Galaxy Unpacked 29 March 2017: All the other announcementsBy Robin-Leigh Chetty 30 March 2017 | Categories: news
Last night Samsung's new flagships, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, finally broke cover in New York, but these weren't the only devices to see the light of day. Accessories and virtual reality products too were unveiled by the South Korean manufacturer.
Part of the presentation for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ was taken up by Samsung's new digital assistant Bixby. The South Korean manufacturer has been working with third-party app developers to integrate Bixby's intelligence into their offerings. This, according to Samsung, will imbue their digital assistant with greater contextual awareness, which will be paired with machine learning for Bixby to better interpret its user's habits.
You’re able to call upon Bixby via voice, or indeed a dedicated button on the left hand side of the Galaxy S8 and S8+. The new digital assistant will be available at launch with Samsung's new flagships, which will be 5 May locally, along with a handful of apps that are 'Bixby-enabled'.
Once the dust settled at Galaxy Unpacked following the S8 and S8+ reveal, Samsung unveiled the DeX, which could be the most intriguing device of all. Much like Microsoft's Continuum dock, DeX allows Galaxy smartphone owners to pair their device with a display panel, and export mobile applications to a larger screen. Samsung demoed the system with Microsoft Powerpoint, which enabled the S8 to edit a presentation, then send it off to a contact via email.
The precise extent of the system is unknown, but Samsung has noted that other applications will soon be able to work on the new interface, including the Microsoft Office suite and Adobe editing software. Whether it proves more successful than Microsoft's version remains to be seen. As far as a local release goes, it's expected to land in SA in late May and cost roughly R2 500.
New Gear 360
Samsung's virtual reality products also came into focus last night, with an updated Gear 360 being unveiled. The 2017 model bears the same name as its predecessor, which could prove a bit confusing, but luckily it looks a bit different to last year's version.
Instead of the tri-pod stand on the 2016 Gear 360 camera, which could be opened and closed depending on whether you wanted it stationary or handheld, the new model opts for a simple design that makes the camera easier for holding, according to Samsung.
On the features side, it comes with the ability to shoot in 4K and has two 8.4 MP lenses to record in 360-degrees and also boasts the ability to live stream content. Added to this is a 15 MP camera to take regular pictures, as well as an IP53 certified waterproofness and dust resistance.
The new Gear 360 is expected in late May too, but a RRP is unknown at this stage.
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