Samsung Unpacked: The Samsung Jet

19 06 2009

The huge Samsung Unpacked Billboard on Orchard Road

This week I was invited to the regional launch of the latest addition to the Samsung family – the Samsung Jet! It was a very classy (and purple) event that was sleek and funky at the same time. The decorations, venue, execution and FOOD was utterly superb! I believe Samsung spent a HUGE fortune on this event especially with it being held concurrently in Dubai and London.

My only picture of the interior (sorry was too obsessed with phone) – Media Registration Counter

The event was held at the Changi Exhibition Centre which as DK says, is out in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully they provided us with a shuttle service from City Hall to the venue, else I’d have given up trying to get my forgetful self there.

The presentation was truly a class of its own having the presenter interact with the projected animations rather than pressing clicks / mouse buttons to go through traditional presentation slides. I’m not sure what technology was used for the presentation but it really came across as holographic. The presenter looked like he was interacting with a semi-holographic projection making the whole event look very 3D and interactive.

My only decent presentation shot. As flash was not allowed, I couldn’t get any clear shots of the projected holographics 😦

Ok enough with the boring stuff.. lets get to the phone. The phone has a LOT of cool nifty features but these are the ones that caught my attention (and which I would probably use the most).

The Samsung Jet


#1 The Technology – Speed
Samsung calls the Jet a phone that is smarter than a smartphone. The phone is designed to solve all the problems we hate about using smartphones, namely the SPEED. It comes with a 800Mhz processor which is actually a LOT for a tiny device, making it possible to multi-task numerous programs and watch high quality DVD videos without any lag.

One of their Korean executives gave me a demo of the phone loading 4 web pages in the background, running a game and then watching a movie. All ran concurrently without ANY lag. The response is extremely fast too, no more frustration from waiting 3 seconds before the phone responds to a press. Don’t believe me? Watch a video Claudia took of the video playing in action on the phone here… now only if the screen was bigger.

#2 The Dolfin Browser


The Dolfin Browser is one of the reasons why the Jet runs so smoothly when browsing the Internet. It is created by Samsung specially for their phones, making it possible to view 5 websites and switch between them without any lag. When I was trying it out, I could load multiple web pages including Facebook and flip among them without any problem. Not too sure whether JavaScript is a problem but DK said it has some bugs with Flash.

One last note on the browser: According to the website it is able to handle multiple downloads smoothly but I wasn’t able to test it due to Starhub’s slow 3G..

#3 One Finger Zoom

One Finger Zoom

Samsung went one step further and created a new convention for zooming photos and web pages by using only one finger. This way you can zoom in and out of photos and web pages using just one finger, maintaining your hand stance like how you would while SMSing. To get into and out of the zoom mode, you just have to hold your thumb on the screen for a little while, the zoom meter appears and you slide your finger up or down to zoom in and out. Took me just about 4 seconds to get used to it. I have to admit it is much more convenient than the 2 finger zooming convention which all smart phones are happily replicating today.

#4 The User Interface!

Dynamic User Interface

For starters, I’m VERY glad they created an interface of their own.. Windows Mobile is getting a little weak for smartphones in terms of performance. The image above shows the core interface with a little “tool box” on the left with links to applications, and a set of core functions in the bottom menu. What I really like is that you can hide the tool box at anytime to increase the amount of space to play with in the main area. Also, as this is a dynamic interface, you can drag and drop widgets from the toolbox onto the main area like a computer desktop. You can add new widgets as well when you download more applications.

The interface with the tool box hidden, BlueTooth and music player widgets

Before I end off, there is ONE FINAL feature which I totally love, lacking from all other smartphones I’ve experienced. It is the TASK manager. You know how sometimes you may have multiple apps running in the background, thought you closed them but they’re STILL RUNNING, wasting your precious battery power? Samsung added a cool nifty feature where you can easily access the task manager and close running applications. All you have to do is hold the cube button down and the task manager will show up in a very easy to use interface.

