The Galaxy Note20 series is a productivity powerhouse, seamlessly connecting with the Galaxy ecosystem to give you more flexibility and time for what matters most
Samsung Electronics hosted its first-ever Galaxy Unpacked virtual event livestreamed from Korea to introduce a new suite of power devices. Five devices were revealed during the event, that seamlessly integrate to empower consumers navigating a rapidly changing world: Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra, the most powerful Note series yet; Tab S7 and S7+, versatile tablets for productivity and creativity; Galaxy Watch3, a premium smartwatch along with advanced health features; Galaxy Buds Live, stylish and ergonomic earbuds with amazing sound quality; and Galaxy Z Fold2, the next generation foldable smartphone with enhanced refinements.
“Never before have we relied on technology like we are today. It’s how we are staying connected as we navigate the extraordinary challenges faced around the world,” said Dr. TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “Technology must make life easier, not more complex. That’s why we have introduced five new power devices. Alone, these devices are powerful tools to help you maximize work and play. Together, as part of the Galaxy ecosystem, they work together seamlessly so you can spend your time focused on what matters most.”
Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra, the Most Powerful Note Series Yet
The Galaxy Note20 series is a productivity powerhouse that works like a computer and lets you game like a pro. The series comes in two versions: Galaxy Note20 Ultra, designed for Note fans who demand the ultimate in power and productivity, and Galaxy Note20, for broader Note users looking to maximize their time for work and play. Both are built for efficiency, so you have more time to stay connected with the people you love.
Power to Work
Today, we need devices that are as flexible as we are, so we can work, play and connect however we want. Take your productivity to the next level with the Galaxy Note20 series. Samsung’s latest Note series transforms the way you work—empowering you to do more anytime from anywhere.
Now, on the Galaxy Note20 series, new S Pen and Samsung Notes features provide an even more powerful experience and extend to Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7+ for flexibility and convenience. Plus, a deeper relationship with Samsung’s long-standing partner, Microsoft, makes the Galaxy Note20 series and your Windows PC seamlessly work together.
An Advanced S Pen: A favorite among Note loyalists and multitaskers, the Galaxy Note20 series’ enhanced S Pen offers the ultimate writing experience so you can capture your ideas whenever inspiration strikes. The S Pen on the Galaxy Note20 series has more lifelike precision1 that gives you more accuracy and responsiveness. The S Pen’s five new Anywhere actions makes touchless navigation of your device – like returning to the home screen or taking a screenshot – as simple as a flick of the wrist.
More Flexible and Useful Samsung Notes App Experience: We need tools designed to let us work anytime, on any device. To help you capture, edit and share your ideas across your phone, tablet or Windows 10 PC, Samsung Notes app features auto-save and syncing capabilities, so lost work becomes a thing of the past and you can pick up right where you left off as you move from device to device. Samsung Notes easily straightens your messy handwriting into legible penmanship. Giving feedback is also easier now that you can annotate and highlight PDFs in Samsung Notes app. Record audio as you jot down notes, and just tap a word in your notes to go to that moment in the recording. And keep it all organized with a new, intuitive folder management that makes everything easier to find.
Work Smarter Across Devices: Microsoft’s Your Phone app with Link to Windows2 integration now enables you to easily access your mobile apps directly from your Windows 10 PC without disrupting your flow. It’s simple and convenient to send messages, manage notifications, sync photos and make and receive calls all from your Windows 10 PC. Add your favorite mobile apps to your Taskbar or Start menu so you won’t have to search your phone for your favorite social networking apps or Gallery. Later this year, you will have the ability to run multiple apps side by side on your Windows 10 And all your productivity ecosystems will be aligned across devices when Samsung Notes app syncs to Microsoft OneNote and Outlook3, and your Reminders sync with Microsoft Outlook, To Do and Teams4 so everything you need is at your fingertips, no matter where you are.
Power to Play
Samsung is also bringing its Microsoft partnership to the entertainment side of the Galaxy Note20 series, taking mobile play to the next level. Fully immerse yourself in the most powerful mobile gaming experience Samsung has ever engineered into a smartphone, so you can game like a pro from your couch, backyard, or wherever the day may take you. The Galaxy Note20 series packs pro-grade tools to capture stunning photos and create cinematic-style videos and offers advanced multitasking experiences.
Your favorite Xbox games on the Galaxy Note20 series: Beginning September 15, play over 100 Xbox games on your phone or tablet, directly from the cloud (beta) with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, including hits like Minecraft Dungeons and Gears 55. The Galaxy Note20 series gaming experience is further up-leveled with its AI game booster and Bluetooth audio response optimization, and 240Hz touch latency on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra. Plus, with a large and immersive display with smooth gaming experience thanks to the fastest processor in a Galaxy yet, the Galaxy Note20 series is a pro-gaming set-up that fits in your pocket.
