Samsung joins the self-driving car race as it preps for testing in South Korea


South Korean regulatory authorities have cleared Samsung to begin testing its self-driving vehicle tech in the country, reports The Wall Street Journal. The company is slated to trial its tech on a Hyundai car; a Samsung spokesperson explained that the firm is interested only in building the necessary algorithms and hardware for autonomous transport and not the vehicles themselves. Samsung’s efforts are aided by its $ 8 billion acquisition of in-car audio and entertainment tech firm Harman; the deal was announced last November and completed in March. As Forbes noted last year, the acquisition brought Samsung a team of close 8,000…

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Google And Samsung Aim To Make Sweet Music On The Galaxy S8 And S8+

Samsung and Google have teamed up to make Google Play Music the default music streaming and playing service on all new Samsung smartphones and tablets. The deal comes with a number of sweeteners for owners of new Samsung mobile devices.


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Turn off all Samsung Note devices on planes, aviation authority warns

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On Friday morning, another Samsung-related phone incident took place onboard an aircraft carrier, but much to everyone’s surprise, it wasn’t a Galaxy Note7. 

A Samsung Galaxy Note 2 — released back in 2012 — caught fire mid-air on an IndiGo plane en route to Chennai from Singapore. Passengers noticed smoke in the cabin and notified crew members, who discovered it was coming from a Samsung Note 2 in the overhead bins and extinguished the fire.

Following the incident, the aviation authority in India issued a statement directed to all Samsung Note users: turn off your phones or leave them at home.  Read more…

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Here’s where the Note7 disaster will hurt Samsung most

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There’s never a good time for a $ 900 smartphone to explode in your face. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a worst time — and Samsung’s probably found it.

The company is set to recall its Galaxy Note7 phones following reports that the devices can overheat and explode. A child was reportedly burned by a Note7 this weekend, and one man says his jeep was incinerated when his phone combusted. Airlines are asking customers not to use Note7s while flying.

It’s a nightmare scenario for Samsung, which has built a reputation as the premium smartphone brand next to Apple. The company has to figure out what to do with 2.5 million Note7 phones, and it’s doing so in the middle of the iPhone 7 launch.  Read more…

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 may unlock with a glance, report says

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Fingerprint scanners are an excellent way to secure your smartphone from hackers (or prying partners). But as we’ve seen before, if someone really wanted to break into your device and steal your data, they can do it by lifting your fingerprint and printing out a mold.

What’s harder to steal is a scan of your iris. No two people have the same iris pattern. And since your eyes aren’t like your fingers, constantly touching things and leaving behind prints, they’re even more secure as forms of biometric protection.

Rumors from earlier this year hinted at the possibility of Samsung’s next Galaxy Note coming with an iris scanner and now mobile device leaker extraordinaire Evan Blass (@evleaks) has all but confirmed it. Read more…

More about Security, Eye Scanner, Iris Scanner, Smartphones, and Android


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Facebook’s Oculus adds new social games and video features to Samsung Gear VR

The Samsung Gear VR.

Oculus today announced a slew of new features for the Samsung Gear VR. The Facebook-owned company is unsurprisingly focusing on social, and in this case that means video and games.

In November, Samsung released the Gear VR in collaboration with Facebook’s Oculus VR. Upon unveiling the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, Samsung promised that preordering either phone will also get you a free Gear VR.

And that device is about to get much better. Tomorrow, anyone with a Samsung Gear VR will be able to create a profile, search for friends on the platform, and leave user reviews for all apps in the Oculus Store.

Next up, Oculus is adding two new social games specifically made for virtual reality. Both support up to four players.

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Social Trivia is a new game created by Oculus that lets you and your friends compete in a battle of knowledge. It’s available in the Concepts section of the Oculus Store.

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Herobound: Gladiators, a multiplayer co-op adventure game, is now available in the Oculus Store. You and your friends work together to conquer goblins and demons in arena battlefields using the integrated voice chat.