The super easy to use Task Manager


#5 Keyboard
Sorry there is ONE MORE feature I MUST highlight which is the keyboard. As usual, they are using a Qwerty keyboard that has keys smaller than your fingers. I hate the iPhone for not having a keypad interface as a keyboard. The Samsung Jet has both but when I tried their Qwerty keyboard, I was in total amazement. I could type VERY fast without much care and I had very little spelling errors. What’s happening here? Instead of detecting one key at a time, the keyboard detects a few (2-3 I believe) based on the area of your finger. Based on the combination of keys you typed in and the central area your finger touches the keyboard, it intelligently guesses the word you are trying to type and inputs it. Typing on it was so convenient I found myself typing web addresses more with the Qwerty than the Keypad. I have no idea why this is not highlighted on their website even though it is a big plus point.

On the overall, I really like the phone as it fixes almost everything I hate about smartphones – speed, small keyboard keys, invisible running applications, etc. It is definitely a smartphone, that is smarter than a smartphone. My only qualms with it is the User Interface.. it is very well designed… you can see that a lot of thought has been put into it especially in fixing major user interaction issues that are common in smartphones. However, I feel that there are some minor adjustments that could be done to make the phone even more thumb-friendly. And no, I’m not saying the iPhone’s interface is better.. the Jet beats the iPhone in terms of both technology and UI design. It is just that in a general sense, the UI design is not perfect yet.

And before I forget, app junkies will suffer from deprivation as there will probably not be less apps available for the Samsung Jet

Other random pictures from the event

Lucky draw machine.. I didn’t win! DK and Preetam did though 😦

One of the many never-ending reception snacks

My dinner menu

The Starter – Poached Boston Lobster, Cauliflower and Truffle Puree, White Asparagus and Shellfish Sauce

Main Course – Pan Seared Sea Bass, Steamed Wa Wa Cabbage, Buttered Fondant Potato, Ginger Sauce

Dessert – Tahitian Vanilla and Manjari Chocolate Mousse, Crunchy Praline and Passion Fruit Ice Cream

Resources you might want to check out:
Official Samsung Unpacked webpage
Official Samsung Jet webpage (lots of useful information on the phone)
Unboxing the Samsung Jet


TinEye: Reverse Image Search

8 02 2009

Personal Note
Hey guys!! I’m still around. Sorry for not blogging for a long time. Again, time is the bane of my blogging. To give you a summary of what I’ve been up to:

December – Jan : was in Dubai for a little over a month (Yes, I will blog about my travels there soon!).
Jan – Feb: Busy with Chinese New Year and startup!


When my friend told me about a new image search engine, I was skeptical. Following the discussion at the Future of Search forum last year, it was well understood that there is still the issue of defining the grammar that will help machine understand images. However, I went on to give TinEye a try and in return, found myself fiddling with the site for over an hour!

What exactly is TinEye?
TinEye is a reverse image search engine where you use images to search for other similar images around the web. Note that by similar, it does not mean only fully but also partially similar images.

Fully and Partially similar images???
Yes, their algorithm is able to find you not only images that are exactly the same but also images that have matching parts! You can choose to either upload your image or provide the address of the online image. Check out this demo video:

Some exciting examples:
Input image:
Lets try the campbell soup can!
Campbell Soup Can Input

Some of the more interesting results:
Campbell result1 Campbell result 2 Campbell result 3

So what have we got from left to right?
1) Similar but in a different perspective
2) A different flavor!
3) Matches that have been designed over by other elements.

Input image:
What about the new Nike iPod shoes?

Fun stuff!

So, what is TinEye’s weakness?
Like all systems, TinEye has a weakness as well. Although it can search objects it is unable to match them when they are at different angles. For example, if you try searching for any image of a human face, all you’ll get is the exact same angle and face with some parts of the picture matching.

Here’s an example:
Input image:


So if you saw a picture of someone and wanted to find more pictures of the person from different angles, you wouldn’t be able to do so unless you somehow successfully identify the person and do a text search on Google Images (or have TinEye integrate iPhoto’s face recognition algorithm into their engine).

Also, TinEye’s database is now very small so images that are not popular on the web usually returns 0 results. I am unsure of how TinEye is going to catch up and index all the billions of images out there especially since tens to hundreds of thousands more are uploaded each day.

