Samsung kicked off this year’s Samsung Developer Conference (SDC 2017), held within the halls of San Francisco’s Moscone West convention center, by outlining its vision of an open, intelligent and connected world backed by an ecosystem of innovative devices and services.
SDC’s most diverse lineup of sessions and activities yet offered an SDC-record 6,000 developers, partners, business leaders and content creators a roadmap for innovating in the “Intelligence of Things” era. By spotlighting a “connected thinking” approach to innovation, and introducing exciting updates to its IoT, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) technologies, Samsung hopes to arm developers with the tools and insights they need to help usher in a new phase of connectivity.
In case you missed it, here’s a rundown of five key factors that made this year’s SDC the best yet.
1. Inspiring Words
Day one of SDC 2017 kicked off with keynote speeches from Samsung and tech industry leaders, who began by revealing the company’s new, unified IoT platform: SmartThings.
The speakers outlined how the cloud-based platform, which combines three existing IoT services – SmartThings, Samsung Connect, and ARTIK – will offer seamless controls over IoT-enabled products and services, and serve as the foundation for one of the world’s largest IoT ecosystems. By providing access to one cloud API across SmartThings-compatible products, Samsung explained, SmartThings will ultimately allow developers to build connected solutions that reach more people.
Other highlights of day one’s keynote event included Samsung’s announcements of its plans to incorporate Bixby support into more Samsung and IoT devices; release Bixby 2.0 – an update for the intelligent assistant that’s more ubiquitous, open and personal; and advance its leadership in the field of AR through a partnership with Google.
Day two’s keynote speakers included Stan Lee, the chief creative force behind Marvel Comics, and Ariana Huffington, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global. Sharing their insights on topics including the creative process, innovation and “connected thinking”, the distinguished speakers inspired attendees to go further, break boundaries, connect people, and solve bigger problems.
2. A Full Slate of Diverse Sessions
SDC 2017’s sessions and activities focused largely on Samsung services and devices, intelligent technology trends, and exciting business opportunities. They also offered attendees a chance to listen to valuable insights from tech leaders on topics including AR, VR and game development, and on innovating with Samsung’s unified IoT platform.
The formats for the sessions, which numbered 49 in total, spanned everything from informative lectures, panels and speeches, to fun and engaging “Ask Me Anything” discussions. The sessions slate not only offered professional developers a wide array of enriching activities, but kids as well.
For SDC 2017, Samsung invited students from around the world to participate in an array of fun activities. Programs included the Samsung Kids Experience, which featured fun and immersive tablet-powered lessons, and Youth Track, which invited aspiring developers and creators from local high schools to take part in a special Gear 360 workshop.
3. An Up-Close Look at Dynamic Developer Tools
SDC 2017 also offered developers the chance to examine software development kits (SDKs) for various Samsung apps and tools, and test out a wide array of the company’s latest offerings. These not only encompassed Samsung’s Galaxy Apps ecosystem, mobile tools, and services such as Samsung Pay, Samsung DeX and Samsung Knox, but also devices like its IoT-connected Family Hub refrigerators, Smart TVs, the Galaxy Note8, and the Gear VR headset.
Visitors to the Bixby section of the booth were able to experience the intelligent interface’s convenient functions through firsthand demos. On the other end of the exhibition floor was the SmartThings Developer Zone, which presented developer tools for the new, integrated IoT platform, and featured showcases for Samsung’s SmartThings partners and the ARTIK IoT chipset.
The SDK Bar offered info on the complete range of Samsung SDKs and APIs that were being showcased at the event, and directed attendees toward their corresponding sessions. The stream.Code101 section, meanwhile, allowed attendees to learn, via hands-on tutorials, how to develop apps and immersive experiences for products including the Gear VR, the Gear 360, Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass.
4. Inspirational Citizenship Initiatives
Along with showcasing Samsung’s newest intelligent technologies, SDC 2017 spotlighted several Samsung initiatives designed to inspire developers to dream up fresh innovations, and help communities across the globe. The hands-on exhibits for Samsung’s citizenship efforts showcased innovative ways that Samsung technologies are being used to create solutions that target healthcare, education, and important social issues.
This year’s SDC featured several attention-grabbing examples from partners around the world that utilized the Gear VR. These included the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport’s #ByeByeBullying” campaign; a variety of health solutions developed by Nordic innovators; Limbic Life’s Limbic Chair VR, which has been used for stroke rehabilitation in Switzerland; and C-Lab’s Relumino, a Gear VR app that helps the visually impaired see the world more clearly. In addition, the exhibit’s Galaxy Upcycling section highlighted ways that Samsung products at the end of their life cycles may be used to create dynamic innovations.
5. The Most Fun and Immersive SDC Yet
SDC 2017 was jam-packed with fun and interactive activities that offered attendees an opportunity to relax, let loose, and enjoy immersive VR and live entertainment.
The conference featured a wide range of can’t-miss competitions that allowed coders, gamers, and entrepreneurs to test their skills to win bragging rights and gear. Contests included “SDC’s Got Code Talent”, an experts-only coding challenge with a Galaxy Note8 up for grabs, as well as the Soundcamp SDC Challenge, which saw contestants compose a signature song with the help of a real DJ in a quest to create SDC 2017’s top track.
In addition, the booth’s SDC Lounge included an LED “Google Play Music Wall” that visualized Google Play Music’s ability to recommend the right song for any moment. Speaking of music, the SDC Lounge also served as the stage for musician Daler Mehndi’s exclusive unveiling of India’s first VR music video. And of course, the lounge’s dedicated VRcade offered attendees more opportunities to enjoy immersive VR.
Day one of the conference closed with Samsung Celebration, an exclusive concert headlined by critically acclaimed indie artists Banks and Bonobo, while day two ended with a night of immersive content, networking, demonstrations, and can’t-miss experiences centered around VR.
And thus concludes another successful Samsung Developer Conference. For more info on the topics and innovations that were discussed at the event, check out Samsung Newsroom’s recap of SDC 2017’s keynote speeches.