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[Interview] The Galaxy S9’s AR Emoji Designers: Creating New Tools for Visual Communication

As people search for even more ways to express their distinct personalities using their smartphones, Samsung has created the Galaxy S9’s AR Emoji feature as a new tool for visual communication. Generated from the image of an individual user, the customizable My Emojis and their stickers reflect and mimic a user’s facial features and movements, creating a personal 3D avatar that is exclusive to them and personalized stickers they can use in messenger applications.

 

To learn more about this fun and unique new feature, we sat down with members of the AR Emoji’s design team, Wonhyung Cho and Hye-Bong Kim, from the Global Product Planning Group, and Hoik Hwang and Jiyoun Kim, from the UX Design Group.

 

Hoik Hwang, Hye-Bong Kim, Wonhyung Cho and Jiyoun Kim (from left)

 

 

Q. What was the inspiration behind the Galaxy S9’s AR Emoji feature?

 

Wonhyung Cho: People are communicating more and more through their smartphones, sending messages to each other throughout the day. Many of us are also looking for new ways to express a range of emotions in the short messages we send each other, and in this context, emoticons and emojis have become one of the most popular ways to express ourselves. As a next step, we wanted to go further and blend the emerging technology of AR with emoticon and emoji tools for a new form of visual communication.

 

 

Q. What makes the Galaxy S9’s AR Emoji special?

 

Cho: We thought for a long time about what the word ‘communication’ means today and it became clear that a large part of communication is ‘self-expression’. As a team, we wanted to make the feature as personal as possible by capturing our unique emotions, using an innovative technology like AR. In creating a My Emoji which captures your own distinct facial features, AR Emojis can provide a truer form of self-expression.

 

Hye-Bong Kim: The camera uses facial recognition technology to analyze a photo of your face and map more than 100 facial features. Using these data points, a 3D modeling form specialized for the contours of the human face creates a 3D My Emoji and 18 My Emoji stickers which reflect your unique facial features.

 

 

Q. How have users reacted to the feature?

 

Cho: AR Emoji has generated a lot of curiosity – it’s such a fun feature and many people want to see how their My Emoji looks.

 

Hoik Hwang: For everyone, the question is not ‘does this look like me?’, but rather ‘does this look like I want it to?’ AR Emoji actually creates two types of My Emoji: one that is realistic and one that is more like a cartoon. Some people like the first kind, while others prefer the second.

 

We want AR Emoji to be the best it can be. A close resemblance to the user isn’t the only thing we considered when developing the feature. Our goal was for creators to be able to use the AR Emoji to express themselves, however they want to look.

 

We’re currently working to allow users to make their My Emojis better express the mood they want them to.

 

 

Q. When it came to UX design, what was your key consideration?

 

Jiyoun Kim: AR Emoji uses the Galaxy S9’s camera, so we wanted to integrate it with the camera’s UX. From start to finish, the user’s journey while creating their My Emoji and My Emoji stickers has to be simple and engaging.

 

Then we thought about how people might want to use the feature to express themselves in their daily lives. AR Emoji offers a new way tell our stories and because of that we felt that making it available across many platforms was important.

 

We created 18 stickers, which each communicate a different emotion. They can be stored in your smartphone Gallery application, can be used freely in your different applications and messaging services and are available as both PNG and GIF files.

 

 

Q. How did you go about designing the 18 My Emoji stickers?

 

Hwang: Our goal was to create emoji stickers that would communicate the same emotions across the world – and would mean the same thing in any country. We read a lot of research as we tried to categorize human emotions and to determine what the visual representations of fundamental human feelings – things like joy, anger, sorrow and pleasure – should be.

 

In time, the number of stickers will increase to 54 so that even more emotions will be expressed using the emoji stickers.

 

 

Q. Did you encounter any difficulties while designing AR Emoji?

 

Hwang: AR is an innovative technology and the AR field is quite new. We collected data from people around the world, interviewing them to discover their needs and ensure that the feature delivered on those needs.

 

As a team, we continue to collect this data so that we can make AR Emojis even better. User feedback helps us discover not only what consumers really want, but how we can make adjustments to this new technology.

 

 

Q. Can you elaborate on your experiences working with Disney to create the Mickey and Minnie Mouse AR Emojis?

 

Hwang: Like lots of people, I grew up with Mickey Mouse. I never thought that I would be working on a project like this with Disney when I grew up. When we first started I was really excited and couldn’t stop thinking, “Is this really happening?”

 

Throughout the project, we engaged in a great deal of knowledge sharing with Disney. For example, there’s a feature known as Blend Shape that allows the feature to recreate 75 basic user facial expressions – for example, if you combine two different facial expressions, you will produce a completely new one – explaining how this feature worked was time-intensive. But by working together, we were able to create these unique Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse AR Emojis.

 

 

Q. As AR Emoji designers, can you share some tips for creating an AR Emoji?

 

Jiyoun Kim: First, you need to be in a place with plenty of light – the brighter the better – like when you want to take a selfie. Make sure your face is not hidden by your hair or any other objects. Position your face fully inside the circular frame on the screen and take a photo. Just relax and be natural. After your My Emoji has been created, you can make manual adjustments to skin tone, hair style and color, clothing and other features, to your liking.

 

 

Q. Do you have any advice for making the most of the feature?

 

Hwang: I have seen videos where people create stories by recording their own voice for the dialogue, and use AR Emojis to act out the parts, which are really fun to watch. It’s a new and innovative way to use My Emoji. You can use them to present something your own behalf and remain almost anonymous at the same time.

 

Hye-Bong Kim: You don’t have to make just one AR Emoji. You can make several characters, as the mood takes you. Give your My Emoji a hairstyle you want try or a funky outfit you would never normally wear. Create AR Emojis of family or friends and share them with each other.

 

We like to make a game out of changing the hair styles and other features of the My Emojis, then guessing which one belongs to which team member, which is quite amusing.

 

 

Q. Can you suggest how users can get the most out characters like Mickey Mouse?

 

Cho: They are perfect for creating your own cartoon or animation. Since they are designed to mirror human facial expressions, you can make your characters express a range of emotions and make up a whole story using them.

Study rates AVG AntiVirus Free as perfect 12/12 in mobile security

The smartphone. It didn’t take long for cybercriminals to set their greedy eyes on the various riches within each one. Precious photos that can be ransomed. Financial accounts that can be plundered. All the personal info a crook needs to pull off identity theft.

There is a new wave of cyberattacks targeting mobile users. A bank Trojan, which hides in other apps in order to sneak onto your phone, is just one example of how sophisticated and deceitful malware has become. When you launch your regular banking app, the bank Trojan covers your bank’s home screen with its own replica overlay. Type in your username and password, and the bad guys now have it. Mobile security is absolutely essential in today’s environment.

Antivirus software for Android gets perfect score

In its first report of the year on mobile security, independent lab AV-TEST focused specifically on Android protection, looking to identify the most effective antivirus software on the market. When it came to evaluating AVG AntiVirus Free for the study, the lab certified us with a perfect score of 12 out of 12. The test encompassed three categories of capability: protection, usability, and special features.   

Protection

For this section of the evaluation, the lab launched almost 6,000 samples of recently-discovered malware at the Android device, to measure how many the security software could detect. AVG AntiVirus Free scored higher than industry average by detecting 100% of the samples, earning it 6 points out of 6.

Usability

This section looks at the software’s impact on the device’s performance — does it slow it down? Does it drain the battery? The study reports that AVG AntiVirus Free did neither of those, nor did it report any false positives (wrongfully claiming a legitimate app is malicious). The software received another perfect 6 out of 6 in this category.

Special features

The study also took note of “further important security features” of the software, calling out the anti-theft, call blocker, safe browsing, and backup features, as well as its Wi-Fi security and app lock.
Do the smart thing and protect your device in this day and age. And do the smarter thing by using the strongest and smartest security available, like AVG AntiVirus Free. Read the full AV-TEST report to learn more about the study.

 

[Interview] Designing a Smartphone That Reimagines the Mobile Experience

From AR Emoji to Super Slow-mo video to Live Translations to AKG-tuned stereo sound, Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ feature a raft of innovative technologies designed to transform how users communicate with as well as share and experience the world.

 

Samsung Newsroom recently sat down with members of Samsung’s Global Product Planning Group – Nayoung Kim, Taihoon Kim, Joohyun Kim and Jonathan Min – who discussed the process of developing a device that’s more powerful, personal and in tune with how we use our smartphones today.

 

(From left) Taihoon Kim, Jonathan Min, Nayoung Kim and Joohyun Kim, of Samsung’s Global Product Planning Group, helped shape the Galaxy S9’s design.

 

Q. What inspired you to develop the Galaxy S9’s ‘visual communication’ features?

 

Nayoung Kim: Current mobile trends are being dictated by Generation Z, but they are very selective. In our research, we took a close look at how Generation Z are communicating, as well as what kind of apps and functionality they most enjoy. We eventually uncovered an increase in the use of visual forms of communication. For example, members of the social media generation will often use emoticons rather than texts, and they enjoy sharing fun images. So, to cater to this preference, we focused on adding new functionalities to the camera.

 

 

Q. Could you elaborate on the camera’s development process?

 

Nayoung Kim: When designing the camera, our team focused on three key points. It needed to be capable of recording dynamic video – the type of content that the younger generation loves to consume; it needed to be able to capture low-light photos, which should be a fundamental feature of any camera; and it needed to be easy to use and offer fun new features, like AR Emoji.

 

Taihoon Kim: The product development process for the Galaxy S9 was quite different from that of the previous years, as team members with different expertise strived to discover the visual experiences of everyday life through their own eyes, and how that might translate to camera functionality. These diverse insights enabled us to develop a camera catering to wide needs.

 

 

 

Q. How did you refine the Galaxy S9’s user experience?

 

Taihoon Kim: We focused on enhancing the End-to-End scenario of the user experience. For the camera, that involved ensuring easy-to-use Super Slow-mo video functionality, with immediately accessible videos that could be directly uploaded to social media through one intuitive process.

 

You see this sort of seamlessness with AR Emoji as well. Once you scan your face, you’re instantly given the option to customize your 3D avatar to your liking, and presented with 18 shareable GIFs encompassing a wide range of expressions.

 

Nayoung Kim: We tested the device’s usability extensively, and in various contexts, to ensure the processes were intuitive and organic, and could work across all aspects of daily life. As example, I brought a prototype of the phone with me when I went sledding with my children. The first-hand experience of recording a Super Slow-mo video of my children rocketing down the hill gave birth to the idea of an auto motion-detect function able to capture those sorts of fleeting moments.

 

 

Q. Which Galaxy S9 feature has received the biggest response from consumers?

 

Jonathan Min: We’ve found that users are very interested in the AR Emoji feature, which we first started working on in 2016. People are used to expressing themselves with emojis and stickers, but this feature allows them to create and express themselves through emojis that resemble their own faces, in a way that’s much more personal.

 

When we started it was new, so everything had to be built from the ground up, and it was difficult to predict consumers’ feedback. It was also our development team’s first time working on something like this, so it took a lot of trial and error to bring the function to life.

 

Nayoung Kim: Our most important goal is to provide users with new experiences by launching the product, enhancing it based on the market’s reactions, and continuing to develop innovative features. AR Emoji will continue to be enhanced in ways that reflect consumers’ needs.

 

 

 

Q. Do you have a favorite feature?

 

Jonathan Min: I personally use AR Emoji stickers the most, whenever I message my friends and family.

 

Taihoon Kim: I like the Super Slow-mo function the most. It’s not only great for capturing dynamic actions, but life’s little moments as well, such as the signature facial expression of your loved ones. And the Galaxy S9’s ability to display Super Slow-mo clips on the lock screen creates a touching way to enjoy videos of them.

 

 

Joohyun Kim: We redefined the design of the Infinity Display to make it even more beautiful and to minimize any ‘distracting’ elements. Subtle adjustments, such as ensuring that the iris scanner is hidden, and that the bezel and display are the same color, helped us deliver a display that makes it easy for viewers to immerse themselves in their favorite content.

 

 

Q. Going forward, how does Samsung plan to ensure that Galaxy smartphones remain among the most innovative in the market?