What will people use it for?
From my 1 hour+ of fiddling with TinEye, I can see what I personally, and a few others will be using it for:
1) Finding more higher resolution pictures of an image
– Very often designers find a low-resolution version of the perfect picture they want. TinEye can find similar images elsewhere on the Internet with possibly a higher-resolution

2) Got a damaged/distorted image? Get TinEye to find the full, complete image for you

3) Find the original collection series where the image came from. (E.g: Every single campbell soup can design that ever existed)

4) I’m not sure whether people will actually use it for this but I got some surprising results with some images that hinted this use case: Measure the amount of buzz your company/product is creating. For example, are a lot of people placing and talking about your stuff all over the internet? Are they editing your images and adding cool effects to them?

I put the image of the WindowsMobile Iphone skin from my PDA and got this
Putting in Facebook’s logo, I got this

On the overall, I really love TinEye and am really excited about its development. In the meantime, I’ll be using it frequently for the first 3 reasons mentioned above! 😀

P.S: I forgot to mention, get the Tineye Firefox plugin!! It really adds the fun to image search as you can now just right click on an image and select “Search image on TinEye”. A new tab will then open with the search results 😀


18 10 2008

Quick note: Hey guys! Sorry for the slow update. I’ve been wanting to share this with you guys for a loooong time but work has been plaguing me like a demon! Hope you enjoy the stuff in this post as much as I did! 😀


CEATEC 2008 Japan!

2 weeks ago this HUGE technology exhibition happened in Tokyo Japan. It is the CEATEC 2008 which showcased the latest technologies (including cool prototypes!) by companies around the world ranging from household electronics all the way to robotics. I came to know about this exhibition when my brother showed me Nissan’s new “Bee technology” which is an automated crash avoidance technology for cars. However, what got me super excited and left me scouring for hours about CEATEC were the other COOLER technologies on display. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to attend the next CEATEC!

I’ve gone through most of the videos of stuff showcased at CEATEC 2008 and filtered the ones I find most interesting. Here they are in no particular order:

Enjoy!! 😀

1) Panasonic Life Wall
Enough with the smart homes featuring all sorts of gadgets that are wired all over your ceilings and walls. How about a gigantic wall that is gesture-sensitive and highly interactive instead? That is what Panasonic calls a “Life Wall” that will literally convert the walls of your room into a virtual playground. With face recognition technology, it can identify who is standing in front of certain parts of the wall and display options based on the user’s profile. What more, daughter can watch a dance channel on the left, parents can watch TV in the middle and son can play games on the right. All on the same wall. No buttons, no wires, no dividers, no remote, just a flat, smooth and sleek wall. 😀

If you don’t think that’s cool enough, wait till you see its video conferencing and call technology. The whole wall becomes both a camera and TV where both parties can see the entire room which the wall can see. It looks as though you are really there being able to see your friend walk “closer to you” as she approaches the wall. The only missing element is “feel”.


2) Real Space X-Ray Phone
X-Ray Phone? Is it a phone that X-rays people? This is far from that. KDDI invented a 6-axis phone that is able to scan the perimeters of where your phone is based on an axis as though you are standing on the tip of the Earth. In other words, when you look straight on you see the places in front of you as though you are standing on top of a sphere. The technology will scan entertainment areas that your phone can see in front of you and display it on the “sphere map”.

To me, it really seems much more easier to locate places and navigate than using maps that look top down or are vertically flat on your phone. With this methodology, you can quite accurately pin-point how far you are from each shop as it is all displayed on a 3D sphere relative to your position on the sphere. Alright, enough jargon from me. Watch for yourself!


3) Panasonic EZ Touch Remote
This product got the “Best of Show at CEATEC 2008 Award”. Instead of having a remote with a gazillion buttons for everything, why not just have one flat piece with touch technology? And no, the remote doesn’t display buttons for you to press. Instead, the options are displayed on the TV screen. Really practical approach to creating more user-friendly remotes! 😀

Did I forget to mention that they have a bunch of nifty softwares that fully utilizes the power of this technology too?


4) Hitachi’s Gesture TV!
Hitachi decided to take a different approach from Panasonic. Instead of creating a remote which people always misplace, lets just be rid of the remote forever! And hence, we have the Gesture TV. The way the software is designed makes it easy for the user to know how much of a movement the TV detected. Although a little unresponsive at times, after some practice the user should be able to seamlessly produce flawless gestures. It should not take longer than the amount of time needed to use touch features on a Pocket PC efficiently.


