Samsung showcases foldable smartphone, opens up Bixby (Lead)
San Francisco : After weeks of teasing, Samsung finally showcased its foldable smartphone at its fifth annual developer conference here that would be mass produced in the coming months.
The foldable phone, which is a tablet when it's fully opened and a phone when it's closed, was demonstrated by Samsung's Senior Vice President of Mobile Marketing Justin Denison on Wednesday, The Verge reported.
However, the smartphone showcased at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) is not the final product yet.
"The foldable display lays the foundation for a new kind of mobile experience. We are excited to work with developers on this new platform to create new value for our customers. We cannot wait to see where the technology and collaboration takes us," said DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics.
The company has used what it calls "Infinity Flex Display" for the foldable device that lets users open and close it again without any degradation.
"Because the Infinity Flex Display is a next generation platform, Samsung invites developers to participate in this journey from the beginning. Working collaboratively with Google and the Android developer community, Samsung will maximise the potential of this new form factor to create an optimised foldable user experience," the company said.
The tech giant also announced it would join the notch bandwagon soon.
During the keynote, the firm showed several notch designs that are certainly coming to its smartphones beginning 2019.
Samsung also opened up its own voice-based assistant Bixby, allowing third party developers to build functionalities for the Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistant.
Bixby started as a practical way to use voice to interact with the phone. Now, it is evolving into a scalable, open AI platform to support many devices, including fridge and TVs.
Samsung announced the opening of Bixby Developer Studio, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), to developers.
It offers access to the same development tools Samsung's internal developers use to create Bixby Capsules, which is what developers build to add features to Bixby.
"Our goal is to offer developers a robust, scalable and open AI platform that makes it easy for them to launch and evolve the amazing experiences they create for our users," said Kyunghak Hyun, Product Manager of the AI Product Management Group at Samsung.
"As Samsung's ecosystem of devices continues to grow, it creates more points of contact not just for Bixby, but for a growing number of third-party services as well. Developers have more ways to reach users, and users get more opportunities to make the most of them," Kyunghak said.
As part of its efforts to scale Bixby services, Samsung said it would expand support to five new languages in the coming months, including British English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.