Cinematic-Style Filmmaking in the Palm of Your Hand: With 21:9 aspect ratio and 24fps recording, the Galaxy Note20 series’ 8K camera now gives you access to ultra-high resolution and a professional quality video experience. Use powerful Pro Video mode with pro-grade focus, audio, exposure, zoom speed control, and 120 fps video at FHD for cinematic-style videos. You can also control audio sources on the Galaxy Note20 series, adjusting gain and selecting between onboard mics or external sources, so the sound you want comes through clearly. Paired with Galaxy Buds Live, for example, you can record crystal-clear audio while minimizing noise in the background6.
Master Multitasking with Advanced Samsung DeX: For the first time with Samsung DeX7, wirelessly connect the Galaxy Note20 series to a Smart TV when you need a bigger screen. Manage two screens simultaneously so you can text with your friends on the Galaxy Note20 series while watching a video in a Smart TV.
Galaxy Legacy of Power and Performance
The Galaxy Note has cemented its status as an ultimate power phone. The Galaxy Note20 series continues that legacy as the most powerful Note series yet to give you all the things you know, love, and expect from Galaxy.
The Galaxy Note20 series is built with the fastest processor of all Galaxy devices. It features cutting-edge technology and best-in-class mobile experiences, without sacrificing the iconic design. Both Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra introduce new Mystic colors – soft neutral tones that transcend changing trends with a brand new, textured haze effect that cuts down on fingerprints and smudges.
For the first time in the Note series, Galaxy Note20 Ultra offers a vivid and bright Dynamic AMOLED 2X display and 120Hz refresh rate delivering buttery smooth visuals on our best screen yet, which automatically adjusts to the content you are viewing to optimize battery life. Sporting an all-day intelligent battery8 and Super Fast Charging capabilities, you can get more than 50% charge in just 30 minutes9.
Samsung’s Galaxy 5G leadership delivers next-level power for what you love to do thanks to 5G10. Enjoy the benefits of hyper-fast speeds and the peace of mind that anything you need is just a tap away with the power of Galaxy 5G on both Sub-6 and mmWave networks. The Galaxy Note20 series also provides stable Wi-Fi 611 networks with optimized latency for various streaming services. You can be confident your Galaxy Note20 series hardware and software is proactively secured end-to-end thanks to Samsung Knox, Samsung’s mobile security platform.
For the first time on a Galaxy device with UWB12, Nearby Share will reach a new level of quick and easy sharing on Galaxy Note20 Ultra13. By simply pointing Galaxy Note20 Ultra to other UWB equipped Galaxy devices, Nearby Share will automatically list the people you’re facing on to the top of your sharing panel. Future UWB functionality will also help you find things more accurately with AR technology and unlock your home as a digital key.
Unlock New Experiences with the Connected Galaxy Ecosystem
Samsung devices and services are designed to work together effortlessly, elevating not only your work and play, but everything that’s important to you. Take your Galaxy Note20 series to the next level by pairing it with other new additions to the Samsung Galaxy: Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7+, Galaxy Watch3, and Galaxy Buds Live. With these cutting-edge complements to the Note experience, you can work smarter, play longer, live healthier, and communicate better.
Galaxy Tab S7 andS7+, Versatile Tabletsfor Productivity and Creativity
Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ are two versatile tablets that combine the power of a PC, the flexibility of a tablet, and the connectivity of a smartphone. Building on Samsung’s legacy of Galaxy 5G leadership, Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ will be unlocking seamless videoconferencing, fast downloads, and virtually lag-free streaming.
Experience PC-level productivity on Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ thanks to a powerful processor, an improved keyboard experience (keyboard sold separately as Book Cover Keyboard), and an improved S Pen with similar capabilities as the Galaxy Note20 series—all empowering you to get more done in less time. But a tablet shouldn’t just enhance our work, it should also help us get the most out of our downtime. For elevated entertainment, Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ feature an immersive display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, so you can take full advantage of the cloud-based gaming and high-definition streaming that 5G enables—or do both at the same time with upgraded multi-tasking capabilities. For users who want even more space to work, play, and create, Galaxy Tab S7+ offers an extra-large 12.4” Super AMOLED display.