5) The Separate Keitai Phone
From the land where iPhones are considered outdated, here comes a “2-piece” innovation from NTT Docomo. The whole concept of the phone revolves around the phone being made of 2 pieces that can be easily detached and attached in different ways for different functions. For example, if you detached the phone, you can use one as a remote control and the other as a TV screen. OR, you can use one to play games while you use the other to talk to your friend. OR, you can use both as screens. If attached vertically, it becomes your usual clam-shell phone. When attached HORIZONTALLY, one becomes a QWERTY keyboard giving you something like an N99. I can’t really see the practical side of this phone but it is sure to “WOW” onlookers with the multitude of things it can do from being both attached and detached.

The phone is still in its prototype stage (although it looks very complete to me) and Docomo is still gauging whether there is a market among consumers for such a phone. With a market driven more by hype than functionaly, I think they should just release it. I will definitely get one if it worked here!! After all, Docomo phones in Japan are not expensive when compared to Pocket PCs being sold around the world.

6) War of the THIN TVs!
I have to admit that there is nothing that “WOW” about this other than the TVs being REALLY thin which is something a LOT of us would love *__*.

Panasonic’s NEO PDP Display (2.47mm) vs Sony’s New Bravia (0.8mm)



I know some of you were expecting to see some super cool robots. I was expecting that too!! but to my disappointment, none of the robots were really “mind-blowing”. They were more like like car driving assistants, a robot that can cycle and another that could do bowling. Pretty ordinary stuff especially when you compare it to the bionic arm by Dean Kamen.

Great invention: The “Luke” Arm

15 09 2008

The “Luke” arm weighing only 8 pounds!

Remember the robotic arm which Luke Skywalker got in Star Wars? Believe it or not, a robotic arm that shows hope of this fictional arm becoming a reality soon has been invented! Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway, and his fantastic team has invented a robotic arm (called the “Luke” arm) that can be controlled using brain signals to such a high level of precision that the user is able to dismantle a gun, put it back together and shoot with it.

Check out the short demo video:

Gizmodo wrote about this as well and included 3 videos of an interview with Dean Kamen from the All Things D: D6 Conference. I recommend that you watch all 3 videos as it is a very motivating talk that left me very excited about the technology behind it for many days.

What I really liked about the videos is how Dean shared a lot about his experience of not only the technology behind it but also how his team identified problems existent in current inventions and set out to solve them. He begins the talk with how he was approached by the US army with a mission to create advanced, realistic arms reading off brain signals for soldiers who lost their limbs. They demanded that he finish it within 2 years. Although it seemed impossible at first, Dean and his team decided to take on the challenge being inspired by how much these arms would mean to these young, energetic soldiers. He also shares, with demonstrations, the various testing phases conducted, what they learnt from them and the problem solving process they went through to improve the arm further.

The thing that got me really intrigued about the talk was the segment about their findings with brain signals. Currently, with surgery, the arm is able to read and react to brain signals from the human brain. Although it is still one-way where signals are sent from the brain to the arm and not vice-versa, it is a huge step towards creating more “natural” inventions for humans. The team is currently looking at ways to read brain signals emitted through the human skull using infra-red technology. If this was possible, surgery wouldn’t be needed anymore and users will be able to easily switch from one invention to another as technology advances.

All in all this invention left me going “WOW” over and over because apart from it being an ingenious creation, I believe the discoveries made throughout the whole project has also opened the door wider to many other great inventions to come be it new ones, those in the making or even those already made.


P.S: Many many thanks to Chris for telling me about this!

Lets win a HP TouchSmart PC! :D

6 07 2008

Yup! The title says it all! HP is having a competition for the bloggers who were invited to the HP TouchSmart Blogger’s Event last month. The unique twist of this competition is that 2 HP TouchSmart IQ500 PLUS PCs worth $1999 each are up for grabs, one for the blogger and one for the READER 😀.

Here’s how the competition goes:

What will your life be like
with a HP TouchSmart?

All you have to do is leave a comment answering the above question as creative and innovative-ly as you can. HP will read through the comments of participating blogs and the reader who left the most interesting comment and the blog it is hosted on will be the winners. In other words, if YOU left a comment here and YOUR comment was selected as a winner, both you and I will win HP TouchSmart PCs! 😀

Deadline: 12 July 2008 (00:00:00)

Time is running out so do comment before 12 July 2008 if you wish to participate. I understand that it is hard to imagine how life would be like with a HP TouchSmart PC as even I myself don’t own one. Hence I’ve put together some videos and articles that is sort of like my “Dummy’s Guide to the HP TouchSmart PC” to help you understand the coolest things about it in the shortest amount of time.

