Samsung design chief talks plastic and software, says future is in devices with 'souls'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
AI at Expand: From a hardware perspective, the Galaxy S4 is largely in the same spirit as its predecessor, but Samsung's American design chief says the future of mobile isn't in form factors; it's in making devices with "souls."

miloseski
Samsung Design America head Dennis Miloseski, second from left, says the company will continue focusing on software services over hardware.


The South Korean electronics conglomerate's Galaxy S4 debuted to something of a yawn from tech commentators, who were impressed with the device's internals, but were less excited about Samsung's decision to stick with plastic, especially in light of the aluminum casings on Apple's iPhone 5 and HTC's One. Samsung Design America head Dennis Miloseski, speaking at Engadget's Expand conference, played down the importance of materials in handset design, saying that the future of mobile is in creating experiences.

"Actually, the global design process has been raised," Miloseski said. "We're making devices thinner and lighter, screens more beautiful. With Samsung, it's less about that but more about building a meaningful relationship with technology."

Miloseski's remarks seems to reflect Samsung's mindset in releasing the GS4, which bears largely the same design aesthetic as its predecessor, but has significantly improved internals. In revealing the device, Samsung focused as much on the software additions the company had made as it did on the tech specs, touting features such as eye-tracking technology that can tell when a user is looking at the device.

life companion


The market for premium smartphones is thought to have largely matured, with Apple and Samsung taking the lion's share of profits for the segment. The coming years, according to many observers, will see manufacturers moving to grab as much of the growing lower-priced smartphone market as possible. The real value, then, is in making mobile devices smarter, not in focusing on materials.

"As these devices become smarter, letting them sense where you are and adjusting to that, it's known that design will improve over time," Miloseski said. "But now, we're thinking about: how do you create a soul for a device."

At the unveiling event for the GS4, Samsung touted the device as a "life companion": a device that learns its owners behaviors and adjusts its features and behaviors accordingly. Miloseski left open the possibility that Samsung would move on to other materials beyond the plastic that covers its current devices, but he maintained that Samsung's focus was more on the "life companion" aspects.

"The design process doesn't start with a material," he said. "It doesn't start with us saying, 'Okay, we're going to make a device that uses metal.' The design process starts with a story. For a device [like the GS4], which is global and sells around the world, it's a matter of going into many different tastes."

As the mobile industry moves forward, Miloseski says advances in connectivity may see users interacting with their devices in different ways, meaning that both materials and form factors may continue to evolve.

"As the technology moves forward," he explained, "we may find we're taking these devices out of our pockets less and less, so you may see different form factors arising from that.

"I think over time, though, it's all of our responsibilities not to put more layers of hardware and glass in front of our users. I think the evolution of mobile is moving closer to connecting people to people, and the technology moves out of the way. There's also room for mobile to change, to reconnect us with the world around us."

Samsung's design cues have been the source of much discussion and litigation, especially with respect to Apple's products. The physical design of the South Korean company's earlier Galaxy products was the source of much of the legal trouble between the two companies, and the appearance of Samsung's products is thought to have contributed a good deal to the eventual $1.05 billion verdict levied against Samsung in the United States. With the Galaxy S III, Samsung revealed a new aesthetic, markedly different from previous Apple and Samsung handsets.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 219
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Function should always dictate form and in the case (quite literally) of Samsung's Galaxy series of devices, the use of Polycarbonate allows for devices that are lightweight, impact resistant, durable and more efficient to manufacture.

    As for the overall design/shape of the devices, the smooth edges and surface contours are obviously the result of extensive ergonomic research and development, as when compared to nearly all competing devices, they tend to be far more comfortable to hold/use for extended periods of time (such as when reading/watching videos).

    Anyway... All the moaning/naysaying regarding the design of the Galaxy S4 is just more of the same rhetoric that greeted the Galaxy S3... a device that went on the sell in the 10's of millions, just as the Galaxy S4 will do.
  • Reply 2 of 219
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    "Please, no! Don't throw me away after six months! I… I know my successor is out already and I can't have the newest software, but PLEASE!"