 

Taihoon Kim: It will be important to stay a step ahead in innovative features, as well as time them to the market appropriately to grab consumer attention. Consumers can experience visual communications features directly themselves, without an explanation. We plan to continue exploring dynamic visual features, given their unique appeal to the young generation of consumers, as well as integrate new technologies like AR (augmented reality) and AI (artificial intelligence) into our devices.

 

Nayoung Kim: The basic features of smartphones have been refined to the point that consumers are largely satisfied. What matters is not how diverse the offered features are, but whether the features offered to deliver a high level of satisfaction. At this point, we need to think about the next phase for smartphones, which will involve delivering innovations that really resonate with the new generation of users.

 

Joohyun Kim: Smartphones have become essential to daily life. As product planners, it’s our duty to constantly look for ways to improve on ‘basic’ features – those that we use every day – while also identifying brand new functions.

[Infographic] Semiconductor Technology: The Essential Building Blocks of Mobile Innovation

Hidden under the cover of today’s advanced mobile devices, there are innovative semiconductor and LED solutions built in to enable new features and technologies consumers are continuously seeking.

 

With its decades-long technology innovation and expertise, Samsung Electronics’ Device Solutions Division provides an extensive range of semiconductor and LED solutions to meet the ever-increasing requirements of the mobile industry. While not always visible to end users, Samsung’s component solutions have been utilized comprehensively to raise the level of what’s possible for mobile devices, and help enable a world of difference in performance and user experience.

 

Here, we go under the hood, to take a look at some of these solutions.

 

 

 

Leading-edge Processor and Memory Solutions for a Seamless User Experience

One prime example of Samsung’s component innovation is the Exynos 9 Series 9810 processor, built upon the company’s latest 2nd generation 10-nanometer LPP process technology. The processor delivers powerful mobile computing performance with its 3rd generation CPU and seamless connectivity with a 6-mode/all network supporting 1.2Gbps DL 6CA Cat.18 LTE modem.

 

Working in tandem with the Exynos processor is the LPDDR4X memory chip, the industry’s most up-to-date mobile DRAM solution that provides breakthrough RAM performance and energy efficiency. Available in a compact package offering up to 8-gigabyte (GB) capacity, the LPDDR4X enables prompt multitasking and data processing for advanced mobile applications such as 4K UHD video recording and virtual computing.

 

Also, under today’s heavy multimedia and content use environment, users can safely store their valuable data on Samsung eUFS, an embedded high-speed mobile storage solution for flagship devices. Based on Samsung’s proprietary V-NAND technology, the eUFS features ultrafast data read and download speeds as well as abundant storage capacity as high as 512GB.

 

 

Enhanced Imaging and Video Features

The Samsung ISOCELL Fast 2L3, a 3-stack fast readout image sensor with an embedded 2Gb LPDDR4 memory, enables significantly enhanced mobile imaging and video functionality with the ability to record at 960fps for brand new features like stunning slow-motion video shooting. Also among Samsung’s broad image sensor lineup is a front-facing ISOCELL Bright image sensor, which enables high-quality selfies on mobile devices even in very low light settings, using leading-edge pixel technologies.

 

In addition, Samsung’s Patterned Lens-Integrated Flash LED component, positioned next to the rear camera, enhances the quality of images even further with its high luminous intensity and uniformity.

 

Reinforced Security, Power and Touch Command Management 

Samsung continues to reinforce security, power, and touch command management on mobile devices through an array of component solutions. For example, its new iris sensor enables a fast yet highly secure option to unlock or authorize application access, and the touch controller enables instant feedback at the tap of one’s finger. Last but not the least, Samsung’s power management IC delivers a stable supply of power, supporting devices to perform with optimal energy efficiency.

 

As mobile devices continue to evolve, Samsung Electronics’ Device Solutions Division will remain committed to developing and providing its customers with semiconductor and LED technology with distinct value, and providing the best in performance, capacity, functionality and energy efficiency.

[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.

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.

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

[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 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.

Samsung Pay Now Available in Mexico

As part of its ongoing commitment to revolutionizing the way payments are made, Samsung Electronics announced that Samsung Pay is now available in Mexico. Samsung Pay’s entry into the Mexican market marks the second Latin American country to receive the service and the 20th market worldwide.

 

With the launch of Samsung Pay in Mexico, users with a compatible Galaxy device* will now be able to easily make purchases through their smartphones at nearly any establishment across the country that accepts credit, debit, or loyalty cards.

 

While other payment platforms are limited by their use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, Samsung Pay offers both NFC and its proprietary Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology, making it the most widely accepted mobile payment solution on the market. MST works by releasing a signal that acts like a traditional payment card’s magnetic band, allowing users to pay at nearly any conventional point of sale terminal**.

 

To bring this service to Mexico, Samsung strategically partnered with some of the country’s leading financial partners, including payment providers (American Express, MasterCard and Visa); banks (Banorte, Banregio, Citibanamex, HSBC and Santander); and banking acquirers, services and tools such as Clip and iZettle.

 

“We are excited to expand Samsung Pay across Latin America and are confident that our customers in Mexico will embrace the ability to easily pay and earn rewards through the convenience of their smartphones,” said Claudia Contreras, Marketing Director of Samsung Electronics Mexico. “We will continue working to forge alliances with additional partner institutions that our customers care about to reach even more users and help drive the growth of the digital economy.”

 

In addition to its widespread acceptance and ease of use, Samsung Pay is also one of the most secure payment options for users. Samsung Pay uses three levels of security to ensure its transactions are secure: biometric authentication through fingerprint or iris recognition; tokenization, a system that generates virtual information for each transaction rather than storing financial details in the device; and integration with Samsung Knox, the defense-grade security platform that monitors the device in real time to prevent suspicious use.

 

For a full list of partners that have aligned with Samsung Pay in Mexico, please visit: www.samsung.com/mx/samsungpay.

 

 

*In Mexico, Samsung Pay is compatible with the Galaxy Note8, Galaxy S8 and S8+, Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy Note5, Galaxy A8 and A8+ (2018), Galaxy A5 (2016 and 2017), Galaxy A7 (2016 and 2017), Galaxy A9 (2016), Galaxy A3 (2017), Galaxy J5Pro and Galaxy J7Pro. Samsung Pay is exclusively for Samsung Galaxy smartphones and available through select payment networks, banks and retailers. The service’s availability is subject to change.

 

**Available almost anywhere, subject to Samsung Pay’s compatibility with MST and/or NFC payment terminals. Card readers on certain payment terminals could require a software update in order to become fully compatible with Samsung Pay.

[Invitation] Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2018: The Camera. Reimagined.

 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, the latest member of the Galaxy family has a lot to say. On February 25, Samsung Electronics will showcase the next generation of Galaxy devices that reimagines the camera and redefines the way you share your moments.

 

Samsung will mark the launch of the upcoming device with the Galaxy Unpacked celebration at 6 p.m. CET on February 25, 2018 during Mobile World Congress. Live streaming of the Barcelona Unpacked celebration will be available at news.samsung.com/global, www.samsung.com/galaxy, and www.samsungmobilepress.com.

Samsung Electronics Launches the Official App of PyeongChang 2018 to Power Connections and Bring Fans Closer to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018

 

In celebration of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Wireless Communications Equipment and Computing Equipment category, today announced that the Official App of PyeongChang 2018 is available for download.

 

Samsung is once again powering the custom mobile application, as an effort to further enhance the Olympic Winter Games experience for all, ensuring smarter communications and smoother wireless operations during the Olympic Games. The Official App of PyeongChang 2018 was created in partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG). The all-in-one app will help fans better enjoy the Olympic Winter Games experience by offering real-time updates, athlete information, medal standings and Olympic and Paralympic records.

 

Evolving from the Wireless Olympic Works service which began in 2004, the Official App of PyeongChang 2018 offers differentiated content based on location, news updates, ticket and venue information as well as online cheering service to support athletes.

 

“As part of our commitment to creating an enjoyable Olympic Winter Games experience for athletes, fans, and consumers, we’re proud to create connections, and to help share the Olympic Spirit around the world,” said Younghee Lee, CMO and Executive Vice President, Samsung Electronics. “Through our innovative technology advancements, our goal is to contribute to a meaningful and unforgettable experience for all.”

 

In addition to providing the latest updates that users need to know about the Olympic Winter Games, the Official App of PyeongChang 2018 is also customizable, allowing users to stay up-to-date on specific events and results they care about the most, and to receive push-notification alerts based on their favorite countries, sports or athletes.

 

The Official App of PyeongChang 2018 is available in English, Korean, French, Japanese and Chinese, and can be downloaded for free on Google Apps, Google Play Store, and iOS App Store.

 

 

About Samsung’s Involvement in the Olympic Games

Samsung began its Olympic Games involvement as a local sponsor of Olympic Games Seoul 1988. Beginning with Olympic Winter Games Nagano 1998, the company extended its commitment to the Olympic Movement as the Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Wireless Communications Equipment category, providing its proprietary wireless communications platform and mobile devices. These innovative mobile technologies provide the Olympic Community, athletes and fans around the world with interactive communications and information services, and Samsung Pay. Samsung hosts various Olympic campaigns to share the excitement of the Olympic Games with people around the world and enable everyone to participate in the Games through its innovative mobile technology. Samsung’s commitment as a Worldwide Olympic Partner continues through PyeongChang 2018, and Tokyo 2020 in the Wireless Communications Equipment and Computing Equipment category.

Samsung Electronics Unveils PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition to Celebrate the Spirit of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018

 

With less than a month to-go until the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Samsung Electronics, Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Wireless Communications Equipment and Computing Equipment category, today unveiled the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition. To further extend its Olympic legacy of supporting athletes and the Olympic family, Samsung will provide the exclusive devices, which are a special edition of the Galaxy Note8, as encouragement to do bigger things at the Olympic Winter Games, while also helping maintain real-time connections and capturing and sharing memories with those near and far.

 

In collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG), Samsung will deliver over 4,000 devices to all Olympians as well as the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic family allowing them to lean on Samsung mobile technology to enhance their experiences and connect more conveniently. The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition will include the bold new features of the Galaxy Note8, such as the innovative bezel-less 6.3-inch Infinity Display that fits comfortably in one hand, enhanced S Pen for efficient productivity, and Samsung’s best-in-class Dual Camera. Exclusively for the Games, the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition will showcase 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.

 

“Throughout our 20-year legacy as an Olympic partner, Samsung has showcased our support of the Olympic Movement by helping spread the Olympic Spirit and enhance connections through our latest technological innovations and immersive experiences,” said Younghee Lee, CMO and Executive Vice President, Samsung Electronics. “We’re proud to provide the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition to all athletes in an effort to help them to stay connected, capture and share one of the most memorable moments of their lives.”

 

The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Limited Edition will feature celebratory pre-loaded PyeongChang 2018 themed wallpapers, allowing recipients to stay connected in-style through Samsung’s most advanced mobile technology. As an added element, useful apps will be pre-installed to help cultivate the utmost Olympic Games experience.

 

“Samsung’s commitment to the Olympic Movement has increasingly enabled meaningful connections through innovative mobile technologies over the past 20 years,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “Samsung’s creation of an Olympic Games Limited Edition device reinforces Samsung and IOC’s shared desire to spread the Olympic spirit. It’s because of dedicated partners like Samsung that we’re in the position to provide unforgettable experiences at the Olympic Games time after time.”

 

 

Samsung to Provide Galaxy Note8 to Paralympians

Displaying commitment to the Paralympic Movement, Samsung will provide smartphones to all Paralympians at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Each Paralympian will receive the Galaxy Note8 along with cases that feature the Paralympic Games logo and be exposed to how breakthrough mobile technologies can help make the digital world more accessible for those with disabilities. Samsung has been a World Paralympic Partner since the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010 and an advocate for the Paralympic Movement striving to inspire the spirit of progress and the human challenge ever since.

 

About Samsung’s Involvement in the Olympic Games

Samsung began its Olympic Games involvement as a local sponsor of Olympic Games Seoul 1988. Beginning with Olympic Winter Games Nagano 1998, the company extended its commitment to the Olympic Movement as the Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Wireless Communications Equipment category, providing its proprietary wireless communications platform and mobile devices. These innovative mobile technologies provide the Olympic Community, athletes and fans around the world with interactive communications and information services, and Samsung Pay. Samsung hosts various Olympic campaigns to share the excitement of the Olympic Games with people around the world and enable everyone to participate in the Games through its innovative mobile technology. Samsung’s commitment as a Worldwide Olympic Partner continues through PyeongChang 2018, and Tokyo 2020 in the Wireless Communications Equipment and Computing Equipment category.