Witness the power of “TOUCHING”:


Demo showing some cool features:


Found this cool ad introducing the HP TouchSmart. Doesn’t say much about the PC but putting it here for fun! 🙂

Alright! So that’s about it for my “Dummy’s Guide”. Hope it helps and happy coming up with creative and wild comments! ^_~

Before I sign off, some basic rules & regulations:
* Only Singaporean based bloggers and readers are entitled to participate in the competition
* Collection of prizes by bloggers only (Bloggers to receive prize on behalf of readers).
* Bloggers need to ensure that all the comments are time-stamped. For different/duplicate ideas on different blogs, the earliest one will be selected.

So yea, don’t forget to leave your e-mail address when you comment so I can contact you if your comment won ^__^

HP TouchSmart PC Blogger’s Event

25 06 2008

Update: Special competition announced: Lets win a HP TouchSmart! Click here😀

A quick introduction
Last night I was invited to attend the HP TouchSmart PC Blogger’s Event at the mod and cozy Brotzeit Bar in VivoCity. It was a really great event for me as apart from pressing, poking and hacking the gadget till my heart’s content I had a lot of fun putting faces bloggers whom I’ve only heard of or been Twittering with like the infamous Marina, Daphne and NTT.

Daphne and me!

Oh and I met NTT, Jerrick and Daniel, from Tech65 too! Bunch of fun guys! 😀

The presentation…
The event started off with Hwee Koon (HP Director of Consumer PC & Handheld Business Units) giving a quick presentation of how the idea and concept of the TouchSmart came about with an emphasis on the idea of creating a touch screen PC that would revolutionize the way people used a PC and is small enough to fit into a messenger bag. By messenger bag, they don’t mean it will fit into your laptop but convenient to move from one place to another. It is after all a PC, not meant to be portable like your laptop.

The next part was about the purpose of the event which was to not only let us be the first in Singapore to toy with the prototypes but also gather feedback to be incorporated into future upgrades/versions of the product. At first I thought it was all just part of the PR “gimmick” to make us bloggers feel like we’re providing more value than just our blogs helping create some early publicity. However, upon conversing with the HP staff who were actively throwing us questions as we toyed with the gadget, I realize that they were quite serious about it (which of course motivated me to poke around more!).

“Touching” The Gadget!

Haha sorry if I’m looking sleepy! Kind of tired after work ^^;;;

The TouchSmart actually runs on Windows Vista but has a specially written by HP program called the HP TouchSmart Home which hosts applications made specially for the TouchSmart like Calendars, Photos, Music Player, Video Player and etc.

The interface is very intuitive and friendly where all the icons and buttons are really huge making it easy to navigate by sliding and dragging stuff around (although I have to admit it kind of reminds me of the iPhone). I tested out their multi-touch technology which they fervently refer to as “dual-touch” by performing the infamous 2 finger zoom in and out feature. The technology is definitely there but currently only the main menu supports it. They have not incorporated it into the other softwares or applications in the TouchSmart Home as of yet.

What I really like!

1) The huge high-resolution screen
The screen is really huge and sharp making it superb for watching videos, browsing through pictures and viewing notes. You can actually convert it into something akin to a fridge door where you have lots of “Post-It” notes with the Notes application. It really makes sense to do this as the touch technology makes it easy to write, drag and toss notes around.

2) Product design
Being like a flat panel and having a stand of its own, it is one of those devices that would be useful in the kitchen, living room or even on a shelf in the common area that would make your home look at lot more digital.

3) HP TouchSmart Home
I really like their software because it makes things intuitive even for a non-techy person like maybe a housewife or child. Even though the applications currently available are basic, the learning curve is quite flat making it easy for anyone to just poke around and get their favourite music/video playing in less than a minute.

My recommendations
1) The SDK
I hope they will release an SDK for their HP TouchSmart Home program so developers can start developing some useful applications catered to different customer segments for a variety of purposes. This will really help boost what the HP TouchSmart is capable of doing as I believe the software combined with the touch technology has the potential to bring a new dimension to the PC and make it a truly centralized digital home system that even a techno-phobic person can handle.