     


    image

  • Reply 3 of 219
    I thought this site was called Appleinsider not Samsunginsider. If I wanted to know what their douchbag design chief's idiotic thoughts about phones with Seoul was I'd find it myself.
  • Reply 4 of 219
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    "Please, no! Don't throw me away after six months! I… I know my successor is out already and I can't have the newest software, but PLEASE!"


     


     



    Is there a successor to Jelly Bean? I'm not aware of one, but I don't follow it closely. A quick Google search didn't bring anything up.

  • Reply 5 of 219
    jakebjakeb Posts: 557member
    Fascinating. They say they're not focusing on the hardware, yet they rely on Google for the software. Unless... they're planning to further branch off Android or push for Tizen.
  • Reply 6 of 219
    I'm ready to switch to some new MacRumors type website... Tired of all this Samsung promotional BS and Samsung trolls. Apple Insider has obviously been co-opted by our Korean enemies...
  • Reply 7 of 219
    notscottnotscott Posts: 247member


    Talk about a bullshit response. "It is known that design will improve over time."


     


    Just ugh. With a side order of ugh.

  • Reply 8 of 219
    kimk69kimk69 Posts: 77member
    I 2nd that. To much already with the samscum.
    Rename the site if this is what it's changing to.
  • Reply 9 of 219


    Samsung was soul searching on the next product until they saw the the first iphone.   


     


     


    Quote:


    "The design process doesn't start with a material," he said. "It doesn't start with us saying, 'Okay, we're going to make a device that uses metal.' The design process starts with a story. For a device [like the GS4], which is global and sells around the world, it's a matter of going into many different tastes."



    This is how Samsung strategy has always been to put out different version of a product that is trending and see if one of them become popular.  To me I always like Apple approach in painstaking cover every detail on designing their product to show what customers like not what customers want.

  • Reply 10 of 219
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    "Please, no! Don't throw me away after six months! I… I know my successor is out already and I can't have the newest software, but PLEASE!"

    video:

    I see your video and raise you this…


    [VIDEO]



    notscott wrote: »
    Talk about a bullshit response. "It is known that design will improve over time."

    Just ugh. With a side order of ugh.


    Samsung needs their own "It Gets Better" campaign.
  • Reply 11 of 219
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,819member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bennettvista View Post



    I'm ready to switch to some new MacRumors type website... Tired of all this Samsung promotional BS and Samsung trolls. Apple Insider has obviously been co-opted by our Korean enemies...


     


    You think it's bad here and you want a new MacRumors type site? Have you been to MacRumors lately? It's absolutely infested with Samsung fans, iHaters, and Android sycophants. The editor-in-chief of MacWorld, Chris Breen, has been touting Andy Ihnatko's screed about how superior the GS3 is to the iPhone and why he switched to Android. In the discussion forums Breen is belittling users who complain about the pro-Samsung crap contaminating MacWorld. Even here on AppleInsider, suddenly, strong Apple supporters are muzzled while haters like DaHarder are allowed to post their bile without being challenged.


     


    The big question in my mind is why the management of these now so-called Apple centric sites have allowed the Apple haters to become the majority and take over the site? We can't read a single positive article about Apple or its products without drenched in the vomit of the haters. 


     


    I wonder what AI management will do when all the Apple users are gone? 

  • Reply 12 of 219
    ajmasajmas Posts: 555member
    I thought this was the approach taken at Apple, ever since the first Mac?
  • Reply 13 of 219
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    He says that materials don't matter, it's the experience, but different materials cause different reactions in people, so it's a false separation.
  • Reply 14 of 219
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member


    The heading for this story should be "Samsung does a 4S with the S4", and even that's insulting for the 4S.


     


    "The South Korean electronics conglomerate's Galaxy S4 debuted to something of a yawn from tech commentators"


     


    Not everywhere.


     


    Check out this absolute gushing review from a small-city journalist here in Australia:


     


    http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/hands-on-samsung-galaxy-s4-20130315-2g539.html


     


    Pay particular attention to the last sentence:


     


    "Jenneth Orantia attended Samsung Unpacked 2013 in New York as a guest of Samsung Australia."