[Editorial] Do Everything, Everywhere with Samsung’s New Ultraslim Notebooks

There’s no denying it – the PC industry has changed. With tablets, smartphones, and wearables, we have the ability to shape our computing experience around our lives like never before. But that doesn’t mean that the PC market is shrinking. Far from it – it’s evolving in a whole new way. Consumers who once preferred a traditional laptop are choosing slim, powerful notebooks that give them the flexibility to do everything, everywhere.

 

That’s important, because the way we work has changed as well. For many, the work day begins the moment they wake up, and often stretches well beyond dinner time. In 2018, true portability and productivity is knowing you have a single notebook that makes it possible to do what you can’t do with just a tablet or desktop. It’s thin enough to slip into your “go” bag. It’s light enough to carry all day, every day, and almost forget it’s there. It’s strong enough to endure the bumps in the road and the inevitable scrapes from the airport security bin.

 

At Samsung, we’re leading the evolution of the PC. Our portfolio includes 2-in-1 tablets with detachable keyboards, for those who want the ultimate in portability, along with Samsung Chromebooks, for those who want access to their favorite Google apps and services. For those who want the ultimate in power, portability, and performance, I’m excited to introduce a new series of PCs.

 

Our new ultraslim notebooks combine convenience with performance and design – establishing what it means to create a premium PC experience for the way we live and work today. Whether you’re working up an important presentation, drafting your next big plan, or playing your favorite game on the go, you need immersive graphics, processing power, and frame rate. Our new series of notebooks give you the screen, power, graphics, memory, storage, and battery life to make your old laptop seem, well, old.

 

Before we engineered our new notebooks, we listened to you. We heard what you wanted and what you needed. You told us you wanted the flexibility to do, with one notebook, more than you can do with a simple tablet or a thick laptop. So we designed a range of mobile computing experiences to meet the needs of the modern, mobile workforce—helping everyone do more at home, at the office, and on the go.

 

Versatility and performance are important – but as any frequent traveler will attest, durability is important as well. Keeping that in mind, we’ve developed an entirely new material to wrap it all up: Metal 12™. This magnesium alloy is incredibly light, yet unbelievably strong – and feels amazing in hand. And Metal 12™ is available only on Samsung devices. It’s one more way our investments in R&D are delivering next-level durability and premium design.

 

Our new series of ultrathin notebooks are designed for different people with different needs, who want to use their time in the most productive way they can:

 

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen with the built-in S pen

 

Notebook 9 Pen is the ultraslim 2-in-1 convertible for those who want the most computing power with the creative power of the S Pen. Perfected in Samsung Galaxy mobile devices, the battery-free S Pen replicates the ease, accuracy, and size of a real pen, so you can enjoy a natural writing and drawing experience – without having to ever charge it. Jot notes. Use CAD. Sketch freehand. If you want to work, create, design or draw, the Notebook 9 Pen puts no limit on how you can express yourself. It’s a whole new way to use your notebook PC.

 

Samsung Notebook 9 (2018)

 

Notebook 9 (2018) is the notebook for those who want the most powerful graphics in the slimmest package. When you’re on the go – whether on business travel, headed to class, working, taking a laptop is a still given. With this extremely light PC that weighs no more than 2.84 pounds, Samsung is actually taking weight off your back and creating more room in your pack. The Notebook 9 (2018) has all the durability with none of the weight. Powerful graphics bring movies and games to life on screen, with battery capacity that allows you to stay immersed in your favorite content throughout the day.

 

Samsung Notebook 7 Spin (2018)

 

Notebook 7 Spin (2018) is the “best of basics” 2-in-1 convertible for those who want Samsung design at an affordable price. If you’re always moving from home to office or from class to class, flexibility is the name of the game. With the Notebook 7 Spin (2018) you can flip easily from PC to tablet—and back, work anywhere—even in the dark—with the backlit keyboard, and use your Active Pen (sold separately) to express yourself in an entirely new way. The Notebook 7 Spin (2018) design gives you the flexibility to work anywhere, and the Intel 8th Generation Quad Core Process gives you the power to do it all.

 

I’m excited to show off our new ultraslim notebooks at CES this year. They’re compact, powerful, and designed to deliver a premium experience that’s all about helping you create more and enjoy more, wherever you are.

Samsung Introduces the New Notebook 7 Spin (2018), a Flexible PC for Everyday Users

 

Samsung Electronics today announced the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin (2018), a versatile notebook that provides consumers with the accessibility needed to remain productive in today’s digital world.

 

Designed for working professionals, students and those looking for entertainment, the Notebook 7 Spin (2018) offers modern features including a 360-degree touchscreen for added convenience; an Active Pen (sold separately) for quick and easy note-taking; as well as the power and performance for more efficient multi-tasking.

 

“Our customers wanted a functional, intuitive device that includes a wide range of their favorite features, and that’s what we’ve delivered with the Notebook 7 Spin (2018),” said YoungGyoo Choi, Senior Vice President of the PC Business Team, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. “This device meets the needs of today’s digital lifestyle, combining work and play with a smart, seamless and personalized experience that connects users with their other devices.”

 

At CES 2018, Samsung will showcase the new Notebook 7 Spin (2018) and a variety of features that allow consumers to work wherever, whenever and however they want while staying secure. These features include:

 

  • 360-Degree Rotating Touchscreen – Provides the flexibility to view content as preferred, whether it be as a tablet or as a traditional PC in landscape mode
  • Active Pen-enabled – Perfect for attending meetings, conference calls or lectures, the Active Pen lets users create a sketch or jot down notes on the fly
  • Secure Fingerprint Log-in – Through simple fingerprint scanning, users can quickly log-in with Windows Hello and keep files secure in their own Privacy Folder
  • Power and Performance – Runs on Windows 10 operating system and equipped with an Intel i5 processor and 256GB SSD drive that allows for quicker startups and advanced multi-tasking capabilities
  • Voice Note – Advanced smart recording featuring an integrated far field microphone to capture every detail of important meetings or lectures, which can be stored and shared easily via Samsung Cloud
  • Battery and Backlit Keyboard – Extended battery power to keep users connected throughout the day
  • Studio Plus – For users who wish to express their creative side, Studio Plus allows them to produce personalized movies featuring their favorite photos and videos

 

The Samsung Notebook 7 Spin (2018) will be available in select countries starting in the first quarter of 2018 in the U.S.

 

 

Samsung Notebook 7 Spin (2018) Product Specifications*

PROCESSOR 8th i5 Quad Core
MEMORY 8GB, 256GB
MATERIAL A/C Metal
LCD 13.3” FHD PLS
DIMENSION 315.8 x 215.4 x 18.5mm
POWER 43Wh
WEIGHT 1.53kg
PORTS USB-C, USB 3.0 x1, USB 2.0x 1, HDMI, HP/Mic
CAMERA VGA
STYLUS Active Pen
SECURITY Fingerprint, Windows Hello, Privacy Folder
KEYBOARD Backlit KBD, Keystroke 1.5mm, Curved keycap
Clickpad (Precision Touchpad)

 

*All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.

Dutch Short Track Skaters Sjinkie Knegt and Suzanne Schulting Have a Secret Weapon for the Upcoming Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018

 

The Samsung SmartSuit was unveiled today in IJsstadion Thialf. The innovative skating suit and associated app help Dutch short track skaters Sjinkie Knegt and Suzanne Schulting to improve their skating posture in real-time during training. The two are currently the only skaters in the world to use the suit. With this secret weapon, they stand a good chance of winning medals at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

 

The Samsung SmartSuit is a custom-made short track skating suit that measures the skater’s precise body posture in order to calculate the distance from their hips to the ice. The suit communicates with coach Jeroen Otter’s smartphone via an app that provides data in real time. This allows him and embedded scientist Bjorn de Laat to see whether Sjinkie and Suzanne are bent deep enough with millimetre accuracy. If their posture is not optimal, the coach can press a button to send a vibration that the skater can immediately feel on their wrist. This allows the skater to adjust their posture accordingly.

 

 

“By quantifying the skater’s body posture, we can train even more effectively. I’ve already noticed that Sjinkie and Suzanne have benefited from this unique innovation,” says National Team Manager Jeroen Otter. “At the championship level, it’s all about the details. Training with the Samsung SmartSuit and the immediate feedback via the smartphone can make the difference between silver and gold.” Multiple world- and European champion Sjinkie Knegt adds: “I always used to skate by intuition, so I had to guesstimate whether I’m bent deep enough. But now, my coach can see precisely if I have to bend just a bit deeper to find my ideal posture.”

 

 

“At Samsung, we strive to use our innovations to make daily life more pleasant,” says Gerben van Walt Meijer, Samsung Netherlands Mobile Marketing Manager. “With our technical expertise we can also help to improve athletes’ performance. With the Samsung SmartSuit, we hope to lift Sjinkie and Suzanne to a higher level, and to help them realise their dream of winning Olympic gold.” The SmartSuit is just one way that Samsung helps users to achieve its international appeal to DoWhatYouCan’t; to blaze new trails and to think in terms of opportunities, not limitations. Gerben van Walt Meijer: “With the SmartSuit, we challenge Sjinkie and Suzanne to push themselves to the limit.”

 

Samsung Benelux sponsors Sjinkie and Suzanne in their preparations for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, and they have developed the Samsung SmartSuit and the application specifically for the two skaters in cooperation with the Royal Dutch Skating Federation (KNSB). In doing so, Samsung gives new meaning to the term ‘sponsorship’: with the help of technological innovation, the brand can actively contribute to athletes’ performances.

 

Source:Netherlands Newsroom

 

Samsung and the Olympic Games

Samsung’s involvement in the Olympic Games began with the company’s local sponsorship of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. In 1998, Samsung expanded its sponsorship activities by becoming a Global Olympic Partner in the field of wireless communications equipment, providing the Games with its own wireless communications platform and mobile devices. These innovative mobile technologies offer the Olympic community, athletes and fans around the world the opportunity to communicate interactively and to exchange information.

How to Capture the Perfect Photos this Holiday Season with the Galaxy Note8

As the days draw nearer to the holidays, and family and friends gather together to celebrate, there are countless moments to cherish. With a broad array of features, the Galaxy Note8 camera allows you to easily and conveniently hold on to these memories in vivid detail. After all, the most wonderful time of the year calls for the most wonderful pictures to remember it by.

 

With lights, glitter and tinsel aplenty, it’s not always easy to achieve the perfect nighttime shot of the holiday decorations adorning city centers and homes. To the naked eye, the lights may shine brightly against the night sky, but in a photo, they can appear dull and undefined.

 

The Galaxy Note8’s dual camera is equipped with a fast F1.7 wide-angle lens with Dual Pixel technology and an F2.4 telephoto lens, which together are able to quickly and accurately pinpoint the subject the user is focusing on. Thus, the camera can capture sharper and brighter shots even in low light environments – where holiday lights and decorations tend to look their best.

 

 

What’s more, both 12MP lenses of the dual camera are outfitted with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) which ensures crisp, focused images in all lighting conditions, even when you’re shooting with an unsteady hand (which is often the case during the frigid winter months).

 

 

Whether it’s capturing the excitement for the new year or a special moment with loved ones, photos stand out in sharp relief with Live Focus. The tool creates a bokeh effect, making the subject of the photo stand out in stunning detail, while blurring its surroundings beautifully into the background.

 

Left: Before adjusting blur, Right: After adjusting blur

 

To switch on the effect, select the Live Focus option, positioned above the camera shutter button in preview mode. Make sure to stand about four feet away from the subject of the picture, and use the sliding gauge which appears above to adjust the level of the blur effect to your liking. Should you decide after taking the photo to remove the blur, or alter its intensity, you can do so in the Gallery app.

 

In Dual Capture mode, both the phone’s rear wide-angle and telephoto lenses work simultaneously to capture two separate images. You can then access both zoomed-in and wide-angle versions of the shot from the Gallery so you don’t miss any of the magic happening outside the frame.

 

Top: Close-up, Bottom: Wide Angle

 

If you plan to overindulge on seasonal eats and treats this holiday season, make sure they look as delicious as they taste.