As for video, next week you can connect your Facebook account with Oculus Video to personalize your 360-degree video feed based on the pages and people you follow. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to like, share, and react to your favorite Facebook 360 videos directly in virtual reality. Last month, Facebook shared that Samsung Gear VR owners had already watched 1 million hours of video with the device.

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But that’s not all. You can now create private rooms in Oculus Social to watch Twitch or Vimeo streams with people you know.

Later this month, Oculus is promising to release tools for developers “that make it even easier to create more incredible social VR games and apps.” So yes, this is still very much the tip of the iceberg.

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Samsung Gear VR launches before December for $99

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We already knew Samsung’s final Gear VR was coming in 2015. Now we have a price and a better sense of the release timing.

The mobile-based virtual reality headset will launch in North America “in time for Black Friday” and worldwide “shortly after,” as Samsung SVP of Technology Strategy Peter Koo revealed when he took the stage at the Oculus Connect keynote on Thursday. It’ll sell for $ 99.

The final build of the Gear VR is 22% lighter than the “Innovator Edition” that first launched in Dec. 2014. It’s also got a revised design that does away with the top head strap and a smarter design for the side-mounted touchpad, with an directional pad-shaped indentation that should make blindly operating the controls more convenient. Read more…

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Samsung says new U.S. offices are its ‘biggest investment in Silicon Valley’ to date

samsung-new-office-silicon-valley

Samsung officially opened the doors to its new 1.1-million-square-foot Silicon Valley offices Thursday, more than 30 years after its arrival in the San Jose tech corridor in 1983.

The building will house various research labs dedicated to semiconductors, LEDs and displays, staff in sales and marketing, and other support areas, the company said.

“[We are] laying the groundwork for a more aggressive pace of growth over the next several decades,” said Samsung’s chief executive, Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon, at the grand opening ceremony.

Meanwhile, the company’s president of its U.S.-based device solutions operations, Jaesoo Han, said that the move “represents a major milestone as we open our most strategically important Samsung facility in the U.S., and also our biggest investment in Silicon Valley.”

samsung-office

Samsung also announced that it has established a $ 1 million STEM College Education Scholarship Fund. In its own words:

Deserving university students who are currently enrolled in STEM-focused programs at a California State or University of California school will benefit from this program, beginning with a $ 50,000 gift to San Jose State University this year. Each scholarship will cover tuition and living expenses for one year.

But the announcement of the new office has been largely overshadowed by news in virtual reality today: We reported that the Samsung Gear VR will launch as a consumer product this November for $ 99. (You can read our full roundup from today’s Oculus event here.)

Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled its new fonts-inspired Serif TVs, and shared more about how it relies on startups to stay ahead on technological innovation.

If you happen to be passing through the area, Samsung’s new building certainly looks worth checking out.

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Samsung says new U.S. offices are its ‘biggest investment in Silicon Valley’ to date

samsung-new-office-silicon-valley

Samsung officially opened the doors to its new 1.1-million-square-foot Silicon Valley offices Thursday, more than 30 years after its arrival in the San Jose tech corridor in 1983.

The building will house various research labs dedicated to semiconductors, LEDs and displays, staff in sales and marketing, and other support areas, the company said.

“[We are] laying the groundwork for a more aggressive pace of growth over the next several decades,” said Samsung’s chief executive, Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon, at the grand opening ceremony.

Meanwhile, the company’s president of its U.S.-based device solutions operations, Jaesoo Han, said that the move “represents a major milestone as we open our most strategically important Samsung facility in the U.S., and also our biggest investment in Silicon Valley.”

samsung-office

Samsung also said that it has established a $ 1 million STEM College Education Scholarship Fund. In its own words:

Deserving university students who are currently enrolled in STEM-focused programs at a California State or University of California school will benefit from this program, beginning with a $ 50,000 gift to San Jose State University this year. Each scholarship will cover tuition and living expenses for one year.

But the announcement of the new office has been largely overshadowed by news in virtual reality today: we reported that the Samsung Gear VR will launch as a consumer product this November for $ 99. (You can also read our roundup from that event here.)

Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled its new fonts-inspired Serif TVs, and shared more about how it relies on startups to stay ahead on technological innovation.

More information:

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