     


    That's the difference between Samsung and Apple reviews. Samsung has to pay the bills to get you to theirs (which then leads to this kind of thing: http://www.kernelmag.com/features/report/3028/samsung-power-corruption-and-lies/ ) whereas folks will pay through the nose to be at an Apple event.


     


    I also love the focus on Samsung using polycarbonate plastic because that can't afford/source the metal materials used by Apple. Miloseski says "How do you create a soul for a device?"


     


    Probably not with plastic, I'm thinking...

  • Reply 15 of 219
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

    I see your video and raise you this…


     


    Talk about your Hitchcockian emotional overloads… *sniff*





    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

    Even here on AppleInsider, suddenly, strong Apple supporters are muzzled while haters like DaHarder are allowed to post their bile without being challenged.


     


    Over the top vociferousness and equal parts vitriol and hatred aren't the answer to trolling. Unfortunately, we're seeing an increase in that as of late. 

  • Reply 16 of 219
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    You think it's bad here and you want a new MacRumors type site? Have you been to MacRumors lately? It's absolutely infested with Samsung fans, iHaters, and Android sycophants. The editor-in-chief of MacWorld, Chris Breen, has been touting Andy Ihnatko's screed about how superior the GS3 is to the iPhone and why he switched to Android. In the discussion forums Breen is belittling users who complain about the pro-Samsung crap contaminating MacWorld. Even here on AppleInsider, suddenly, strong Apple supporters are muzzled while haters like DaHarder are allowed to post their bile without being challenged.

    The big question in my mind is why the management of these now so-called Apple centric sites have allowed the Apple haters to become the majority and take over the site? We can't read a single positive article about Apple or its products without drenched in the vomit of the haters. 

    I wonder what AI management will do when all the Apple users are gone? 

    Muzzled? Majority? You haven't reached the letter M in your vocabulary lessons, have you?
  • Reply 17 of 219
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    daharder wrote: »
    Function should always dictate form and in the case (quite literally) of Samsung's Galaxy series of devices, the use of Polycarbonate allows for devices that are lightweight, impact resistant, durable and more efficient to manufacture.

    It's funny, when the iPhone 4 was just rumoured in the leaks from Gizmodo you were misogynistically wanting that design to be real as you pejoratively claimed that their beveled, polycarbonate iPhone 3G/3Gs designs were too effeminate. Now you not only long for those curves and soft feel of plastic but also that large protruding nipple of the camera lens on the S IV. One might think you've actually stopped being sexist but I think you've just tailored your argument to hate on Apple regardless of what they do.
  • Reply 18 of 219
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member


    The S4 is old news anyway, considering pictures have just appeared of the Galaxy S5:


     



     


    Ooops!


     


    Sorry, that was Google Glasses.


     


    Here's the S5:


     


  • Reply 19 of 219
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member
    daharder wrote: »
    Function should always dictate form and in the case (quite literally) of Samsung's Galaxy series of devices, the use of Polycarbonate allows for devices that are lightweight, impact resistant, durable and more efficient to manufacture.

    As for the overall design/shape of the devices, the smooth edges and surface contours are obviously the result of extensive ergonomic research and development, as when compared to nearly all competing devices, they tend to be far more comfortable to hold/use for extended periods of time (such as when reading/watching videos).

    Anyway... All the moaning/naysaying regarding the design of the Galaxy S4 is just more of the same rhetoric that greeted the Galaxy S3... a device that went on the sell in the 10's of millions, just as the Galaxy S4 will do.

    Extensive ergonomic R&D? You've never been involved in design or engineering, have you? As for function dictating form, you do realize that is one of those myths that is perpetuated and rarely true?
  • Reply 20 of 219
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member
    ascii wrote: »
    He says that materials don't matter, it's the experience, but different materials cause different reactions in people, so it's a false separation.

    That's not what he said. So your distinction is too a false separation.
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