By STF News
In this episode of POW!, we interview Drazen Stojcic. Drazen is the 2020 Galaxy Store award winner for best watch face collection. Not only do we talk about his rise to becoming one of the top watch face sellers on Galaxy Store, but also his fascinating career path. And it all started when he became an award-wining author after writing his first novel at the age of 16.
Galaxy Watch Studio Galaxy Store Galaxy Store Badges Social Media Photography Videography Animations SDC19 Best of Galaxy Store Awards
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A report from South Korea illustrates the unseen tech war between Samsung and China. Samsung has strict practices to prevent employees from stealing sensitive information that could be sold to Chinese companies. China is targeting Samsung engineers with better job offers. The report notes that the South Korean government is also involved in protecting what it sees as “national core technologies” from reaching China, including the OLED displays that Samsung makes for Galaxy phones and iPhones. It’s a known secret in the mobile industry that Samsung can’t prevent Galaxy leaks. All of its phones leak months ahead of release, with little mystery left for the actual Unpacked press conferences where the next-gen Galaxy S, Note, or Fold is unveiled. The Galaxy S21 went through the same process in the months preceding the mid-January announcement. Perhaps it’s just a case of Samsung not really caring enough to really prevent those leaks.
The leaks might ruin the surprise, but the hype can help with sales even if the mystery is lost. While Samsung might seem complicit to some extent with those leaks, it turns out the company is fighting what appears to be a fierce war against the kind of leaks that matter far more, leaks that could hurt its bottom line.
Unbeknownst to most people, Samsung is under attack from China, where local companies target Samsung employees with lucrative job offers. Also, corporate espionage campaigns attempt to steal trade secrets from key sectors where Samsung has immense expertise. This includes Samsung’s OLED tech that’s used in Galaxy phones and iPhones alike, as well as Samsung’s semiconductor business.
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Nikkey Asia explains in a detailed report that the South Korean government is very much aware of the corporate espionage, helping local companies guard their tech secrets. The report focuses on Samsung, but Chinese companies are also targeting other South Korean companies, like LG.
In the five years ending in 2019, 123 cases of tech leaks from South Korea were recorded, according to data from the nation’s top intelligence agency, the National Intelligence Service (NIS). Most of those leaks (83) went to China, many involving technologies where South Korean companies have a lead on competitors, including semiconductors, displays, and shipbuilding.
Three men were caught last August attempting to leak Samsung OLED secrets to China. They are currently facing at least three years in prison as a result, according to the report.
Samsung has strict security practices in place to prevent employees from stealing sensitive data. The camera and audio-recording functions of smartphones belonging to employees are disabled in labs and factories. The printing paper at one laboratory includes metal foil so metal detectors placed at the doors will prevent employees from leaving with sensitive information. Samsung also forbade employees from taking documents with technical data out of the office during the novel coronavirus pandemic, even though many people were working from home.
But Samsung can’t force employees to stay at their jobs. Samsung has a workforce of over 287,000 workers worldwide, and headhunters from China are targeting these individuals with better job offers. Nikkei explains:
The S and L stand for Samsung and LG. The employees who do accept job offers in China attempt to hide that they’re working in China. Some adopt aliases to keep authorities and former employers from tracing them. And they might use particular routes to return home, like flying from Hong Kong or Shanghai, busy destinations that allow them to blend in.
The report notes that Chinese display maker BOE, which has been vying for Apple’s iPhone business for years, has hired around 120 South Koreans, including more than 50 former Samsung engineers who led the development of OLED screens for the iPhone. A BOE plant in Chengdu has production lines set up just like Samsung Display’s main plant in South Korea. BOE supplies OLED screens for the iPhone repair market, but it’s not a certified iPhone screen provider. The South Korean government has designated OLED technologies as “national core technologies,” with NIS having a section dedicated to making sure those secrets stay in Korea.
The report also notes that China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), which is on a US government blacklist, has also hired many South Koreans, with at least 62 people appearing in SMIC-related patents. Headhunting of Samsung employees with expertise in chip production tech has increased just as the US-China tech tensions started heating up.
The full Nikkei story is available at this link.
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By STF News
Our homes are the spaces that best represent our personal preferences, needs and tastes, much of which presents itself in the way in which we arrange the objects in our living spaces. Understanding that such organization techniques and choices are crucial to users when looking for pieces to add to their homes, the designers at Samsung Electronics have been pursuing a design direction that prioritizes how an object will blend into customer’s homes as well as their everyday lives.