These tablets also make it easier than ever to work across multiple devices. When there’s no Wi-Fi network in sight, you can use Auto Hotspot to automatically tether other Galaxy devices to your 5G-enabled tablet. And with Nearby Share14, you can effortlessly transmit files to nearby contacts. Use your Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ to extend your Samsung PC15 with Second screen, so you can choose between duplicating and extending your display16. Maximize your productivity even further with tools such as Samsung Notes, S Pen, Book Cover Keyboard and Bluetooth mouse for the complete computing experience.
Galaxy Watch3, a Premium Smartwatch along with Advanced Health Features
Galaxy Watch3 is a next-generation companion for managing your routines, smashing your fitness goals, and taking ownership over your health. Built with premium materials and a slimmed-down version of the popular rotating bezel, Galaxy Watch3 features the craftsmanship of a luxury timepiece, while still being comfortable enough to wear all day and all night. But this smartwatch isn’t just appealing to the eye—it’s also the center of your wellness experience, sporting Samsung’s most expansive health suite yet.
With the Blood oxygen feature, you can measure and track oxygen saturation over time, for fitness and wellness purposes17. The new Samsung Health Monitor app on Galaxy Watch3 offers cuff-less blood pressure18 and electrocardiogram measurements, available in markets where these features have been authorized19. When a potential fall is detected, your location will be sent immediately to pre-designated contacts20. Running Analysis will help you run better, improve form and prevent injuries, while VO2 max follows your cardio progress to provide insight into oxygen consumption21. For those who want to stay fit while being at home, Samsung Health provides more than 120 different home training programs so you can track your workout progress on your watch.
Galaxy Buds Live, Stylish and Ergonomic Earbuds with Amazing Sound Quality
Meet the newest shape of true wireless earbuds – Galaxy Buds Live. With a truly iconic design and comfortable fit– they’re like nothing you’ve seen or worn before. Combining AKG’s sound expertise with a bigger, 12mm speaker compared to Galaxy Buds+, along with a bass duct, audio sounds deep and rich so you can enjoy music the way the artist intended. Galaxy Buds Live come with three microphones and Voice Pickup Unit so you can feel like you’re in the same room as your loved ones, even when you’re apart. These earbuds feature Active Noise Cancellation22 for open type bringing the best of both: live and spacious sound quality, with the ability for you to tune in (or out) of the world around you. Get lost in an audiobook without missing the train conductor’s announcement.
Reshape What’s Possible with Galaxy Z Fold2
Samsung continues to pioneer an entirely new category of mobile devices by introducing the next generation of foldables— Galaxy Z Fold2. After releasing two foldable devices and listening to user feedback on the most requested upgrades and new features, Samsung unveils the Galaxy Z Fold2 with meaningful innovations that offer users enhanced refinements and unique foldable user experiences. Galaxy Z Fold2 combines the portability and flexibility of a smartphone with the power and screen size of a tablet for ultimate productivity. Whether folded or unfolded, you can enjoy a luxury mobile experience with Galaxy Z Fold2’s premium design. The Galaxy Z Fold2 comes packed with two edge-to-edge, nearly bezel-less Infinity-O Displays. The Cover Screen is 6.2-inches and the massive Main Screen is 7.6-inches23, making them both larger than the Galaxy Fold. With its sleek design and refined engineering, Galaxy Z Fold2 comes in two equally stunning colors: Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze. For users who seek a unique premium design, Samsung is again partnering with iconic New York fashion house Thom Browne to deliver a limited Galaxy Z Fold2 Thom Browne Edition. With Galaxy Z Fold2, Samsung will continue to inspire all new possibilities for the entire foldable category.
The Galaxy Note20 series and Tab S7 series will be available in select markets starting August 21, 2020.
*Infinity-O Display: a near bezel-less, full-frontal screen.
*Measured diagonally, Galaxy Note20’s screen size is 6.7″ in the full rectangle and 6.6″ with accounting for the rounded corners and Galaxy Note20 Ultra’s screen size is 6.9″ in the full rectangle and 6.8″ with accounting for the rounded corners; actual viewable area is less due to the rounded corners and camera hole.
*120Hz display only available on Galaxy Note20 Ultra.
164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm, 208g
161.6 x 75.2 x 8.3mm, 192g(LTE/Sub6), 194g(mmWave)
[S Pen] 5.8 × 4.35 × 105.08mm, 3.04g
Bluetooth enabled, Lithium Titanate Battery: Up to 24 hours of battery standby time
Pressure levels: 4096, Pen tip diameter: 0.7 mm, IP68
*S Pen’s operable distance extends approximately 10 meters from the device in open space. Control range may vary depending on surroundings and other factors.
*Using S Pen as a stylus does not require battery power. Actual battery life may vary depending on usage patterns and other factors.
