Samsung’s annual Developer Conference 2018 (SDC) was a big event with major announcements. SDC brings together thousands of developers and creators to explore today’s tech and visualize what’s possible in the future. The two-day conference was held on November 7 & 8 in Sanfrancisco. SDC 2018 concluded with keynote announcements, technical sessions and valuable networking time. Samsung product teams and technology partners exhibited the latest tech advances and tools such as foldable smartphone, the all-new One UI based on Android 9 Pie and the future of Bixby.
SDC 2018, featuring over 5,000 attendees, roughly 60 technical sessions, and a total of 35 booths, the fifth edition of Samsung’s showcase of technologies designed to empower developers and creators to build the software and services of tomorrow transformed San Francisco’s Moscone West convention center into a crossroads ‘Where Now Meets Next’.
The exciting AI, IoT and mobile advancements unveiled during the two-day event—encompassing, Bixby, SmartThings, UX/UI design and more—will enable partners and developers to create seamlessly connected, intelligent experiences across software, services and devices. The resulting innovations will have the power to change the lives of consumers around the world—ultimately making connected living a reality for more people.
#1 Announcements of Exciting Developer Tools
Day one of SDC18 began with a flurry of exciting announcements revealing advancements that will enable partners and developers to unlock the power of AI in their products and services, and demonstrate the true value of connected living to their customers.
Keynote speakers including DJ Koh, President and CEO and Head of Samsung Electronics’ IT and Mobile Communications Division, explained how new additions such as the Bixby Developer Studio and the new and improved SmartThings Developer Workspace will strengthen the world’s most powerful technology ecosystem, and help the company foster an ecosystem of open innovation that spans every aspect of people’s lives.
The speakers also offered a first look at Samsung’s new One UI, as well as the company’s highly anticipated Infinity Flex Display. The former features an intuitive interface that makes interactions with your device more natural, and makes it easier to focus on tasks at hand. The latter features a revolutionary foldable design that lays the foundation for an entirely new kind of mobile experience.
After introducing the exciting new developer tools and resources, the speakers encouraged attendees to experience them for themselves in the exhibition zone.
#2 Expert Insights
Day two of SDC18 kicked off with a bang as Samsung employees and leading lights of the worlds of gaming, film and mobile technology discussed technologies that could dictate the future of their respective fields.
The conference’s Spotlight Session was led by a presentation on Samsung’s latest gaming and AR innovations and partnerships, followed by a panel discussion on the future of gaming that featured Sarah Bond, Head of Xbox/Microsoft, as well as John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, and Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games.
Other keynote speakers headlining day two included Nobutaka “Nobu” Ide, CEO of Wacom, and Spike Jonze, director of the AI-inspired film “Her”. Mr. Ide led a captivating presentation that examined how Samsung’s S Pen is reshaping the ways in which consumers interact with their device to get things done. Mr. Jonze sat down for a fireside chat on the intersection of AI and humanity, and described why he, as an artist, believes that developers should prioritize maintaining the human element when developing AI technology.
#3 A Firsthand Look at Samsung’s Latest Innovations
Samsung packed the conference center with a wide range of exhibits that offered attendees all they needed to know about innovations including SmartThings and Bixby, as well as Samsung’s mobile services, Smart TVs, Tizen, and more.
The interactive exhibits allowed attendees to experience the company’s latest mobile, display and home technologies, and spotlighted innovative ways that partners have utilized them to build dynamic solutions. Featured technologies in the mobile section included devices such as Samsung DeX and the Galaxy Watch, as well as apps and services such as Samsung Pay and Samsung Health.
Other sections of the booth showcased Samsung’s Smart TV services and digital appliances, and highlighted exciting ways to develop IoT, Smart TV and wearable services using the Tizen OS. Visitors to the Tizen section were offered in-depth introductions to TizenRT and the Tizen TV and Tizen .NET SDKs, including rundowns of available APIs, SDK tools and resources.
#4 Fun and Interactive Activities
Each SDC features a full slate of engaging sessions that demonstrate innovative ways for developers to build apps and services utilizing Samsung’s latest technologies. This year’s sessions slate placed Bixby, SmartThings and Samsung’s new foldable UX center stage. Samsung and industry experts answered participants’ every question through fun and informative lectures, panels and discussions.
But the interactive fun didn’t stop there, as SDC18 also included exciting competitions, giveaways and challenges that made the entire experience that much more memorable.
The Bixby Developer Showcase was one such example. In the lead up to SDC18, Samsung challenged developers to come up with first-class Bixby experiences, for the most dynamic submissions. On the second day of SDC18, the competition’s finalists presented their Bixby Capsules, which demonstrate the AI technology’s incredible potential. Competitions like this demonstrate exciting ways that Samsung and developers are making Bixby better.
Each SDC also features a wide array of workshops and activities that allow attendees to get up close and personal with Samsung’s latest innovations.
This year, the interactive workshops were held within the confines of the Code Lab, located at the center of the conference hall. Covering the ins and outs of developing for Bixby, SmartThings, Samsung DeX and more, these in-depth workshops offered attendees the opportunity to hone their coding skills with the aid of Samsung’s experienced instructors. Notable examples included workshops demonstrating how to create a Bixby Capsule for a service, as well as how to build SmartThings apps with TizenRT.
#5 A Peek at Life-changing Projects
Some of the most inspiring exhibits included at this year’s event spotlighted Samsung initiatives that are affecting change in communities that many attendees call home.
The exhibits demonstrated interesting ways that Samsung technologies are being used to create life-changing solutions. One of the most attention-grabbing examples was the booth for Rehago, an innovative training system (created through Samsung Germany’s “Life’s a Pitch” startup competition) that helps hemiplegic stroke patients during recovery.
Other standouts included the exhibits for Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow program, which encourages students to use STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to develop solutions to issues affecting their communities; Project Pontis, which enables Samsung Smart TV users with physical limitations to control their TV via brain waves; and uSound, an app that helps detect the risk of hearing loss and improves quality of life through communication and education for those affected by it.