 

Before you bite into it, emphasize and enhance the colors of the centerpiece cake by snapping a photo of it in Food Mode. Just swipe left in preview mode to bring up a range of options and tap Food. Find the tastiest looking treat to be the focus of your photo. Then tap on the screen or drag the circle to move the highlighted area to that spot.

 

Left: Auto Focus, Right: Food Mode

 

Create even more professional-looking images with a range of adjustable features in Pro Mode. Swipe left in preview mode and tap Pro to open up the range of options: ISO, Shutter Speed, Color Tone, Manual Focus, White Balance and Exposure Compensation. With Pro Mode, there’s no need to lug around your DSLR camera on the family winter vacation; get professional-quality images with the Galaxy Note8!

 

Top: Auto Focus, Bottom: Pro Mode

 

Looking for a way to add some warming winter spice to your pictures? Enhance your selfies with holiday-themed stickers. Simply tap STICKERS just below the preview screen and select one that best suits your shot. Alternatively, jazz up your photo using the Live Message feature. Give yourself celebratory 2018 headbands, write a holiday greeting or add a festive doodle right on your photo with the S Pen, then share it with a friend to spread instant holiday cheer.

 

Live Message: photo edited using stickers and S-pen

 

Featuring Samsung’s best-in-class dual camera, with dual OIS on both lenses, along with Live Focus, Dual Capture and Live Message features, the Galaxy Note8 is the ultimate device for taking photos that are crisp and clear, and capturing special holiday moments in the way you want to remember them for years to come. Happy holidays!

Samsung Introduces the Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) with Dual Front Camera, Large Infinity Display and Added Everyday Features

 

Samsung Electronics today announced the latest additions to the Galaxy A series: the Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018).

 

The Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) feature a Dual Front Camera, a large Infinity Display and stunning ergonomic design that draws on Samsung’s flagship design heritage and experience. With additional everyday features, the Galaxy A series is more stylish, practical and convenient than ever before.

 

“With the release of the Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018), we’re bringing our customers’ favorite features from our flagship smartphones, such as the Infinity Display and our first Dual Front Camera with Live Focus, to our Galaxy A series, which is already known for its premium design,” said Junho Park, Vice President of Global Product Planning, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. “The Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) exemplify our continued dedication to meeting the needs of our consumers by providing them with greater choice and convenience.”

 

Snap bright, clear selfies with the 16MP F1.7 rear camera and 16MP+8MP F1.9 Dual Front Camera, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. The Dual Front Camera is made up of two separate cameras so you can switch between the two to take the type of selfie you want – from close-ups with the background to portrait shots with a clear and crisp background. And with the advanced Live Focus feature, you can easily adjust the bokeh effect before or after you take the picture to create high-quality images.

 

From day to night, the advanced camera makes sure you capture sharp images, even in low-light conditions. The new devices also allow you to customize your photos with fun options, from adding stickers to your selfie or highlighting a culinary extravaganza with Food Mode.

 

Shaky video footage will be a thing of the past with video digital image stabilisation (VDis) technology, and with an added hyperlapse feature, you can now create time-lapse videos that let you record, tell and share even longer stories.

 

When watching movies or playing games, the latest Galaxy A devices set a new standard for uninterrupted, immersive viewing experiences. The Infinity Display goes beyond the bezel with an immersive 18.5:9 display ratio1, so that you can view the whole scene across your screen for the ultimate cinematic experience. The large screen is supported with ergonomic curved glass on the back and front. Its sleek glass and metal frame, smooth curves and comfortable grip make it even easier to watch or interact with content on your phone. The Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) are available in four colors including black, orchid grey, gold and blue to suit your personal style2.

 

Both devices will continually keep you informed with the Always On Display, meaning you can get information at a glance without unlocking your phone. With Samsung Pay3, there’s no need to bring your wallet with you every time you go out. Supporting Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and Near Field Communication (NFC), the Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) can be used virtually anywhere you can tap or swipe your card. Every transaction via Samsung Pay is secure, yet very simple. All it takes is one swipe and one fingerprint scan.

 

Offering IP68 water and dust resistance4, the Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) can withstand the elements, including sweat, rain, sand and dust, making it suitable for nearly any activity or situation. The Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) support microSD cards so you can expand your storage capacity by as much as 256GB, and are the first in the A series to support Samsung’s Gear VR.

 

The Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) will be available in early January 2018.

 

 

 

Samsung Galaxy A8 and A8+ Product Specifications:

 

Galaxy A8

Galaxy A8+

Display 5.6-inchFHD+ Super AMOLED,1080×2220 6.0-inchFHD+ SuperAMOLED,1080×2220
*Screen measured diagonally as a full rectangle without accounting for the rounded corners
Camera Front: Dual Camera 16MP FF (F1.9) + 8MP (F1.9)                                                    Rear: 16MP PDAF (F1.7)
Dimension 149.2 x 70.6 x 8.4 mm, 172g 159.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm, 191g
 AP Octa Core (2.2GHz Dual + 1.6GHz Hexa)
Memory 4GB RAM, 32/64GB 4/6GB RAM, 32/64GB
Battery 3,000mAh 3,500mAh
Fast Charging / USB Type-C
OS Android 7.1.1
Network LTE Cat. 11
Payment NFC, MST
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), VHT80, 256QAM, Bluetooth® v 5.0                   (LE up to 2Mbps), ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, Location                                                 (GPS, Glonass, BeiDou*)                                                                                        * BeiDou coverage may be limited.
Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor
Audio MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
Video MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM

 

* Features and functions will vary by market and mobile operator

* All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document

including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability,

and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.

 

1 Screen measured diagonally as a full rectangle without accounting for the rounded corners

2 Color availability may vary by country

3 Availability of service may vary by country

4 Carrying an IP68 dust and water resistance rating. Based on test conditions of submersion in up to 1.5 meters of fresh water for up to 30 minutes

How the Notebook 9 Pen Blends Powerful Performance with Premium Design

Featuring a thoughtfully refined design that allows users to do so much more using the built-in S Pen, Samsung’s new Notebook 9 Pen was built for those who are always exploring, always creating, and never content to simply stand still.

 

The 2-in-1 PC’s cutting-edge specs, including a powerful 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor, and exceptional portability make it incredibly versatile, and perfect for those who are always on the move. Let’s explore how Samsung optimized the premium device to feature some truly amazing moves of its own.

 

 

Designed for Function and Flexibility

The Notebook 9 Pen’s slim, single-shell body is as seamless and refined as ever, and now even more portable thanks to Samsung’s use of Metal12™. This ultralight magnesium-aluminum alloy allows the notebook to weigh in at just 995 grams (2.2 pounds), which makes it one of the lightest in its class. In addition, the alloy itself has been treated with an advanced Micro Arc Oxidation (MAO) process that provides its surface with a tough oxide coating, enhancing durability.

 

 

The S Pen seamlessly slots into the bottom of the notebook, so it’s always there when you need it. And when inspiration strikes, the 360-degree convertible hinge lets you instantly transform the device from a notebook into a tablet, allowing you to comfortably access the vibrant, 13-inch RealView display from any angle.

 

Content depicted on the premium display is bright and accurate, thanks to the device’s peak brightness of 450 nits and ability to display 95 percent of the sRGB color space. This allows the notebook to produce lifelike colors and picture quality, which makes it a perfect fit for graphic designers, and makes everything from viewing a video to reading or browsing the web more immersive and engaging.

 

The display also features a wide, 178-degree viewing angle that allows it to be seen clearly when users adjust their position, or when they are viewing or collaborating on content with friends or colleagues.

 

 

Because the Notebook 9 Pen was designed for mobility, it also supports a variety of convenient charging methods that make it easy for users to power up on the go – even without the device’s compact adaptor. The notebook may be easily charged via a compatible smartphone charger or an external battery pack, and even supports fast charging.* So you won’t have to worry about a misplaced adaptor impeding your productivity.

 

 

 

S Pen Optimization

The Notebook 9 Pen’s S Pen is impeccably precise, featuring a 0.7mm tip and capable of recognizing up to 4,096 levels of pressure. This level of precision, along with the implement’s ability to detect when it’s been tilted, evokes an incredibly natural writing experience and allows artists to express fine details with ease.

 

 

The notebook automatically detects when the S Pen has been pulled out and springs into action, instantly launching the Air Command menu that houses convenient shortcuts for a wide array of S Pen features. These features, which will be familiar to users of Samsung’s Galaxy Note smartphones, include Smart Select, which lets you conveniently crop and capture a desired portion of your screen, and Screen Write, which allows you to easily mark up screen-captured images. And because the S Pen is – as always – battery-free, it’s always ready to help you express yourself and be productive.

 

Speaking of which, the Notebook 9 Pen also features several built-in tools, including versatile apps like Autodesk SketchBook and the Samsung Notes app, designed to help users express themselves and work more effectively. These apps add comfort and convenience to everything from doodling to writing, sketching, painting and more, and make each task that much more enjoyable.

 

 

 

Boost Productivity with Voice Notes and teamPL

The Notebook 9 Pen’s Voice Note function offers users an innovative way to record their – and others’ – brilliant ideas.

 

 

The software allows you to record crystal clear audio via the Notebook 9 Pen’s ‘far-field’ microphone, which utilizes advanced hardware, algorithms and noise suppression technology to isolate and record sounds even from distant sources. The function makes it easy to locate specific points in a recorded audio file – so finding a key highlight won’t require you to listen to the recording all over again – while also allowing you to mark and take notes within the file itself.

 

Another Notebook 9 Pen feature designed to help students and professionals work and study more efficiently is teamPL, a software solution that allows you to easily share what’s displayed on your screen with up to five friends or colleagues connected to the same network. Utilizing this feature will allow you to instantly show others what you’re working on or looking at, and help your team collaborate more effectively.

 

 

Seamlessly Sync Your Smartphone

The Notebook 9 Pen also boasts support for a variety of Samsung apps designed to streamline how users share files, capture memories, and communicate.

 

Support for the Samsung Link Sharing app makes it simple for users to share files stored on their PC – including photos, videos and documents – with their family, friends and colleagues. Transfers may be facilitated to virtually anyone with another PC or a smart device. **

 

The device’s Samsung Gallery integration, meanwhile, offers simple tools to streamline how users manage their most precious files: their photos and videos. Each time you use your phone*** to capture a memorable moment, Samsung Gallery will automatically sync the photo or video via Samsung Cloud so that it appears in the Notebook 9 Pen’s version of the app. This provides you with more freedom – and space – to manage and share your content.

 

 

Finally, the notebook’s Samsung Messages app allows you to instantly reply to incoming texts and message any of your contacts without ever reaching for your phone. You can even use the app to drag and drop large files (up to 1GB) saved on the Notebook 9 Pen to share them with contacts saved on your phone. ****

 

 

Seriously Secure

Along with packing a slew of seriously fun features, the Notebook 9 Pen comes preinstalled with Samsung Security, a seriously stout security solution designed to enhance users’ privacy and safeguard sensitive data.

 

 

The software’s Privacy Folder feature allows users to add an extra layer of protection to sensitive files; the Secret Screen function obscures the notebook’s screen so that it’s visible only to the user; and Block Recording ensures that your webcam is protected from unauthorized access and recording.

 

 

The Notebook 9 Pen’s Windows Hello support adds enterprise-grade biometric security to logins to streamline how users access their device and protect their data. The IR front-facing camera’s facial-recognition technology allows you to unlock your notebook with a glance, while the built-in fingerprint sensor lets you securely log in to your device, websites, and other services with a simple swipe – no password typing required.

 

The Notebook 9 Pen is currently available to preorder in Korea, and will launch in select markets in the first quarter of 2018.

 

 

* Requires either an AFC type Samsung battery pack, or a QX2.0 (Qualcomm) type battery.

** Size limit for each file is 1GB, and up to 2GB of content may be shared within a 48-hour span.

*** Compatible with Samsung Galaxy smartphones running Android 7.0 and above, as well as select devices running Android 6.0, including the Galaxy Note4, Note5, S6 edge, S7 and S7 edge.

**** Compatible with Samsung Galaxy smartphones running Android 7.0 and above, as well as select devices running Android 6.0, including the Galaxy Note5, S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+, S7 and S7 edge. Availability may vary by region. This feature utilizes SMS, and carriers may charge for usage depending on the user’s data plan.

