Category Archives: innovation

Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear 2 Fit

galaxy-devices

Samsung introduced some shiny new devices recently, namely the Galaxy S5, and three new wearables: Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit (though in an interesting move Samsung announced the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo  over the weekend while keeping the Fit a surprise).This was definitely one of Samsung’s coolest product launches in recent history.

Galaxy S5

The Galaxy S5 has some pretty awesome features, and definitely offers more than just the expected better camera and longer battery life. The GS5 boasts a heart rate monitor, water resistance, and an ultra power saving mode that turns the display black and white and purportedly can stretch a full 24 hours of standby on 10% battery (mentioned by Samsung during their unpacked 5 launch event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona). Though some may say that these are incremental updates more fitting of an intermediate model (like the iPhone 5S), there’s definitely some pretty cool features on the Galaxy S5 that other phones don’t yet have.

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Similarly to the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint sensor, though Samsung has leveraged it to authorize mobile payments in an attempt to derive greater functionality from the technology than Apple has so far. On top of all that it does offer a better camera, with new features like HDR and advanced auto-focus,  and a much bigger battery.

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Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit

Another big announcement for Samsung was their new wearables: the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit. Right off the bat one notices that the “Galaxy” name has been dropped, with Samsung choosing their own Tizen OS over Android. This means that interactions on the Gear 2 might be a bit different than the original, but it remains to be seen exactly how different.

galaxy-gear-vs-gear-2-vs-gear-2-neo-vs-gear-fit

Some cool new features of the Gear 2 are a heart rate monitor, and the ability to play music without needing to be connected to a smartphone. The Gear 2 has a camera on the watch body itself (as opposed to on the strap like the original Gear), while the Gear 2 Neo has no camera.

The Gear Fit is a fitness tracker wristband with a curved screen. The Fit has a heart rate monitor and provides personalized coaching during exercise (although it remains to be seen if anyone wants to be coached by their fitness tracker). The Gear Fit displays notifications, and allows you to take simple actions like ignoring calls or dismissing alarms.  In terms of customization, the user has the ability to change the background color, clock design, or wallpaper.

A Good Day For Samsung

Altogether, Samsung introduced a strong group of new devices that provides many things consumers desire (large screens, fitness tracking, etc.). Many are predicting that Apple will introduce many of these same features with the iPhone 6 and the iWatch (stay tuned for an upcoming post on these!), and it will be interesting to see how Samsung’s new offerings will stack up.

Uber: Cars, Christmas Trees, and Beyond

UberBlogCombo

As some of you may know, Uber is a service that allows you to request a ride anytime using a ridiculously simple mobile app. Recently, they have stepped up their game and expanded the range of things you can demand at your current location (though only for limited times and places).

Most recently, Uber offered the ability to request a Christmas tree be delivered right to your front door for one day only. Sure, at $135 it’s clear that they hadn’t quite made this the right solution for every family, but it feels like they are onto something.

Back in July Uber tested out a similar offer, except that they allowed people to request an ice cream truck at their location for one day only. Just like with the Christmas trees and their signature ride service, Uber offered a product that is widely desired on demand.

With the recent announcement that they want to expand to offer their users just about anything they could want on demand, it looks like Uber is poised to be the “bring me something awesome” service of the future.

Amazon Drone Delivery

amazon-drones

Amazon has begun testing the use of drones for delivery of their products, adding to the growing list of commercial drone users.

Though this may just be a clever marketing ploy that never makes it out of the R&D phase, it is definitely a fascinating idea. Surely one of Amazon’s greatest costs must be shipping, and drones could be a good way to lessen that cost in addition to making it an internal operation as opposed to using external companies like UPS or the US Postal Service.

It is somewhat discomforting to imagine a fleet of delivery drones buzzing above our heads every day, and with the volume that Amazon deals with it’s hard to imagine that drones could handle so many deliveries.