Samsung Pitches Smart TVs, Knox Platform at Dev Meetup
Samsung kicked off its developer conference in San Francisco with a peek at the future intersection of mobile devices and home entertainment. The Korean gadget giant prepped developer partners for new software kits enabling multiscreen media discovery and consumption, improved device-to-device connections, the next wave of smart TV innovation, and more.
Think Samsung curved OLED TV screens that link seamlessly to Android smartphones and tablets, with picture-in-picture capabilities, video chatting, interactive features, and more. Or video air hockey played on two connected devices, possibly featuring a future gamepad (pictured) that snaps right onto a smartphone for a mini-console gaming experience.
'There are two main reasons you should be developing for Samsung,' said Samsung Telecommunications America president Gregory Lee, who began his opening keynote with a pitch to developers to get on board the Samsung train.
'To start, we have reach around the world and in most cases, we're No. 1 in smartphones in those markets. Second, the applications you develop will reach across all of our devices, not just our smartphones and tablets, but also our TVs and PCs. There are so many opportunities for convergence,' he said.
Over the course of the morning, a parade of Samsung Electronics America executives extolled the capabilities and future visions that are integral to the new and improved software development kits for Samsung's mobile and smart TV platforms. The company is rolling out several new and updated SDKs today and in the coming weeks.
These include Samsung's new multi-screen gaming and Smart TV 5.0 SDKs, as well as an updated mobile SDK with more than 800 APIs for developing new S Pen applications, building in multi-window support to apps, exploiting more robust device-to-device capabilities with Samsung Chord, and more.
Samsung, as per usual, has optimized many of its new developer kits for multiple operating systems, including Android and iOS, naturally, and in some instances BlackBerry and Windows Phone as well. Or, in the case of Smart TV-based kits, for Web-development platforms like HTML5.
But Samsung is also eager to pitch the security and device management benefits of utilizing its own Knox architecture, which slides into the Android stack and lives on such products as the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S III, and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition.
New to Knox are improved security protocols like the mandatory access control and TrustZone Integrity Measurement (TIMA) hardware-assisted root prevention and detection framework designed to protect devices from hacking and other malicious activity.
Compared to vertically integrated rivals like Apple, Microsoft, or even Sony, Samsung has generally taken a muted approach to getting out in front of app developers. As the biggest maker of Android devices, the South Korean tech giant seems to have been content with letting Google shoulder the software ecosystem-building load, until recently.
Now, Samsung clearly wants to take a more proactive role in growing and shaping its base of developers, pitching the more than 1,000 in attendance here at the Westin St. Francis this week on its heavyweight creds.
'We have tremendous potential. We're just getting started. There's just tremendous potential for upside here,' Lee promised.
This isn't Google I/O or WWDC by any means, but the Samsung Developer Conference is a start. And it's a pretty good sign that the company is eager to take Knox and other IP that distinguishes Samsung from the rest of the Android herd to a whole new level.