Upgrade Your Digital Lifestyle with the New Samsung Notebook 9 Pen and Notebook 9 (2018)

Samsung Electronics today announced the new Samsung Notebook 9 Pen and three new versions of the Samsung Notebook 9 (2018), offering a mobile computing experience that matches how people are using their PCs: whether at work, on the go and everything in between. Designed to deliver the best in mobility, these four new notebooks ensure a computing experience that is powerful, portable, connected and secure. When paired with the latest productivity tools and services available from Samsung, the Notebook 9 Pen and Notebook 9 (2018) are the perfect complement to match a lifestyle where work or play can happen anywhere and at any time.

 

“At Samsung, we have long felt that technology must fit within the lives of the consumer, not the other way around. Over the past several years, the lines between our personal and professional lives have started to blur creating the need for technology that allows us to connect, collaborate and share from anywhere,” said YoungGyoo Choi, Senior Vice President of the PC Business Team, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. “The new Samsung Notebook 9 Pen and enhanced Samsung Notebook 9 (2018) and Samsung Notebook 9 Pen offer our customers premium, powerful and portable devices that provide the tools to securely work from anywhere, breaking the boundaries of previously accepted standards for what a notebook should be.”

 

 

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen: Superb Flexibility, Portability with S Pen and Convertible Hinge

The Notebook 9 Pen brings a thoughtfully refined design to the 2-in-1 PC. Its full metal chassis with premium magnesium aluminum – lighter than aluminum – alloy called Metal12™ provides durability while keeping it super light at 2.2 pounds. The 360 degree hinge provides flexibility for users to convert to a tablet from a laptop with ease by rotating the keyboard behind the screen for convenience.

 

The Notebook 9 Pen provides ultimate convenience with a built-in, refined S Pen that gives users the freedom to doodle, write, sketch, paint and more. The S Pen is battery free, built into the device and designed for immediate use. The S Pen can recognize 4,096 levels of pressure with a fine 0.7mm tip and convenient tilt detection to allow a more natural writing and drawing experience. When the S Pen is removed from the notebook, Air Command automatically launches providing convenient S Pen shortcuts, Samsung Notes and Autodesk Sketchbook, so that users can write, draw and create immediately.

 

 

Samsung Notebook 9 (2018): Powerful Design, yet Lightweight and Thin

With three different versions offering a 13.3” to a 15” screen and enhanced graphics capabilities, the Notebook 9 (2018) weighs up to 2.84 pounds and measures 15.4mm, one of the lightest and thinnest notebook devices in its class. The bezel around the screen measures 6.2mm providing a more immersive experience. This means great portability without sacrificing screen size, as well as a stronger, more durable metal body featuring Metal12™ which provides durability while keeping it super light.

 

The device also provides always-on power thanks to the 75Wh Hexacell battery, Samsung’s largest and most powerful battery placed inside a notebook. For the times when charging is necessary, it also supports fast charging.

 

 

Living a Blended Lifestyle

The new Samsung Notebook 9 Pen and Notebook 9 (2018) feature key improvements designed to support our personal and professional lives. These features include:

 

  • Notebooks designed for mobility – both devices are among the thinnest in their class for easy portability, and working on-the-go. Made from Metal12™ complemented by Micro Arc Oxidation (MAO) technology, both devices are lighter than most metal laptops, yet durable with the advanced MAO treatment of oxide coating on the surface to ensure to-do lists get finished regardless of where life takes you.
  • Added security and convenience – both devices come with Windows Hello built-in for secure authentication through the fingerprint sensor without having to type in a password, while the Notebook 9 Pen also features an IR front-facing camera for facial recognition login through Windows Hello. Both PCs feature the Privacy Folder for storing sensitive data.
  • High-quality performance – combining the best in portability with a high-quality display and strong performance, the RealView display brings a bright and accurate premium image, with lifelike colors and incredible brightness ideal for using the device both indoors and out. Both devices also feature the latest 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor and Samsung Dual Channel Memory for quick speeds to handle jobs like running multiple programs or viewing and rendering high-quality graphics without reduced performance or speed.
  • Productivity and collaboration – Samsung offers several tools that appeal to tech-savvy professionals such as Samsung Link Sharing, which allows users to transfer videos, photos and documents stored on their PC to another computer or smart device*. Additional software solutions available on both devices include Samsung Message that enable users to send messages from their PC to contacts saved on their smartphone**, as well as preinstalled Voice Note for voice-activated note taking, and Studio Plus for custom content creation and editing.

 

 

Availability

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pen and Notebook 9 (2018) will be available in select countries starting in December 2017 in Korea, and in the first quarter of 2018 in the U.S. Both the Notebook 9 Pen and Notebook 9 (2018) will be displayed at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, NV.

 

 

Samsung Notebook 9 (2018) and Notebook 9 Pen Product Specifications***

  Samsung Notebook 9 (2018) 13.3”
(Display 900X3T & 900X3U)
Samsung Notebook 9 (2018) 15”
(Display 900X5T & 900X5U, Display & Discreet Graphics 900X5T)
Samsung Notebook 9 Pen 13” (930QAA)
PROCESSOR 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor
MEMORY Up to 16GB (DDR4) Up to 16GB (DDR4) Up to 16GB (DDR4)
STORAGE Up to 1TB SSD (NVMe PCIe) Up to 1TB SSD (NVMe PCIe) Up to 512GB (NVMe PCIe)
GRAPHICS Intel® HD Graphics Intel® HD Graphics / NVIDIA® GeForce® MX150 (GDDR5 2GB) Intel® HD Graphics
POWER 75Wh 75Wh 39Wh
WEIGHT 995g 1,250g – 1,290g 995g
CMF Titan Silver/Crush White Titan Silver/Crush White Light Titan
DIMENSION 309.4 x 208 x 14.9mm 347.9 x 229.4 x 15.4mm 310.5 x 206.6 x 14.6-16.5mm
PORTS USB-C x 1, USB 3.0 X 2, HDMI X1, uSD, HP/Mic, DC-in Thunderbolt 3 x 1 (or USB type C), USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 1, HDMI x 1, uSD x 1, HP/Mic x 1, DC-in USB-C x 1, USB 3.0 X 1, HDMI X1, uSD, HP/Mic, DC-in
MATERIAL Metal12™(Mg) Metal12™(Mg) Metal12™(Mg)
DISPLAY 13.3” RealViewDisplay | Full HD (1920 x 1080) | sRGB95% | △E < 2.5 | Max 500nits 15.0” RealViewDisplay | Full HD (1920 x 1080) | sRGB95% | △E < 2.5 | Max 500nits 13.3” Samsung RealViewTouch, FHD (1920 x 1080), sRGB95%, △E < 2.5, Max 450nits
CAMERA 720p 720p IR camera, 720p
SPEAKER 1.5w X 2 1.5w X 2 1.5w X 2
STYLUS N/A N/A Integrated S Pen (Bundle)
SECURITY Fingerprint Sensor Fingerprint Sensor Fingerprint Sensor
KEYBOARD Backlit KBD, Precision Touchpad Backlit KBD, Precision Touchpad Backlit KBD, Precision Touchpad
ADAPTER 65W Adapter (DC-in) 65W Adapter (DC-in) 45W small adapter (DC-in)

 

*Size limit for each file is 1GB, and up to 2GB of contents can be shared within 48 hours.

 

**The feature utilizes SMS and the carrier may charge for the usage depending on the data plan. Feature availability varies depending on the region.

 

***All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.

Strides in Stewardship, Part 3: Applying Universal Design to Create Technology That Works for Everyone

Using a smartphone is an everyday task that comes easily to most. The typical user needs no instruction on how to send an email, request a taxi or stream a TV show, as navigating through various menus and apps is, for the most part, straightforward and intuitive. But for the millions of smartphone users with a physical, sensory or cognitive disability, operating a device can be a frustrating experience to say the least.

 

As our world becomes increasingly more digital, and technology plays a bigger role in our lives, Samsung Electronics is working to develop various features that enable its products to be accessed and used to the greatest extent possible by all people. Let’s take a closer look at the company’s approach to do so in part three of our “Strides in Stewardship” series.

 

 

Reflecting Feedback to Improve Accessibility

“Over the past decade, as mobile trends have shifted from conventional cell phones to smartphones, many of us with visual impairments have found it difficult to use the new devices,” said Gwangman Moon, a South Korean man who lost his sight in 1999. “Today’s smartphones don’t have mechanical keyboards. So, because we rely on our sense of touch to receive a lot information, we need to carry a separate keyboard to use them.”

 

Moon, who first got involved with Samsung through a company-sponsored computer education program for the visually impaired, now participates as a member of Samsung Supporters, a volunteer group that tests out smartphone features for usability and offers feedback to improve device accessibility. Most recently, he has helped to advance the Voice Assistant on the Galaxy S8 by determining which features cannot be activated using only voice commands.

 

 

In addition to listening to external feedback from people like Moon who use Samsung products in their daily lives, the company has also established Smart Angels, a team of employees that voluntarily educates people with various disabilities on how to use their devices. The volunteers also listen to the opinions of the users to better understand how the company can further enhance accessibility.

 

 

 

Eliminating Obstacles Through Universal Design

To reflect feedback received through these interactions, Samsung has developed and applied a variety of auxiliary technical solutions across the entire Galaxy lineup so that just about everyone can take advantage of its innovative products and features.

 

For example, users with visual impairments can make use of high contrast fonts, keyboards and downloadable themes as well as a High Contrast Mode for the Samsung Internet app  that all enable easier reading and higher visibility. Voice Assistant, meanwhile, provides spoken feedback about information on the screen, and Rapid Key Input reads out the keyboard character being touched, thus eliminating the need for additional accessories.

 

 

Similarly, those with hearing impairments are able to utilize the Sound Detectors tool, which provides visual cues and vibration when the sound of a baby crying or a doorbell ringing is detected, and Flash Notification, which alerts the user of alarms and notifications with a flash of the camera light or screen.

 

Easy Screen Turn On and Universal Switch features make the device easier to control through the use of gestures and/or movements, enhancing usability for those with mobility and dexterity impairments.

 

These are just a few of the growing number of features Samsung has employed to make the daily task of using a smartphone easier and more enjoyable for all.

 

 

Making Life Easier, One Service at a Time

In addition to UX and app enhancements, Samsung’s mobile services are also adding an element of convenience to everyday activities.

 

Bixby Voice eliminates the need to go through multiple steps to accomplish a mobile task, allowing users, for instance, to dictate and send a text to a friend or check their daily schedule with a simple voice command. Likewise, Bixby Voice makes it possible to quickly engage with friends, family and other communities on social media and in text messaging applications.

 

“Bixby is revolutionary,” explained Moon of his own personal experiences. “Because a message or comment can be transcribed by simply speaking it out, we can save a lot of time by not having to type it. In this way, Bixby instills in me a sense of confidence when communicating with others.”

 

Bixby Vision also makes life easier by using the phone’s camera app to relay information about one’s surroundings. To illustrate, it can vocalize which food items are in front of a user so they can know that they’re opening the specific potato chips or soft drink they want to consume.

 

 

Another example is Samsung DeX. While the service enhances the mobile experience by allowing users to use their smartphone like a desktop by providing a seamless, secure mobile to PC transition, it also enables those who experience difficulties typing or using gestures on a smartphone to more easily navigate content via a larger display.

 

“Now I can use a keyboard and mouse to control my smartphone more conveniently,” noted Donghee Lee, a smartphone user who controls his device with his toes. “It’s very well designed in terms of accessibility for people with disabilities.”

 

 

 

A More Accessible Future

Samsung’s efforts to enhance accessibility have recently been praised by various organizations including ONCE, the National Organization of the Blind in Spain, who recognized the Galaxy S8 and S8+  as devices that comply with the universal accessibility requirements and are properly equipped for visually impaired users. Additionally, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea will present Inho Baek, Samsung’s Mobile Accessibility UX Designer, with the Human Rights Award of Korea on December 8.

 

Baek is honored to have been nominated for such an accolade, but admits that he is more excited to learn of the many ways Samsung’s products have and will continue to influence users’ lives.