Samsung’s The Serif, released in 2016, was the beginning of the solidification of this design direction as the company began to introduce lifestyle television products. Similarly, The Frame’s picture frame-like design allows the TV to serve as an artistic object when switched off, and The Serif blends in naturally to a space’s aesthetic due to its furniture-like design. Samsung’s latest product, lifestyle projector The Premiere, follows this design trajectory, too.
When designing The Premiere, Samsung’s designers deliberated constantly over not just the purpose of the product, but also the user experience it could offer. Accordingly, The Premiere was designed in consideration of the entirety of a user’s daily life as opposed to just those moments of downtime enjoying content, resulting in a design that truly gives back to the space it is placed in.
A Seamless Match With Any Environment
“The Premiere can be used in living rooms or bedrooms just like a normal TV, following a change in usage habits that has become the focal point of all our latest designs,” noted Sungil Bang, designer at the Product Design Group of Samsung’s Visual Display Business. Rather than being a product that is used just occasionally, the designers of The Premiere visualized an ultra-short throw projector product that is used frequently while being stored in a way similar to how users position their television sets. The Premiere’s main purpose is to provide users with cinematic experiences at home, but the designers looked beyond this simple role to explore how the product’s design could complement the space in which it is placed.
“The Premiere is a premium home appliance equipped with advanced technology,” noted designer Jigwang Kim. “However, despite its special functional offering, a projector can become less appealing when its design ruins the aesthetic of a home. We worked to create a design mockup and then verified its appearance within a space in order to confirm our conviction that we were creating a product that can truly become one with its environment.” As a result of this process, The Premiere’s material, appearance, color and size were all designed with the user environment in mind.
A Projector With a Natural Touch
Rather than appearing as just another rigid electronic device, The Premiere is finished with fabric materials that help the product merge naturally into any space. Kvadrat textiles are known for the premium colors, textures and finishing they offer interior design products, and was therefore a natural choice to complement The Premiere’s design aesthetic. However, the process of including it in the product was not initially simple: due to the tight weave structure of Kvadrat fabrics, there were concerns the sound quality would be affected when the speakers were covered. Therefore, after much effort and trialing, a new fabric was developed with an increased aperture ratio built into its woven structure that would provide a high-quality aesthetic while also maintaining sound quality.
Refined Lines and Minimal Space
It takes a trained eye to achieve harmony within one’s home, given the range of objects and appliances each person has and the level of personalization they might wish to achieve. The Premiere features a smooth, refined design that is free of any superfluous accents and instead boasts a minimal and rounded shape with a slim silhouette. Its appearance allows it to harmonize well with any and every object, be it placed on a table or a book cabinet.
In order to achieve this appearance, the biggest hurdle faced by the designers was reducing the overall size of the product. The more advanced the technologies there are in a product, the bigger a product tends to become, but The Premiere’s designers were set on crafting a softly-shaped object as opposed to having a larger or rectangular-shaped design. It was by finely adjusting the position of the product’s circuit, lens, speaker and fan that this design was achieved, and not without constant correction of various curves and discussions with related teams. Furthermore, The Premiere’s softer color tone was chosen over more striking shades so that the projector gives a warm and elegant impression to users.
Designing a Product for Every Aspect of Daily Life
“We made sure that the natural aspects of the design complemented the actual user experience of The Premiere,” stressed designer Junpyo Kim. In order to match the exterior design with the simple, easy-to-use nature of the product, the designers considered the everyday use habits for a product like The Premiere, noting that, for the most ideal viewing experience possible, such tasks as closing the curtains, installing additional equipment or purchasing separate speakers should be made obsolete.
“We wanted to make sure the product could be used effortlessly by users, so our aim was to remove the need for them to adjust their environment according to the product,” highlighted designer Byungwook Kang. “This intent, which we included at every stage of the design process, accompanies the integration of new technologies in The Premiere that facilitate new viewing experiences and habits.” Such new technologies include The Premiere’s rich, three-dimensional sound that requires no extra speakers, clear image brightness and accurate, vivid image coloration, as well as the ultra-short throw technology that overcomes the limitations of where a projector needs to be placed to ameliorate the daily lives of users.
