Strong consumer interest in cross-device apps and streaming video content drive adoption of Samsung’s platform
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, recently announced new milestones for its Smart TV platform, Samsung Apps, as well as new apps and services that deliver even richer entertainment options for the largest screen in the home.
With more than 1,400 apps available and average daily downloads of 50,000 worldwide, Samsung Apps has become the Smart TV platform of choice for application developers and premium content brands.
Consumers have increasingly turned to their TVs for streaming video content, as well as apps that offer interactive and customised content that ignites their passion in music, sports, fitness, social networking or news.
New apps in 2012 include Angry Birds, News24, South African Lotto Results, African Endangered Animals, Mancala (African Themed Game), African Poisonous Animals, African Cooking Recipes, Bravo, Discovery Channel, Technicolor’s M-GO, The Daily and VH1’s ‘I Love the 80’s Trivia.’ These join a roster of popular apps including AOL HD, CNBC Real-Time, Comcast Xfinity ESPN ScoreCenter, MLB.TV, MTV Music Meter, NBA Game Time, NHL Gamecenter, TIME TV, The Broadway Channel, Verizon Flex View and Wall Street Journal Live.
Samsung expects to hit 20 million app downloads before the end of January 2012 globally, doubling its previous milestone of 10 million, set in October 2011.
“According to research conducted by Samsung America, Video and traditional TV have become key drivers in the adoption of Smart TVs”, said Justin Shaw, Business Leader for Visual Display at Samsung Electronics South Africa. “Further, there is growing expectation that content and apps will take advantage of other screens in the home. Samsung’s connected ecosystem, including our Smart TVs, smartphones, smart cameras and even smart appliances can deliver on this promise, while our platform has evolved dramatically in 2012 to further enhance the experience. Lastly, Samsung’s business model is very complementary towards that of TV broadcasters and big brand media companies.”
Simple, intuitive interface for Samsung Smart Hub
Samsung has redesigned its Smart Hub user interface to offer more intuitive experiences. The new Smart Hub is now in full HD and is streamlined to offer users a more intuitive way to search and discover content via Smart Interactions. Consumers can navigate the interface using Voice Control, Motion Control and Face Recognition for a seamless experience never before available natively on a TV.
The Samsung Smart Hub now also offers true multi-tasking capabilities – users can switch between web pages thanks to a new tabbed web browser, toggle between apps and download multiple apps simultaneously.
In addition, Samsung’s new AllShare Play allows content to be shared across DLNA-certified devices. AllShare Play offers web storage so users can upload and share multimedia content between internet connected devices such as TVs, cameras and smartphones, laptops or PCs, regardless of where they are in the world.
Rich content and signature services that push the boundaries of Home Entertainment
To help bring the family back together in the living room, Samsung is launching several exclusive, first-of-its-kind services that redefine what the TV can do for consumers.
Samsung’s Family Story allows families to store and share content through cloud-based storage. Family members can share photos, create slide shows, post memos and schedule events. They can access this content in and outside the home through their smartphones, tablets, PCs and Samsung Smart TVs; device compatibility will be expanded to include LCD refrigerators and Smart digital cameras in the future. Family members can also share photos in real-time by pushing photos to each member’s TV screen through a ‘live chat’ feature, so keeping in touch with families has become much easier no matter where loved ones are.
Fitness helps users track their fitness progress through indoor and outdoor activities in a more organised way. In addition to a diverse range of fitness content, users can connect their Samsung smartphone to their Smart TV using a mobile fitness app. They can also connect a with Wi-Fi scale to their Samsung Smart TVs to help them track and monitor their weight progress. With selected apps, the TV’s built-in camera will create a “virtual mirror” so users they can check their exercise poses against the instructors’.
Families can also access a variety of educational video-on-demand content through Kids. Parents can reward their children with stickers and also monitor their TV time.
In addition, entertainment fans will enjoy on-demand access to a diverse selection of movies and TV shows the day after they air, or watch past seasons of their favourite TV shows through Samsung’s Media Hub app. Currently available on Galaxy S smartphones and Galaxy Tabs, Media Hub will also make select movies simultaneously available on the same day they are they are released on DVD.
Samsung also announced they are working with NBCUniversal on converting “Battlestar Galactica,” one of the most influential sci-fi series in the past decade, to 3D. Samsung hopes to make this and subsequent NBCUniversal content available for purchase through the Samsung Media Hub app.
Free the TV Challenge Winner Ignites Converged Future for Smart TV Apps
In line with Samsung’s commitment to spur development of new connected TV experiences, Samsung announced the winner of its Free the TV Challenge 2011. Developers were challenged to create Converged Apps that allowed people to use more than one device to interact with the content on the TV.
The respective developer won the 2011 Challenge with its Party Shots app, an interactive app that allowed users to take pictures at parties and gatherings with their mobile devices and instantly push them to Samsung Smart TV. Photos may be turned into a slideshow in real time and users can also add captions and messages to personalise the content. Party Shots will also store the photos so that users can review and post them after the party on various photo-sharing sites.
“Because of the robust ecosystem that we have built, Samsung Apps has become the preferred launch pad for new apps and services. In fact, there are now more than 25,000 companies developing apps for our TVs, said Anderson. “As the number of TV apps and services continues to grow, Samsung will continue to lead the industry to broaden the type of apps available to deliver a superior, personalised entertainment experience.”