2) Ease of adding applications
I’m not sure whether the developers have already thought of this but the HP staff present were unsure of the mechanism for adding applications in the future when more are released. If they can create a function in the HP TouchSmart Home where users just press a button, get connected to the Internet, see a list of latest applications with descriptions, select the ones they want added and everything will be downloaded and installed automatically. This would keep consumers engaged and more able to pack the TouchSmart Home with applications to suit their daily needs and activities.

3) Pre-set Windows Vista settings to huge icons
Currently when the TouchSmart is booted up, it goes directly to your typical Windows Vista interface. It is great that it runs Windows Vista meaning you can still go on with your daily PC activities that are not supported by the TouchSmart Home software. However, using Windows Vista in its default settings and a hand is a HUGE PAIN because the selection menus were all built for the “point and click” mouse. You have to literally position your finger to quite a high precision to select what you want. Usability would improve tremendously if Windows Vista was already preset to huge icons and selection menus that are touch-friendly upon start up.

4) Skype Video-Conferencing!!
This is in my wishlist of applications. I would really love to see Skype incorporated into the TouchSmart Home. Imagine pressing a button that opens up your contact list, selecting someone you want to call and a video conference starts immediately! It’d be like picking up a phone to call someone, only diff is that this is on a touch screen with a high-resolution video. If this was possible, even my grandparents would know how to do video-conferencing. (I tried teaching them how to use Skype and it didn’t work. Too many things to click).

Some last words..
So that’s my account of the HP TouchSmart PC that has already been launched in Berlin(10th June) and will be launched in Singapore on 18th July (its coming to Asia quite fast I must say). Honestly, if I bought one I don’t think I would use it for heavy-usage like design/development work or hard-core gaming. Some casual games like Bejewelled and Diner Dash are fun to play on it but I would like to use it for things that I can’t do on my normal PC like those mentioned above that would enhance my digital lifestyle. Having said that, I am really thrilled by the technology and potential of it and am sort of impatient to see in what creative ways consumers use this device at the end of the day.

Alright! Before I leave, here are some pictures I took from the event. I’ll leave you to figure out who is who (and what is what) :D.

Links you might want to check out:
HP TouchSmart PC Announcement in Berlin
From Sheylara
From Darryl
Great video demo from Claudia!
My Qik videos from this event (very low quality though due to bad lighting :(… )
Bernard’s account of the event

Su Yuen in the papers!

20 06 2008

In February, Sharon Foong, a journalist from The Sun newspaper in Malaysia contacted me for an interview on an article about female gamers she was working on. After about 3 months the article was published and I’ve finally managed to get hold of an online copy of it! I’ve uploaded it online so if you’re interested in reading about what female gamers think about games and fellow “guy-gamers”, you can read it here. There are a few quotes from me in there. 😀

One of the more interesting questions asked was whether there was a bias among developers to develop games oriented for guys with all these sexy warriors, violent weapons and mass explosions. I wouldn’t say that there is a bias because these games appeal to some girls (yours truly) as well and if they were a girly game, I wouldn’t be playing them coz then they would be uncool. On the other hand, there is a growing number of developers (but maybe less well known) who are developing casual games that are more suited for girls like those on Facebook(Fluff Pets), BeJewelled and Maple Story. However, we can’t deny the fact that most hardcore gamers are guys and it only makes sense to develop games of these type oriented towards the male gender.

========== || ==========

On a side note, I’m still stuck on deciding whether to get a Sony PS3 or Xbox 360 with my limited income. As some of you know, I’m a RPG junkie and both of these consoles seem to lack RPGs what more decently engaging ones. 😦 I miss RPGs like Final Fantasy 7, Xenogears, Skies of Arcadia and Grandia 2. I know there are great games of other genre(which I love too) on the Xbox 360 but I’m still holding on to that small glimmer of hope that some developer will develop a great RPG to help me make up my mind. I’m biased towards RPGs coz they have the ability to bring one into a “fantasy-dreamy-like state of awe” for a long period of time even after the game is finished. If you know of any RPG of this sort out there on either of these 2 consoles, do let me know ya! 😀