 

“Since implementing the new accessibility features on Samsung’s Galaxy products, many people, particularly those with disabilities, have told us that their quality of life has greatly improved,” he said. “But we have a vision that will drive the company to improve even further. In fact, it’s our responsibility. It’s my hope that through universal design, everyone will one day be able to enjoy new and beneficial experiences, regardless of their level of ability.”

Galaxy S8 Now Available in Burgundy Red

 

Samsung Electronics has officially announced the release of a bold new colorway for the Galaxy S8: Burgundy Red. The striking edition will be available first in Korea beginning on November 28, before rolling out to select markets.*

 

The new, luxurious hue accentuates the elegance of the Galaxy S8’s ergonomic glass and metal form, creating a seamless and refined aesthetic that will resonate with a wide range of tastes.

 

In addition to a sleek, bezel-less design, the Galaxy S8 features an array of cutting-edge, user experience-enhancing mobile technologies.

 

The Galaxy S8 is also available in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Coral Blue, Arctic Silver and Maple Gold.

 

 

*Specific availability details will be announced by each market’s wireless providers and regional Samsung offices.

Strides in Stewardship, Part 2: The Eco-Friendly Competitiveness of Samsung’s Mobile Technologies

Samsung Electronics is committed to both enhancing technologies and maintaining its responsible approach towards the environment. By cultivating a green attitude and outlook at each stage of design and production, the company aims to minimize its environmental footprint through all its business activities.

 

In part two of our “Strides in Stewardship” series, we explore some of the ways Samsung is providing new value for customers and the environment through its green practices and eco-friendly mobile innovations.

 

 

Using Sustainable Materials and Technologies to Create a Sustainable World

How can a smartphone be eco-friendly? Samsung works tirelessly to develop materials with improved eco-properties through collaborative projects between various departments including R&D and quality management.

 

As a result of this effort, the company has released products containing bio-material using industrial corn, mineral-based plastic and a novel application of polyketone, a polymer produced with carbon monoxide captured during the formulary process, used in TVs for the first time in the industry.

 

Samsung also uses recycled plastics for select products after classifying, cleaning and remanufacturing plastics from collected waste products in collaboration with recycling companies. The Galaxy S8, for example, uses recycled plastic in its inner packaging tray (30 percent) and charging adapter (20 percent). Half of the phone’s box is made up of recycled paper while its packaging and manual are printed with soy ink.

 

 

Energy efficiency is another consideration for sustainability. For example, the Galaxy S8’s Fast Charging Charger (5V/2A, 9V/1.67A) is optimized with low no-load power consumption (0.02w) and enhanced charging efficiency (86 percent).

 

Such efforts are the reasons why Samsung’s devices have continuously been recognized for their sustainable design and technology, achieving eco-labels in many markets around the world. The Galaxy S8, for example, has been granted a number of eco-labels including EPEAT and ECOLOGO Gold Certification by UL (USA), Carbon Trust (U.K.), Vitality Leaf (Russia) and Selo Colibri (Brazil).

 

 

 

Green and Clean: Responsible Chemical Management

With the expansion of worldwide RoHS and REACH-like regulations, Samsung increasingly conducts rigorous inspections and management procedures for raw materials and parts it uses to ensure it provides safe, responsible products for customers.

 

Among the company’s management efforts include the maintenance of an Environmental Analysis Lab for analyzing hazardous substances and volatile organic compounds, and an in-house monitoring process on restricted substances. Furthermore, Samsung has trained more than 650 internal auditors to execute environmental quality control to ensure that restricted substances are not intentionally present in its products.

 

 

The company also operates the Eco-Partner Certification Program, a comprehensive environmental initiative, to assess the environmental impact of product components, raw materials and the manufacturing processes of its suppliers. To ensure the efficiency of the program, Samsung has developed the Environmental-Chemicals Integrated Management System (e-CIMS) to monitor hazardous substances used by its Eco-Partners, and works only with companies that have acquired all necessary eco-related certification. Currently, Samsung manages 1,058 partners – a number that has quadrupled since 2010.

 

Additionally, the company has been voluntarily working to completely phase out the use of potentially dangerous chemicals such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and phthalates, and is continuously reducing usage of hazardous substances in its products.

 

 

Environmentally Conscious Product Assessment and Development

Over the past few years, Samsung has conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for its leading smartphones. This methodology assesses 12 potential environmental impacts such as global warming, ocean acidification and ozone layer depletion contained at each stage of a product’s life cycle, from design and manufacturing, to purchase and usage, to end-of-life processing and disposal.

 

This technique was first implemented in 2015 with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note5, and was followed through to the Galaxy Note8, Samsung’s most recent flagship smartphone. The devices that underwent the 12 processes showed their largest environmental impact in the areas of pre-manufacturing and distribution. Based on LCA results, these areas are where Samsung is putting its focus on improving energy efficiency and reducing supply chain emissions of the devices, thus reducing the environmental impact of the products.

 

 

In line with its commitment to constantly improve energy efficiency and recyclability, and reduce hazardous substances in products, Samsung has also established its own Eco-rating System which evaluates the sustainability performance of every product development project. The rating system consists of three grades – Premium Eco-Product, Good Eco-Product and Eco-Product – which are designated based on a product’s energy efficiency, resource efficiency and compliance with global environmental standards.

 

Through continuous revision and evaluation of standards, Samsung reflects new eco features and the latest environmental innovation in its products. Product ratings have been increasingly improving, and the company is striving to have 90 percent of new development projects receive the Good Eco-Product stamp of approval or higher by 2020.

 

 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Contributing to a Circular Economy

To do its part to support the circular economy, Samsung is partaking in a variety of activities that improve resource efficiency and reuse resources. These initiatives include extending the periods of product use by offering services such as repairing products, upgrading firmware for performance improvement and extending warranty coverage periods.

 

Additionally, rather than just discarding returned mobile products, Samsung changes their parts, reinstalls software and repackages them as refurbished devices, selling them at reduced prices. Provided in the U.S. and U.K., this service improves resource efficiency by facilitating the reuse of goods.

 

For instance, Samsung earlier this year announced plans for reusing and recycling select components of Galaxy Note7 devices. Parts such as OLED display modules, memory chips, camera modules and raw materials have since been used for service purposes, sold as components or incorporated into the Galaxy Note FE, working with companies that specialize in the collection of recycling materials.

 

Another ongoing project by Samsung is C-lab’s Galaxy Upcycling, which provides an environmentally-responsible way for old Galaxy mobile devices to be recycled. Seventy percent of used devices is left untouched after three years of their launch, and the number of such products is estimated to be 0.2 billion units every year. Those devices that might otherwise be forgotten in desk drawers or discarded are utilized to build new IoT open platforms, CCTV systems, game consoles and more.

 

Samsung is also making multiple efforts to reuse resources by conducting activities such as the establishment of waste product collection systems, an expanded use of recycled materials and global take-back and recycling programs in approximately 60 countries.

 

 

Creating a more sustainable economy will change the world in many ways, and Samsung will continue to do all it can to implement environmental and resource-related solutions while providing consumers with an increasing number and quality of responsibly-designed products.

Samsung Wins Home Office Contract to Supply Upgrade Emergency Services Network

Samsung Electronics announced today that the company has been awarded a contract for the supply of smartphones and related accessories by the Home Office for use on the emergency services network (ESN), which will see a new communications network rolled out to all police, fire, ambulance and other public safety users across the UK.

 

The LTE smartphones which will be supplied by Samsung were developed through extensive R&D to provide the most suitable solution for the challenges which currently affect communication within the emergency services. Fully optimised for the emergency environment, it will have a rugged design, be water resistant and both hardware and software features that will support emergency services functionality and critical voice services.

 

The new network will replace the current Airwave system which is mainly limited to voice radio. ESN will provide mobile broadband data services based on LTE, allowing a huge range of additional capabilities for frontline staff such as live-streaming video, crime applications and location services. As Airwave is phased out in stages over the next few years, the Home Office and Cabinet Office expect substantial savings to the taxpayer.

 

The Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) will deliver the new network and devices.

 

Suk-Jea Hahn, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics’ Global Mobile B2B Team: “We are excited to be part of the UK ESN project and awarded the contract to supply LTE smartphones and accessories for ESN in the UK. Next-generation public safety communications is an important area of focus for Samsung, and we are now looking forward to working in partnership with ESN and UK emergency services organisations to bring our technology to the entire public safety community on the front line, supporting the great work they do every day.”

Form and Function: an Interview with the Designers of Samsung’s Gear IconX (2018)

It may be Samsung’s smallest wearable, but the Gear IconX (2018) is big in terms of features and functionality. The comfortable, cord-free earbuds are engineered to offer hours of music listening – both standalone and connected to a device. The Gear IconX can improve wellbeing through its fitness functions, and increase connectivity with seamless touch control. Behind each and every function is a team of designers, who worked tirelessly to create Gear IconX. Product Planner Chahee Park and UX Designer Jungwon Choi of Samsung Electronics’ Mobile Communications Business explain more.

 

 

Q. When it came to product planning, what were your priorities and which features were focused on to optimize the Gear IconX’s usability and functions?

 

Park: This is the second generation of the Gear IconX, and as such we took the time to really listened to user feedback to help us improve upon our first design.

 

A significant priority was to ensure that the Gear IconX is the best companion to smartphones it can be. We wanted to make sure that a smartphone paired to a Gear IconX would be able to provide better and more features and functions than it can with wired headphones.

 

For example, the earbuds can store and play tracks without being connected to a smartphone. We also designed the Standalone Running Coach with voice guide, which tracks your workout, coaches you by providing real-time updates on exercise and is seamlessly integrated into the Samsung Health app. In addition, holding a button will trigger voice command and those who have Samsung smartphones are able to directly transfer their songs to their Gear IconX while connected to Bluetooth.

 

 

Battery life was another key consideration for cord-free earbuds with lots of features. The Gear IconX can achieve up to five hours of music streaming via Bluetooth and seven hours of stand-alone music play. But even if users do run out of battery, the Gear IconX’s charging case is able to recharge the earbuds, so they can keep on going wherever the user takes them throughout the day. There’s also a Quick Charge function to provide that extra boost when needed.

 

 

Q. Were there any difficulties in achieving the ideal balance between form and function?

 

Park: There definitely needs to be a careful balance between form and function. We wanted to fulfill all user needs and the most difficult hurdle was overcoming the basic limitation of size. We worked hard to figure out how to provide a long battery life, without taking away from the design and size, as well as finding the optimum balance among various features.

 

Choi: Not having a display was another challenge. The product had to be intuitive and easy to use so that users wouldn’t have any trouble using and adjusting the settings and functions. There were months of discussions and refinements involved.

 

 

Q. In terms of design, how important was overall comfort?

 

Park: Well, everyone’s ears are shaped differently, but the design had to suit as many people as possible and a lot of effort was put in to ensure this. We conducted a lot of studies and sought out the most ergonomic design. Our chief concerns were about angles, ear-comfort, stability and fixedness even during high impact movement, and of course size. Since the IconX can now be used for longer than ever, we wanted to ensure that users had complete comfort throughout.

 

 

Q. What are the advantages of using a touchpad? Can you elaborate further about the process of designing one?

 

Park: Pressing keys requires a degree of force, which is quite uncomfortable for users while they are wearing earbuds. A touchpad eliminates the need for keys and suits the Gear IconX’s minimalist design.

 

Inputting through keys had to be limited in order to deliver all the functions and features that we wanted to provide.

 

 

Choi: Our designers call it the invisible UX – there’s no screen and it can’t be seen. UI feature designers often got together to discuss basic interactions and how to ensure users would intuitively understand how to use the UX. It was important to know how much users can remember and internalize, and how quickly they could adapt to the newly applied touch and hold features.

 

An additional challenge was posed in optimizing the sensitivity of the touchpad.

 

When we say “swipe up”, everyone has a different idea of what “up” is. They go sideways, diagonal and straight up. We went through every possible scenario and gathered information through trial and error. We had to enlist the help of hundreds of internal staff in the trials.

 

 

Q. How was the sound quality of the Gear IconX achieved?

 

Park: The kernel design of the Gear IconX optimizes sound insulation and helps to block out any noises surrounding the user. Our greatest efforts were put into making sound output seamless. Since the earbuds are cord-free, and connected to a device via Bluetooth, sound must not be staggered or cut off. We wanted to minimize disturbances in the connection, particularly in underground spaces such as subway stations, where a cord-free product encounter lots of interference.

