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article imageSamsung’s product launch reveals re-emergence of innovation Special

By Daniel Edwards     Sep 4, 2014 in Technology
After much anticipation Samsung’s Unpacked event at the IFA expo in Berlin, Samsung launched four devices which shows a resurgence in innovation for the tech giant as well as Samsung’s desire to expand in the wearable technology sector.
At the 2013 IFA expo in Berlin Samsung launched its foray into the wearable technology market with the Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch, a product designed to compliment Samsung Galaxy devices. In a similar theme to last year’s Samsung Unpacked event, the industry leader launched the third instalment of the Gear Smartwatch which has undergone an extensive redesign in hopes of attracting previous and new Smartwatch owners to grow the market. Duncan Stewart of Deloitte’s TMT Predictions appears to support the market trend of growth in the wearable space as he states “We are pretty optimistic about wearable technology in general. The Smartwatch market is still pretty early but it is about a $500 million market. Smartwatches are cool but they don’t do quite enough as they have to be connected to a Smartphone to function, so you can’t really leave your Smartphone behind.”
Last year’s Smartwatch usability was limited as it needed a synced Smartphone to receive calls and send messages. Samsung has improved this flaw through integrated connectivity via a nano sim allowing the Galaxy Gear to function as a standalone device, an upgrade which may encourage product adoption.
The newly released Galaxy Gear S comes equipped with a 2 inch curved Super amoled screen which is not only designed to fit more comfortably on the wrist but offers enough screen real estate for a qwerty keyboard. The improvements to the Galaxy Gear S is synonymous with Samsung’s launch event in whole as the company released four Galaxy products which appear to show the brand’s shift from mass producing marginally different devices to incorporating design changes that are innovative and appealing to consumer needs. Samsung’s launch of the Galaxy Note 4 and Note edge are prime examples of Samsung’s design shift as it appears Samsung is in tune with what features consumers are looking to have stalled and enhanced. Contrary to the past three generations of Galaxy Note Phablets, the Note 4 did not increase in size as it kept the 5.7 inch screen of the previous model — it appears Samsung realized that the device cannot get any larger and stay functional.
Where Samsung did improve is in the screen resolution of the Note 4 which produces a sharper image thanks to a 2560x1440 super amoled screen, as well as in the S pen which offers additional features. Although not the most innovative feature, but the incorporation of metal elements into the Note 4 ridding the device of the plastic body has finally allowed the device to feel as premium as the user experience. Samsung’s Note Edge offers two screens which work together to enhance the user experience by having a thin curved vertical screen on the bezel which can be customized to receive notifications, control media functions and apps, etc. The Note Edge is a new approach to the possibilities of having multiple screens on a device and is entirely unique to Samsung. Similarly to how Samsung has legitimized the 5 inch plus screen phablet market, there is a possibility that physical split screens will be the next step in Smartphone technology.
Where it appears to be that Samsung is trying to distinguish itself from its competitors is in the re-emergence of the virtual reality space which made headlines this year with Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of VR startup Oculus. According to John Carmack, Chief Technology Officer for Oculus, Oculus and Samsung have been collaborating on the development of the Galaxy Note 4 powered Galaxy Gear VR which initially began as an experiment to see if virtual reality was possible on a mobile platform, potentially allowing for virtual reality apps to gain mass exposure and for Samsung to strengthen its wearable tech portfolio.
“Experiencing mobile VR is like when you first tried a decent desktop VR experience — There is a sense that you are glimpsing something from the future. This is science fiction made real, and it’s only just the beginning,” states John Carmack.
As Apple readies its new products to be launched in the coming days while also dealing with the fallout of the icloud related celebrity photo hacks over the weekend and lower stock price after Samsung’s announcements, it appears that Samsung has the edge in innovation and competition — at least until people see the iPhone 6.
More about Samsung, Samsung Galaxy Note, Android, wearable technology
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