Keeping It Close and Easy
The position of a domestic product in the home will usually depend on its function. With a product like a lifestyle projector, this positioning can get quite complicated, as users have to consider installation requirements and habitual movement paths. The Premiere comes with none of these worries, as it can be placed freely wherever a user desires with no excessive installation required. The Premiere shoots its laser beams upwards rather than to the front thanks to its ultra-short throw technology, ensuring a large screen for viewers even when it is close to the wall and opening up the options for users to place and enjoy the lifestyle projector wherever they would like.
Vivid Color in Any Light
Clear picture quality is a necessity for the proper enjoyment of large screens (up to 130 inches), wherever a viewer may be sitting. Further to this, for maximum impact, the colors of content should be as vivid and as bright as a movie screen whatever the time of day the content is being enjoyed at. This is why The Premiere features a triple laser and HDR10+ technology for maximum color expression, and thanks to its contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1, every little detail is emphasized. Finally, its maximum brightness of 2,800 ANSI-Lumens means that external lighting is not a barrier for viewing enjoyment. If the value of The Premiere’s technologies is in how they enable users to enjoy crisp picture quality in any environment, the value of its design is in how it enables the product to provide this user enjoyment in any space.
Ample Sound, All by Itself
Sound is one of the elements that truly define a remarkable home cinema experience. Since the performance of speakers mounted on projectors is usually not enough to provide an immersive cinematic experience, users normally have to install extra speakers in order to achieve the desired quality of sound. However, The Premiere introduces a whole new world of on-device sound quality. The Premiere’s all-in-one speaker is equipped with a woofer and an acoustic beam with a powerful output that emits sound through 44 audio holes on both the left and right hand sides of the device to create a truly three-dimensional sound experience. The product’s acoustic beam technology is structured similarly to wind instruments, with holes punctured through long tubes to achieve an immersive sound quality. While these tubes require a certain amount of space within the product, the designers went to extra lengths to ensure this wouldn’t affect its overall size by creating precise internal designs that allowed for the surround sound technology within a small exterior form.
The Premiere was designed to be a product that complements its environment seamlessly as opposed to standing out. This aesthetic decision was one made unanimously by the Samsung team in order to craft a product that understood its users and could suit actual situations, preferences and environments. Thanks to this approach, The Premiere features a design that blends naturally into everyday life and can fit comfortably into any environment.
* The images featured are simulated and for illustration purpose only. The actual product may differ from the images shown below.
* This product does not require the installation of an additional screen and can project onto flat monotone surfaces that are in white or bright colors. For an optimal projection environment, users are recommended to use a customized screen made for an ultra-short throw projector.
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By STF News
As more and more consumers gravitate towards streaming services, TVs are evolving into the device of choice for those who desire larger, higher-quality screens, more immersive gaming experiences and at-home exercise functionalities, among other features. These days, Smart TVs are particularly in the spotlight given that users can enjoy a whole array of different content on them with just an Internet connection.
Samsung Electronics unveiled its first Samsung Smart TV in 2011. In 2015, the company introduced its Tizen OS and has continued making progress in this field with a view to provide users with differentiated services. But how exactly has Samsung adapted to recent changes in the way people are consuming content? What efforts have been made to advance Samsung Smart TVs into becoming better platforms? Samsung Newsroom spoke to Seline Sangsook Han, Vice President of Service Business Team, Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics, to learn more.
Q. Recently, a growing number of consumers have been putting more value on user experience instead of TV price or design when purchasing TVs. What is driving this change in purchase trends?
In the past, a user’s media experience came just from watching the broadcast programs provided by their set-top box or TV tuner. Under these conditions, the resolution of the TV’s screen and the way it matched the space it was placed in was the top priority for those purchasing TVs.
However nowadays, the way we consume media content is diversifying and the content itself is becoming richer and more varied. As such, users are now prioritizing their own unique experiences and considering how their devices fit into their own individual tastes and environments. On top of this, TVs are evolving into smart devices, meaning that the scope of their experience offering is expanding. All of these factors are driving the current change in trends.
Q. Are industry insiders noting an experience-centric user trend?
Samsung Electronics started to provide smart TVs in 2011 and emerged as the industry leader. However, back then, users were less involved with the smart TV trend and there were few partners active in the market. These days, smart TVs are becoming increasingly important, and Samsung’s Smart TV has become a pivotal partner. Trend analysis shows us that, today, people are enjoying binge-watching shows more than they are watching shows in real-time. According to our internal research, people are spending more time watching Over-the-top (OTT) content on Samsung Smart TVs than they are watching live content. U.S. users subscribe to an average of three OTT services, demonstrating that smart TV markets are on the rise globally.