 

To achieve this, the Gear IconX’s sound output is stabilized with Samsung’s Scalable Codec, which continuously analyzes interference from WiFi and other Bluetooth signals and adjusts to minimize the impact on audio performance. The Scalable Codec decreases bit rate whenever the Gear IconX senses that the signal transfer is being disturbed, ensuring seamless music playback.

 

 

 

Q. When do users want to wear the Gear IconX the most?

 

Park: Gear IconX can be used whenever people want to listen comfortably and cordlessly – while they’re commuting or relaxing at home, for example.

 

Users can really focus on getting the most out of their exercise. The Gear IconX has many features which make it suitable for wearing while working out. Because the earbuds can store tracks and playlists, they can function independent of a smartphone, so users aren’t distracted by a screen. It’s sweat-resistant, ergonomically designed and features the Standalone Running Coach to help users maintain their pace. In addition, auto run/walk tracking give up-to-the-moment information about distance and speed. People often listen to music while exercising, and Gear IconX’s fitness features have been positively received by users.

 

 

Q. What has the consumer reaction to the Gear IconX been like?

 

Park: In the days since the launch, the early reactions from users have been pleasing to us as planners and designers, who worked hard to achieve them. Tech reviews have been shared widely, piquing the interest of the general public and consumers.

 

Tech-savvy users have also provided insightful commentary on how to use the Gear IconX. Since this Gear IconX is new to the market, their considerations are a useful resource for both consumers and Samsung.

[Design Story] Messenger of the Product: Samsung Wearable Package Design Story

One of the factors that determine the success or failure of a package design is whether the package effectively acts as a messenger of the product and brand. A package design not only conveys primary information of a product’s image, but it also offers a comprehensive brand experience that captures a product’s desired values and usage. Therefore, a package design is the embodiment of a product’s core message to its users and the manifestation of the conversation between a user and a product. Let’s take a moment to listen to the story of the product that is illustrated in the Samsung Wearable package design.

 

 

 

Changes for a more Consistent Brand Experience

Previous Samsung Wearable packages were great at portraying unique characteristics and strengths of different product categories, but had difficulty conveying the overarching impression of the brand. We analyzed countless competitor products and interviewed package and retail experts to create an all-encompassing brand experience through the package. Through this process, we set our design goal to create a packaging system that exudes the exhaustive aura of a brand and enhances the details of the overall experience that covers the journey from opening the package to holding the product in your hand.

 

 

Concept that Ties Categories Together

Precious

“Packaging is a nice way to speak to the user.” -Danny Miller, Creative Director of High Tide

 

Even if you are purchasing a product for yourself, a nicely packaged product that feels like a gift offers a whole new level of precious sentiment. The Samsung Mobile Wearable package acts as its own salesman when displayed on a showcase. The ‘Precious’ concept reflects this idea and provides a modern interpretation of the ‘premium gift’ keyword. From the moment users open the upper box, they are greeted with a ‘Welcome Door’ that creates anticipation for what’s to come. Furthermore, the inbox items, such as the manual and cables, are neatly assembled to express delicate care toward users.

 

360° Consideration

“To attract human attention your packaging needs to achieve a fine balance between vibrancy, uniqueness and simplicity.” – Kate Nightingale, Consumer Psychologist and Founder of Style Psychology

 

 

The package is designed under the umbrella of the ‘360° Consideration’ concept, which organically connects different aspects of a package that each contain unique information. The design is systemically considerate of users and maintains a fine balance of text and images among all six sides of the box, thereby preventing an overload of information coming from a single element of the package. The compartments of the package flow seamlessly while also being exclusive, which enables the product to become a natural eye-catcher and an impressionable storyteller that tells a tale which goes beyond basic spec details.

 

 

Message that is Formed through Depth in Detail

 

A package can create a powerful message when all its elements, from materials to color, font, photography, graphics, constitution, and more, form a harmonious and meticulously detailed ensemble. The Samsung Wearable package design augments its consistency with depth in detail to more effectively communicate the product’s language to its users.

 

 

Attractive and Powerful Images

The product images used for the package were all taken in an honest viewpoint that has the product facing the front. The crisp and clean background that is spread behind the product and the soft light that permeates into the product radiate a confident and modern impression. For products like the Gear Fit2 Pro, which is important to properly show the band color, the images are rotated so that users can properly see the color of the band from the front of the package.

 

 

Systematic Transmission of Information

 

Key information such as product and brand names are always placed in the same location of the package for all categories to maintain consistency. Additional information such as the USP, icons, and product descriptions were positioned in order of importance in areas that are easily seen by the user so that all information can be systemically and properly disclosed to the user.

 

 

Color that Represents the Brand

 

The number of colors used in the package is limited to four colors, excluding the colors in the product image. The proportion of how each color is used is carefully determined by its purpose. The Premium Black color that appears universally among Samsung brand products blankets the entire package. The Samsung Accent Blue, used as the Signature Accent, is applied minimally throughout the package just enough to indicate the mood of the brand. White and light-grey are used for typography to immaculately organize product information.

 

 

Patterns that Capture the Sentiments of a Product

 

Patterns differ from product to product, so each pattern is designed to serve as a metaphor of the product’s specific qualities to evoke sentimental resonance. The Gear 360 features a photograph that boasts 360 degree photography, the Gear VR provides a multidimensional view, and the Gear Fit2 Pro shows an image that displays heart rate to exemplify the product.

 

Intuitive Icon Graphics

The Samsung Wearable package has been produced in two forms and two sizes, which upholds coherence of the brand when displayed. Even when the volume of the package must be larger to accommodate additional accessories, the z-axis of the package is enlarged instead of the x-axis or the y-axis so that the product is always displayed in a constant size when viewed from the front.

 

 

Everyone knows the feeling of keeping a package that they were particularly fond of. At times, the package of a product can induce a sensation that is as potent as, if not even stronger, than the sensation that comes from the product itself. The purpose of a package transcended beyond its previous role of simply wrapping up or protecting the product, and has gained its own meaning. The Samsung Wearable package design has come to redefine the identity and role of the package.

Gear S3 Value Pack Update: Timeless Outside. Even More Revolutionary Inside.

Recognized as one of the best-in-class smartwatches in the wearable category, Samsung’s Gear S3 has been praised for its design, user friendliness and technological innovation. But with the recently released value pack update, the Gear S3 is more versatile than ever.

 

Packed with enhancements that augment the device’s utility and streamline users’ access to the information they rely on, the update transforms the Gear S3 into a controller, a tracker, a communicator and, of course, a watch – all in one device.

 

 

Workouts, Your Way

Exercising with the Gear S3 has been completely transformed, thanks to new features designed to make activity tracking more intuitive.*

 

Advanced, real-time heart rate monitoring with improved accuracy and detailed feedback lets users continuously monitor their heart rate activity – whether they’re enjoying a relaxing yoga session or an exhilarating kickboxing class. They can also control their weight more efficiently via the nutrition management feature, where they can easily add calories consumed, check their calorie balance and compare it to their daily target.

 

 

Fitness buffs looking to take their workout routine to the next level will appreciate the Samsung Health Fitness Program feature, which lets them watch exercise programs from their synced smartphone on a TV. Once connected, they can use their Gear S3 to control the displayed content, display their heart rates on the TV.

 

 

Centralized Communications, Right from Your Wrist

Despite its productivity and fitness features, the Gear S3 is not just a lifestyle device. In fact, it’s a communicator that makes getting in touch and staying on task easy and efficient.

 

In addition to searching contacts via the device, users can also now create new contacts right from the screen of the Gear S3. They can also create events along with related information such as date and time, reminder alerts, and location (text only) with a few simple taps and twists of the bezel.

 

 

Furthermore, rather than just checking reminders created on the Gear S3, users can also now view and edit checklist, video and web reminders created on their synced smartphone on the smartwatch. For instance, they can create a grocery list on their mobile device and tick items off right from their wrist as they add them to their shopping cart.**

 

 

 

A UX Optimized for the Way You Use Your Device

The Gear S3 sets users free from their phone; a turn of the device’s signature rotating bezel is all it takes to respond to calls, read messages or access an app. But with the latest updates, the device’s UX is even more seamless and user-friendly.

 

Widgets, for example, have been optimized to fit the newly enhanced circular display of the Gear S3 so that more information can be viewed at a glance. A band has been added around the perimeter of the screen along with widget-specific text such as contact names, detailed weather information and the remaining time before an alarm is set to go off.

 

 

By rotating the bezel at a faster or slower rate, users can view more or less information, respectively. For instance, if a user wants to change their device’s watch face, they can see more design options on the screen at once by turning the bezel at a faster speed.

 

 

Users can also use the bezel to naturally move from a text message notification to the reply input. Should they not have enough time to send a detailed reply, they can make use of even more default quick replies to express themselves in a snap. They can also create and edit their own quick replies directly on the smartwatch.

 

 

Gear S3 owners also now have the option to sort apps in the order in which they were most recently used in addition to being able to customize their location. The Moment Bar, which allows users to adjust the volume, check the battery level and more, is easily accessed with a swipe up or down from any screen.

 

To top things off, Samsung Gear, the app that Gear S3 owners use to sync their smartwatch with their smartphone, has been enhanced with a modern, image-focused design to better harmonize with the classic aesthetic of the device.

 

 

Enhanced Control for Ultimate Connectivity

With a focus on connectivity, Samsung’s ever-growing connected ecosystem brings about the need for more control. With its large touchscreen and rotating bezel, the Gear S3 is the perfect tool for controlling one’s devices, and is only enhanced with the new value pack update.

 

Users can now manage their compatible Samsung IoT-enabled devices right from their Gear S3 with Samsung Connect. The smartwatch also functions as a remote control for PowerPoint presentations and Samsung Gear VR, adding an element of convenience to both work and play.

 

The Gear S3 value pack update is now available for download via the Samsung Gear app.

 

 

* To activate these new features, the Samsung Health app must first be updated on the smartphone synced to the Gear S3.

** The Reminder function only works with the Gear S3 if the Reminder app is downloaded on the synced smartphone, which is limited to the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note8.

Strides in Stewardship, Part 1: Innovating the Mobile Antenna to Maximize User Safety and Device Performance

Radio frequency (RF) radiation (sometimes referred to as “cell phone radiation”) represents one of the most common environmental influences, about which anxiety and speculation are quickly spreading. Amid these growing concerns, Samsung Electronics has been working in earnest to design its smartphone and wearable technology so that RF exposure is minimized as much as possible.

 

By establishing internal Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) standards, enhancing antenna design and maintaining close collaboration between teams during product development stages, the company has been able to produce a number of mobile devices with some of the lowest SAR levels on the market.

 

In the first installment of the “Strides in Stewardship” series, we will take a closer look at some of the initiatives taken by Samsung to achieve this accomplishment.

 

 

So What Exactly Is SAR?

When electromagnetic waves are received and transmitted by a wireless device such as a smartphone, some of the RF energy is lost to the surrounding environment and can be absorbed by the person handling the product. SAR is the rate at which human biological tissues – such as those in the body and head – absorb these stray RF signals from the source being measured.

 

SAR provides a straightforward method for measuring the RF exposure characteristics of mobile devices to ensure that they are within the safety guidelines based on standards that have been developed by independent scientific organizations through exhaustive evaluation of scientific studies.

 

In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that all phones sold have an SAR level at or below 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg) averaged over 1 gram of actual tissue – a guideline based upon the standards developed by IEEE, NCRP and input from other federal agencies. Similarly, Japan, China and most European nations follow the guidelines specified by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which sets the SAR limit at 2 W/kg averaged over 10 grams of actual tissue.

 

* The SAR levels indicated in this chart are based on US devices. SAR levels may vary by model and region. For more information, visit: https://www.samsung.com/sar/

 

Samsung is so committed to ensuring the safety of its users that its internal maximum SAR level is half of those fixed by the previously mentioned international standards. This is emphasized in the chart above, which lists the company’s smartphones launched in 2017 and their respective SAR levels. These levels, particularly the Head SAR levels, are some of the lowest on the market today.

 

To achieve the lowest SAR levels possible, Samsung has dedicated many of its resources to research and development, particularly in the area of antenna design. That’s because RF waves from mobile phones are emitted from the antenna, and the closer the antenna is to body tissue, the greater a person’s exposure to RF energy is expected to be.