*IP68 rating is based on test conditions for submersion in up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. Rinse residue/dry if wet.
*Super Resolution Zoom includes digital zoom, which may cause some image deterioration.
7nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor
*3.0GHz(Maximum Clock Speed) + 2.4GHz + 1.8GHz
7nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor
*2.7GHz (Maximum Clock Speed) + 2.5GHz + 2GHz
*May vary depending on market and carrier.
12GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 512GB internal storage
12GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 256GB internal storage
12GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128GB internal storage
8GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 512GB internal storage
8GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 256GB internal storage
8GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 256GB internal storage
8GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128GB internal storage
8GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 256GB internal storage
* May differ by model, color, market and carrier. * Actual storage available may vary depending on pre-installed software.
Memory & SIM Card
Single SIM model: one Nano SIM and one MicroSD slot (up to 1TB)
Dual SIM model (Hybrid SIM slot): one Nano SIM and one Nano SIM or one MicroSD slot (up to 1TB)
*Hybrid SIM tray only available on Galaxy Note20 Ultra. SIM card sold separately. Availability of dual SIM may vary depending on market or carrier.
*Expandable memory only available on Galaxy Note20 Ultra. MicroSD card sold separately. Availability may vary depending on market and manufacturer.
*Use of eSIM on Galaxy device may be enabled by software update or disabled in some markets where it is purchased. Availability of eSIM mobile plan may vary depending on carrier.
*Typical value tested under third-party laboratory condition. Typical value is the estimated average value considering the deviation in battery capacity among the battery samples tested under IEC 61960 standard. Rated (minimum) capacity is 4170mAh for Galaxy Note20 and 4370mAh for Galaxy Note20 Ultra. Actual battery life may vary depending on network environment, usage patterns and other factors.
Improved wireless charging speeds with Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
USB PD 3.0 (PPS) certified Fast Charging for wired charging (AFC and QC2.0 compatible)
*WPC certified Wireless charging
* Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 currently available with Wireless Charger Stand, Wireless Charger Duo Pad, and other devices that support 10W or more wireless charging. Sold separately. Actual charging speed may vary depending on the actual usage, charging conditions, and other factors. Wireless charger requires power connection. Recommend using in-box charging cable and/or travel adapter for use of third party items may cause damage to the Wireless Charger Stand and Wireless Charger Duo Pad or a decrease in charging speed.
*Wireless PowerShare is limited to Samsung or other brand smartphones with Qi wireless charging, such as Galaxy Z Fold2, Galaxy Note20, Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, Z Flip, Note10, Note10+, S10e, S10, S10+, Fold, S9, S9+, S8, S8+, S8 Active, S7, S7 edge, S7 Active, S6, S6 edge, S6 Active, S6 edge+, Note9, Note8, Note FE, Note5, and wearables such as Galaxy Buds Live, Galaxy Watch3, Galaxy Watch Active2, Galaxy Watch Active, Gear Sport, Gear S3, Galaxy Watch, and Galaxy Buds. If battery power is lower than 30% Wireless PowerShare may not function. May not work with certain accessories, covers, other brand devices, or some Samsung wearables. May affect call reception or data services, depending on your network environment.
*5G services are only supported in 5G network enabled locations. Requires optimal 5G connection. Actual speed may vary depending on market, carrier, and user environment.
**Availability may vary by market.
(45W Super Fast Charging supported**)
(45W Super Fast Charging supported**)
*Typical value tested under third-party laboratory condition. Typical value is the estimated average value considering the deviation in battery capacity among the battery samples tested under IEC 61960 standard.
**A charger for 45W and 25W is sold separately.
Fingerprint with Side Key
Fingerprint On Display
S Pen (BLE, Inbox)**, Book Cover, Book Cover Keyboard
*Accessories are available to purchase separately.
**S Pen also sold separately. The availability may vary by market.
* Specs subject to change without notice. Specs vary by markets/carriers. * All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice.
1Compared to Galaxy Note10
2Users must link their Galaxy device to their Windows PC through ‘Link to Windows’ on phone and Your Phone app on PC, follow the set-up prompts, including being signed into same Microsoft account. Link to Windows is preloaded on select Galaxy devices. Your Phone requires latest Windows 10 Update on the PC. Apps feature requires Galaxy device to be on and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the PC. Some mobile apps may restrict content to be shared on other screens or may require a touch screen to be able to interact with them. Ability to run multiple apps simultaneously will start rolling out later in the year.
3Service will be available starting later this year in OneNote for the web, OneNote for Windows 10 and Outlook for the web. Need to be signed into the same Microsoft account.
4Service will be available starting later this year. