Samsung Attracts Developers to the New Dawn of Connected and Smart TV

written by: Richard Kastelein

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$500,000 in Prizes and a New SDK are Luring Developers to the Big Screen; Pandora, ESPN and Steve Wozniak Join the Call to Create the Future of TV

Due to distance (we are in Europe) and previous commitments, I was not able to attend the event in San Jose... but fortunately, Stephen Fishburn, from  L4 Systems is attending the event and will be giving us coverage as one of the contributors and a partner of Appmarket TV.

More from the Press Release...

Today, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. brings a global effort to the U.S. to help developers, content providers and application enthusiasts join the Smart TV era, and transform the viewing experience at home.

Samsung is holding its first Free the TV Developer Day in the U.S. for Samsung TVs at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, bringing together notable leaders across the connected TV ecosystem -- content, retail and technology -- and underscoring the deep industry support committed to driving the growth and potential of smart TVs. The roster of speakers include Silicon Valley icon Steve Wozniak, Pandora Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Tim Westergren, ESPN Chief Technology Officer Chuck Pagano, Best Buy Chief Technology Officer and found of Geek Squad Robert Stephens, and CNET Editor-at-Large Brian Cooley. They will be joined by Mr. Boo-keun Yoon, President of Samsung's Visual Display Business Unit.

Samsung has created a new category of TVs -- Smart TV-- that not only delivers personalization and customization to the TV viewing experience, but also content discovery and distribution service to the home. Samsung organized the Free the TV Developer Day to help developers better understand its Smart TV platform, called Samsung Apps, and the ever expanding market opportunities for TV applications. This gathering is a core element of Samsung's Free the TV Challenge apps contest (www.FreeTheTVChallenge.com) which launched on August 11 and will award half a million dollars in prizes.

"2010 is a momentous year for the television industry and for transforming the viewing experience of people worldwide," says Mr. Yoon. "To vitalize the Smart TV market, it is crucial to provide quality local content tailored to consumers of different countries. We are expanding the Samsung Apps Contest from Korea to the US and Europe and will work hard to create an environment where developers, consumers and Samsung win together."

Samsung Apps, the world's first HDTV-based application store where users download and purchase content from select 2010 Samsung HDTVs, Blu-ray players and home theater systems, now offers more than 200 applications in close to 120 countries -- tripling the number of apps available since its launch five months ago. Among the recently added apps are ESPN Next Level and Hulu Plus, which join a list of noteworthy content providers including Pandora, Twitter, Google Maps, Picasa, Skype and others. Activation of Samsung Apps on Samsung TV and Blu-ray products is now over 50 percent.

"Music is a part of everyday life, and so is connectivity. The Samsung Apps platform makes it easy for Samsung TV owners to turn on Pandora and enjoy access to free personalized radio," said Mr. Westergren. "Samsung is not only changing the face of TV, but also helping evolve the direction of the music industry by giving consumers a new gateway to access their favorite songs."

"By making information available at the click of the remote, Samsung apps help us engage our fans in a whole new way," said Mr. Pagano. "With the Samsung ESPN Next Level app, the information a sports fan craves can be accessed in one easy package. It also allows us to serve our fans directly on the screen that represents the core of our business and the best for sports viewing. It's a win-win for all involved."

The Free the TV Challenge is part of a global rollout of developer-focused contests and events led by Samsung around the globe that open up TVs to developers wanting to distribute their content on the biggest screen in the home and on an easy-to-use platform.

During Free the TV Developer Day, developers will learn more about the SDK and how to enter Samsung's Free the TV Challenge to create the most innovative applications based on the Samsung Apps platform. Developers entering the challenge are eligible for the winning prize valued at half a million dollars and also have the opportunity to reach audiences in about 120 countries, where the service has been introduced.

Samsung launched a similar challenge in Korea earlier this year, and will launch the third phase of the global challenge later this year in Europe. From the challenge in Korea, a multi-language Fairy Tale Book was built to enable viewers to enjoy fairy tale books in various languages via the TV. A TV karaoke application was also created as part of the contest.

Built with the developer in mind, Samsung Apps supports common web standards, like Javascript, XML and support for Adobe Flash Lite 3.1, and uses a single SDK for apps that runs across HDTVs, Blu-ray players and Blu-ray Home Theater systems. This eliminates many of the barriers to development by allowing applications to be written once and deployed across several platforms, ultimately enabling more versatile monetization for developers and a consistent, intuitive experience for consumers.

More information on the Free the TV Challenge is available at www.FreeTheTVChallenge.com.

Upon judging completion, consumers will have the opportunity to cast their vote online for the "People's Choice Award." An overall winner will be announced at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

 



 

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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