 

 

Taking the Lead in Antenna Innovation

In 2006, Samsung adopted an innovative antenna system to enhance device safety by maintaining significantly lower SAR levels compared to other products while simultaneously improving overall RF performance. One way the company has been successful in achieving this goal is by making antenna location a priority in its smartphone design.

 

“Antenna placement is incredibly important. A one-millimeter difference in location can reduce the SAR level by a large margin,” noted Yoonjae Lee, Antenna Group, Mobile R&D Office, Samsung Electronics. “The location of the antenna has to be decided during the product planning stage, as it’s difficult to change its placement later on.”

 

Over the past few years, Samsung has focused its efforts on embedding the TX antennas – the antennas that are most closely associated with higher SAR rates – at the bottom of the phone body. In doing so, cell phone radiation is directed away from the head of the user, where the phone is typically held during phone calls and the part of the body where RF energy poses the biggest health concerns.

 

But recently, design trends have shifted to favor metal phone bodies with bigger displays, making antenna positioning more challenging.

With today’s devices, the external metal frames of the phone body become the antenna itself. Therefore, antenna placement and general phone design have to be considered simultaneously, which requires the close cooperation of multiple teams. To facilitate this process, Samsung conducts a number of simulations using proprietary software and tools to determine the best location for the antenna based on the phone’s design, without having to use a physical prototype of the device.

 

In addition to the placement of the antenna, certain device materials and even chemicals in the product’s color coating can affect SAR levels as well as the performance of the antenna, further complicating the product development process. As a result, Samsung’s Antenna Group works closely with different design teams, including the Color, Material and Finish (CMF) team.

 

“When the CMF team proposes the use of a new material – which was the case with the Galaxy Note8 – the design team commissions a detailed substance analysis of the material,” said Lee. “The Antenna Group then conducts various tests to determine all the possible ways the material might influence the behavior of the antenna.”

 

As product development advances, Samsung tests SAR levels at every stage, considering the highest output when the body of the device and the head of the user are in close contact. Should the anticipated SAR levels of a product come out higher than the company’s standards during any stage of product development, the process is halted and modifications are made until the SAR levels are satisfactory.

 

To test the SAR level of a mobile device, Samsung conducts 2D and 3D scans using a special liquid-form material that has similar permittivity and conductivity levels as those of human body tissue. Measurements are made at different frequencies representing the frequency bands at which the device can transmit.

 

Samsung has also applied its antenna know-how to its wearable devices, which boast SAR levels that are significantly lower than those of the products of the company’s competitors.

 

“Many other wearable manufacturers are struggling with SAR levels. Even if they try to utilize the appropriate materials and placement for the antenna, they lack relevant technology patents,” said Inyoung Lee, Antenna Group, Mobile R&D Office, Samsung Electronics. “But Samsung’s antenna design is completely different from those of other brands. As a result, we are able to sustain low SAR levels while ensuring optimal antenna performance.”

 

 

An Ongoing Effort

In an effort to maintain its momentum in antenna innovation going forward, Samsung earlier this year established the Antenna Design Studio, an initiative that the company hopes will help systemize the antenna design stage by integrating its many different parts – including software simulations and hardware testing – to minimize repetitive stages and determine the most efficient performance.

 

The company has also established an internal task force to determine which fields of expertise are needed to enhance antenna design (and thus continue to lower SAR levels), and are working consistently to grow its workforce to include highly trained antenna technicians and material experts.

 

In doing so, the company strives to continue to lead the smartphone industry through antenna development, all the while producing mobile devices with the lowest SAR levels possible.

[Interview] Gear Sport: Designing a Smartwatch for the Everyday Athlete

Featuring a full suite of premium fitness features, a stylish yet practical design, and an enhanced and intuitive user interface, Samsung’s recently released Gear Sport smartwatch was designed to help people get more out of their day, and live a healthy and well-balanced life.

 

Here, two of the minds behind the Gear Sport’s design, Product Planner Sungjin Kim and UX Designer Hayeong Jeong, discuss Samsung’s efforts to design a sports watch that’s in a league of its own.

 

 

Q. Who was the Gear Sport designed for?

 

Kim: Our chief priority when designing the Gear Sport was to introduce a smartwatch that featured new, easy-to-use functions that allowed users to go ‘beyond fitness’.

 

Conventional sports watches tend to be huge and heavy, and designed mainly for those who are interested in pushing their bodies to the limit to reach peak condition. We’ve tailored the Gear Sport to those who want to work out and stay in shape, but aren’t necessarily interested in becoming a pro athlete.

 

 

The result is a smartwatch that’s sleek, comfortable and great for everyday wear, and packed with features that empower users to get the most out of a workout whenever they wish. We set out to design a device that struck a fine balance between stylish design and powerful, fitness-focused function, and we’ve been delighted to hear that the result of our efforts has gotten great feedback from users.

 

 

Q. What are some of the ways that the Gear Sport streamlines exercise?

 

Kim: The Gear Sport features built-in GPS and an advanced, continuous heart-rate sensor, and is one of the first Samsung wearables (along with the Gear Fit2 Pro) to boast 5 ATM (50-meter) water resistance.

 

This level of water resistance means that the smartwatch is built to not only stand up to rain and the odd splash, but also dips in the pool. In fact, the Gear Sport’s support for swim-tracking app Speedo On makes it the ideal companion for any swim.

 

 

The device is packed with powerful fitness-tracking software, including a built-in “pace-setter” feature that makes it excellent for managing runs, as well as automatic activity detection. And by seamlessly syncing with Samsung Health, and allowing users to easily log their calorie intake directly into their smartwatch, the Gear Sport also offers tools to help users keep better track of their eating habits and ultimately achieve their weight goals.

 

The smartwatch is also great for home training. Its Samsung Health integration allows you to easily access an expanded collection of fun fitness classes from third-party content providers that may be streamed to your Samsung TV using your Samsung smartphone’s Smart View function, while its continuous heart-rate tracking allows you to monitor your performance on your screen in real-time during your workout.

 

 

Q. The Gear Sport also introduces a new, square form to the Samsung smartwatch lineup. What inspired this adjustment?

 

Kim: We chose to equip the Gear Sport with a case that combines the Gear line’s signature bezel with a slightly square body not only because it created a unique way to differentiate the device from our other offerings, but also because it allowed us to incorporate a large, 300 mAh battery.

 

The contours of the case make the Gear Sport quite comfortable to wear, and add a nice, elegant touch to the device’s overall aesthetic.

 

 

Q. How have you enhanced the Gear Sport’s familiar, circular UX?

 

Jeong: Our wearables’ signature UX makes accessing their functions simple and intuitive. When we set about designing the Gear Sport, we prioritized finding useful ways to enhance the circular UX, and make best use of the versatile bezel.

 

For example, sending a completed text with the interface used to require a tap of the screen. Now, a slight twist of the bezel will automatically pull up a prompt to send your text. We’ve also optimized the bezel to make tasks like changing a watch face more seamless and convenient. So if you rotate the Gear Sport’s bezel quickly after pulling up the watch face selection screen, now, you’ll be able to instantly view more options.

 

The Gear Sport’s UX enhancements make it easy for users to view more watch faces at a glance (top row), and allow more apps and information to be presented clearly on the device’s circular display (bottom row).

 

Other adjustments include the new app shortcut widget, which displays your most recently accessed apps, and the streamlined Quick Panel, which may now be accessed from any screen, rather than solely via the watch face. The optimizations we’ve made are the results of incorporating user feedback, and make it easy for users to access key functions and find the information they need at a glance.

 

We’re constantly looking for new, innovative ways to optimize UX – not only for the Gear Sport, but for each of our wearable devices.

 

 

Q. The Gear Sport’s highly customizable design adds another fun layer of versatility. Is this something that was prioritized from an early stage?

 

Jeong: Absolutely. Our aim with the Gear Sport was to present a sports watch with a truly versatile design.

 

The watch comes in two colors, black and blue, and features 13 preinstalled watch faces. The colors of those watch faces may be customized to create a wide array of unique designs, which may also be paired with 23 available straps, yielding a total of more than 3,600 distinct variations.

 

 

On top of that, there are tens of thousands more watch faces available to download in the Galaxy Apps store, and we also offer a Gear Watch Designer tool, which makes it easy for users to create and share high-quality watch faces of their own design.

 

 

Q. Were there any other fun features that you were able to incorporate into the Gear Sport’s design?

 

Kim: Because smartwatch users tend to be tech savvy, and IoT-interactions are becoming more ubiquitous in our lives, when designing the Gear Sport, we prioritized optimizing the device for inter-device connectivity.

 

This ultimately led us to develop cool functions that allow users to use the Gear Sport to streamline how they do things like manage PowerPoint presentations, navigate VR interfaces,* and pay for goods on the go.

 

*Using Samsung’s Gear VR headset

[Photo] In the Studio: Galaxy Studios Around the World

From the US to Australia, Spain to Malaysia, Samsung Galaxy Studios are continuing to provide visitors with unique experiences in venues scattered across the globe. The studios are temporary installations open to the public in iconic locations, and offer visitors the opportunity to try out an array of Samsung’s flagship phones and wearable products, including the Galaxy Note8, Gear Sport, Gear VR and Gear 360.

 

Since September, Galaxy Studios have showcased for limited runs in more than 20 locations, with further displays planned to bring Samsung devices to even more cities.

 

Clockwise, from top left: Las Vegas, Melbourne, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur

 

 

Up Close and Personal with the Galaxy Note8

Among the Galaxy Studios’ highlights are hands-on experiences with the Galaxy Note8 and its distinctive S Pen and cameras. After snapping a selfie, visitors learn how embellish the photo with the S Pen, then see themselves on the big screen in the S Pen gallery. Or they can witness the effects of the Galaxy Note8’s IP68 water resistance rating, either by using the S Pen to apply photo filters or using other features underwater. Visitors can also explore the various key features of the Galaxy Note8 by placing the device on an interactive table.

 

Visitors at the Galaxy Studio in Kuala Lumpur test out various features of the Galaxy Note8 using the interactive table.

 

At the Galaxy Studio in Frankfurt, visitors explore the Galaxy Note8 and its features.

 

Visitors are wowed by the optical illusion created by mirrors in the S Pen Gallery, Frankfurt.

 

Taking the plunge in Los Angeles: Visitors are able to utilize features of the Galaxy Note 8, such as applying a photo filter using the S Pen, even when the smartphone is underwater.

 

Visitors to the Prague Galaxy Studio try out video conference calling on a desktop powered by smartphone with the Samsung DeX, which provides seamless transition from mobile device to desktop computer.

 

Noteworthy Wearables

Visitors can discover newly launched wearable products such as the Gear Sport, Gear Fit2 Pro and IconX (2018). Visitors are also able to test out the Gear Sport in a cycling challenge, enjoy an exhilarating 4D VR game, and film themselves in a 4D experience with the Gear 360.

 

A cyclist wearing the Gear Sport celebrates sweet victory in LA.

 

The race is on for two visitors in the Galaxy Fitness cycling challenge in Hong Kong.

 

Visitors in London enjoy the Gear VR in 4D. They control their movements through the universe with their controllers while sitting in a 4D chair, which moves to create a fully immersive virtual reality experience.

 

Surrounded by a 4D experience, visitors film themselves with the Gear 360 in Moscow.

 

Notable Events and Workshop Sessions at the Galaxy Studios

Samsung hosts a range of unique experiences at their Galaxy Studios. Recently, artists and influencers were invited to Galaxy Studios to illustrate ways to utilize the Galaxy Note8’s signature S Pen and dual cameras to their fullest capacity, and to participate in workshops. Galaxy Studios have also held fitness session using new products and wine tastings using the Gear VR. In addition, visitors were able to learn more about traffic safety in an immersive experience with the Gear VR, inside the Galaxy Studio’s fitness zone. Galaxy Studios aim to use their locations in various cities to their best advantage and the venues have held charity concerts and other local events to give back to the community.

 

Learning how to get the most out of using the S Pen in Amsterdam.

 

A visitor samples vintages with a sommelier during a VR wine tasting experience in Amsterdam.

 

Crowds gather for a charity concert in front of the Galaxy Studio in Las Vegas.
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