Q. How is the Samsung Smart TV adapting to these changing trends?
Samsung is committed to keeping up with changing trends and the Samsung Smart TV has gone through extensive research for better user experiences. One of our top priorities has been figuring out how to provide users with the best possible experience of finding and enjoying the content they want to consume.
Samsung offers a content forwarding discovery service called Universal Guide to help consumers make choices easily by recommending content tailored to individual user preferences. In addition, Samsung TV Plus is available for users to enjoy a variety of channels on – news, entertainment, movies, TV shows and more. This is a free TV service, with no strings attached.
On top of this, users can also appreciate leading art works on their TV via the Art Store of lifestyle TV The Frame and enjoy indoor workouts through Samsung Health, a functionality that was released this year. These services particularly benefit those who have experienced unexpected changes in their day-to-day lives this year and are thus finding themselves staying at home more.
Q. What does it take to make a great TV platform?
Nobody can make a great platform while working alone. When we appreciate what an ecosystem means, a great platform can emerge.
From the perspective of partners, high quality technologies and user convenience should be ensured. Furthermore, for the sake of a platform’s users, enriching and useful content and user convenience are essential features, as these factors are what drive an engaging user experience. Samsung, as a platform provider, needs to create a viable marketplace with which to build a mutually beneficial business model in order to drive continued investment and partner growth and ultimately improve user satisfaction. At the end of the day, relentless efforts driving strategies tailored to one’s platform is what can bear fruit.
Q. What makes the Samsung Smart TV unique in terms of its platform?
The Samsung Smart TV was created as a television device. Over the past 14 years, Samsung has been ranked number one in the TV industry, and during these years, Samsung has continued to build its leadership across the markets as well as cultivated a robust user base. As a service platform, the Samsung Smart TV was not a leader at all in the beginning. Thanks to Samsung’s market leadership and product offering as a TV manufacturer, we have been able to reach users around the world, and this user base helped the company attract partners. Considering that TVs are a home necessity and play a pivotal role in consumers’ media consumption, the Samsung Smart TV has an unbeatable position and capabilities in terms of product manufacturing and supply, user experience design and ecosystem operation based on its own platform.
These days, fewer people are watching TV in programs real-time, but are still tending to consume other types of media content on their TVs. Many consumers choose bigger and higher quality TVs in order to enjoy more immersive watching experiences. Today, TVs are more than just viewing screens. TVs have seen their uses expanded into the fields of workout, productivity, entertainment and home Internet of Things (IoT). Samsung’s Smart TVs are becoming an integral part of their users’ daily lives, displaying the product’s boundless potential as a platform.
Q. The 2018 Samsung Smart TV was presented as a device capable of supporting various activities, while the 2019 Samsung Smart TV was defined as a provider of customized services for any and all user preferences. How would you define the 2020 Samsung Smart TV?
The 2020 Samsung Smart TV prioritizes delivering a next-generation screen experience to users. This year’s Samsung Smart TV enables users to harness new services, a range of partner applications and Samsung TV Plus in order to bring the content they want right in front of them easily and quickly. What defines the 2020 Samsung Smart TV is the facilitation of services like Bixby, Alexa and Google Assistant for easy access to such areas as art, fitness and gaming features across such applications as Samsung Health and Art Store.
Q. Can you share one useful tip for Samsung Smart TV users?
I prefer to pick the content I want to watch and enjoy it whenever I find it convenient to. I make good use of both Korean and international OTT services, as well as Samsung TV Plus, from Friday night through to the following morning and have developed my own TV guide packed full of exactly the content I want to enjoy. While streaming, I am also able to get my laundry done, as my Smart TV will let me know when my machine’s cycle is complete so that I don’t forget to take my laundry out of the machine.
I also want to recommend the Art Store of The Frame, one of Samsung’s lifestyle TVs, as this lets you curate artworks that not only match your tastes, but also your mood or even the weather – a small luxury I very much appreciate in my home.
Q. With the advancement of technologies, things we have previously only imagined are increasingly becoming a reality. Would you share how you think the Samsung Smart TV will evolve in the long term?
The Smart TV I dream of is one with a constraint-free experience, whatever and whenever you want to do. This means a literally seamless experience when watching, playing or working with screens, controlling your devices and connecting to the world, for each and every consumer, regardless of their situation. I believe that this is the beauty of the technologies and innovations that Samsung can do better than any other.
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