings, and we are excited to be partnering Grab to provide consumers within the region an enhanced array of digital solutions for their everyday needs. Through this collaboration, we hope to explore how we can work together to tap into the massive growth opportunity of Southeast Asia’s digital economy.”

 

 

The strategic collaboration will be rolled out in phases across all countries in Southeast Asia that Grab operates in. In phase 1, Grab and Samsung are offering:

 

 

Micro-financing of Mobile Devices for Drivers

More than 2.3 million Grab driver-partners across Southeast Asia will have access to a micro-financing programme focused on giving them access to robust mobile technology, which will reduce the cost of purchasing a smartphone and also lower ongoing maintenance costs with superior software and security features. This is part of Grab’s Better 365 programme that provides more benefits and cost savings to drivers.

 

This initiative was piloted in Myanmar in Q4 2017, where only 30% of adults have access to formal financial services, and will soon be rolled out across the region. Currently, drivers in Myanmar who sign up with Grab can purchase and own high-quality Samsung devices and get a micro-loan from CB Bank, one of Myanmar’s largest banks and Grab’s local banking partner, to finance the device. In less than three months of the pilot, more than 1,400 drivers in Myanmar have benefitted from this programme.

 

 

Enhanced Customer Experience at GrabKiosks and GrabBooths

To make Grab’s services more accessible to commuters and customers in Southeast Asia, Grab will introduce more GrabKiosks and GrabBooths in busy consumer hubs such as shopping malls, hotels and airports. These feature Samsung devices with the Grab enterprise app pre-installed, allowing individuals and concierge services to book a Grab ride for themselves or others, even when they do not have data connectivity.

 

The Samsung devices are designed for robust everyday use in public spaces. The devices at GrabKiosks and GrabBooths in Indonesia and Myanmar have been installed with Samsung’s Knox enterprise mobile security software, ensuring the information security of Grab’s devices, reducing downtime and maintenance costs, enabling Grab to better serve its customers. This will be rolled out in Vietnam and Singapore in Q1, and other countries in Southeast Asia later in the year.

 

 

Infotainment Services in Selected Cars

Grab and its content partners will pilot in-car multimedia services in Singapore, installing Samsung tablets inside cars for customers to view infotainment content, if they choose to, during their ride. This will be piloted throughout Southeast Asia this year.

 

Grab operates the largest transportation network in Southeast Asia and is one of the most frequently used mobile platforms in the region with over 3.5 million daily rides. The Grab app has been downloaded onto over 77 million mobile devices, giving passengers access to the region’s largest land transportation fleet comprising over 2.3 million drivers. Grab offers private car, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services across 8 countries and 168 cities in Southeast Asia.

 

 

About Grab

Grab is Southeast Asia’s leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform. Grab solves critical transportation challenges to make transport freedom a reality for 620 million people in Southeast Asia. Grab’s core product platform includes transport solutions for drivers and passengers with an emphasis on convenience, safety and reliability, as well as its proprietary mobile payments platform, GrabPay, which is increasing access to mobile payment solutions for millions of Grab riders and drivers across Southeast Asia and deepening financial inclusion in the region. Grab currently offers services in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. For more information, please visit: http://www.grab.com.

 

 

1Grab internal estimates

IoT Developer Story: Deeplocal

Posted by Dave Smith, Developer Advocate for IoT

Deeplocal is a Pittsburgh-based innovation studio that makes inventions as marketing to help the world's most loved brands tell their stories. The team at Deeplocal built several fun and engaging robotics projects using Android Things. Leveraging the developer ecosystem surrounding the Android platform and the compute power of Android Things hardware, they were able to quickly and easily create robots powered by computer vision and machine learning.

DrawBot

DrawBot is a DIY drawing robot that transforms your selfies into physical works of art.

"The Android Things platform helped us move quickly from an idea, to prototype, to final product. Switching from phone apps to embedded code was easy in Android Studio, and we were able to pull in OpenCV modules, motor drivers, and other libraries as needed. The final version of our prototype was created two weeks after unboxing our first Android Things developer kit."

- Brian Bourgeois, Producer, Deeplocal

Want to build your own DrawBot? See the Hackster.io project for all the source code, schematics, and 3D models.

HandBot

A robotic hand that learns and reacts to hand gestures, HandBot visually recognizes gestures and applies machine learning.

"The Android Things platform made integration work for Handbot a breeze. Using TensorFlow, we were able to train a neural network to recognize hand gestures. Once this was created, we were able to use Android Things drivers to implement games in easy-to-read Android code. In a matter of weeks, we went from a fresh developer kit to competing against a robot hand in Rock, Paper, Scissors."

- Mike Derrick, Software Engineer, Deeplocal

Want to build your own HandBot? See the Hackster.io project for all the source code, schematics, and 3D models.

Visit the Google Hackster community to explore more inspiring ideas just like these, and join Google's IoT Developers Community on Google+ to get the latest platform updates, ask questions, and discuss ideas.

Why Samsung Electronics Is Delivering Eco-Friendly Stoves to Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya

Local personnel will be hired to help distribute bioethanol stoves in Kenya

 

 

Samsung Electronics, in partnership with Rural Development Solutions, will deliver 10,000 bioethanol stoves to households in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.

 

  • Bioethanol stoves help replace charcoal fuel to address climate change and local health issues while providing residents with economic sustainability
  • This effort adds to the 10,000 stoves already distributed in Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city

 

 

Providing Residents with Cleaner, Safer, More Sustainable Way to Cook

 

  • The majority of households in Kenya currently use charcoal as fuel to cook
  • When burned, charcoal produces toxic fumes and leads to serious air pollution
  • Broad use of charcoal leads to excessive harvesting of trees, accelerating deforestation
  • Bioethanol is a byproduct of sugar production which makes it a cheaper, more sustainable source of fuel
  • Use of more bioethanol, which is six times more energy efficient than charcoal, will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions

 

 

Quotes:

 

  • Haengil Kim, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Environment, Health and Safety Center, Samsung Electronics: “We hope this project helps refugees in Kenya in a meaningful way. Samsung Electronics will continue to carry out its responsibility as a corporate citizen with more such initiatives.”
  • Burton Wagacha, Senior Public Health Officer and Technical Coordinator, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): “These cook stoves will help improve the quality of living for many refugees. We look forward to continue partnering with Samsung Electronics in more initiatives.”

 

Eco-friendly cook stoves will help address climate change and improve the health and safety of the residents while providing them with economic sustainability.

 

Bioethanol sells for 100 Kenyan Shillings, or about one U.S. Dollar, per liter. A one-liter bottle would last five to six days for the average household.

 

Charcoal costs about 20 Kenyan Shillings, roughly 0.20 U.S. Dollars, per kilogram. Kenyan households use about 2 kilograms a day

 

Charcoal, the most popular fuel for stoves in Kenya, is a key factor that contributes to air pollution

 

Patricia Kingori, Senior Manager, Samsung Electronics (right), and Charles Sunkuli, Principal Secretary, Kenya Ministry of Enviroment, demonstrate how to use bioethanol stoves to organizations partnering in the bioethanol stove initiative in Kenya
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