Samsung Unpacked: The Blind Perspective
Samsung’s recent Unpacked event on January 17th has left the tech community buzzing with excitement, particularly around the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) that promise to revolutionize the way we interact with our devices. To delve deeper into the implications of these innovations, especially for accessibility, we turned to Salih Kunduz from Accessible Android. Salih shared his insights on Double Tap with hosts Steven Scott and Shaun Preece, emphasizing the transformative potential of AI for overcoming language barriers and enhancing accessibility.
The Unpacked event may have introduced new devices, but it was the AI features that stole the show. Salih expressed his childhood dream of having technology that could translate speech in real-time, a dream that’s now becoming a reality with Samsung’s latest offerings. The Samsung S24 series, along with updates to the S23, Flip, and Fold devices, will soon enable live transcription and translation during phone calls, breaking down language barriers like never before.
Imagine speaking to someone in their native language through your phone, without mastering the language yourself. This is what Samsung is bringing to the table. The Google Pixel series has toyed with similar features, but Samsung’s iteration promises to add a layer of sophistication, or as Salih puts it, a bit of “sexiness” to the technology.
The AI enhancements extend beyond voice calls to messaging, with the Samsung keyboard offering error correction, suggested responses, and multilingual support. Transcript Assist is another innovation that will provide live captions for calls and improve voice recording transcriptions, learning from and perhaps outperforming Google’s Pixel Recorder.
Samsung is not just innovating; they’re also committing to long-term device support. The S24 series will receive seven years of software updates, a policy that aligns with Google’s approach for the Pixel 8 Pro and sets a precedent for other Android manufacturers.
While the physical design of the S24 series may not deviate much from its predecessor, the real changes are internal. Salih notes that the AI improvements don’t necessarily warrant an upgrade from the S23, unless you’re seeking the latest and greatest, like the S24 Ultra with its titanium frame.
Salih touches on a controversial aspect of Samsung’s strategy: regional differences in processors. While the S24 Ultra globally features the Snapdragon processor, other models may come with Samsung’s own Exynos processor in certain regions, which could affect long-term usability.
The conversation then shifts to Samsung’s wearable devices. While the Samsung watch range continues to improve, it’s not without its challenges, especially regarding the integration of TalkBack for the visually impaired. Salih admits to being a traditionalist when it comes to watches, preferring not to worry about charging a smartwatch.
An intriguing new accessory, the Samsung Smart Ring, was also mentioned, though details are scarce. It’s speculated to offer health tracking and GPS features, but its full capabilities are yet to be unveiled.
Salih Kunduz and Accessible Android remain at the forefront of reporting on these technological advancements. The website accessibleandroid.com is not only a place to read about the Unpacked highlights but also a community platform where users can share reviews and demonstrations of new Samsung devices.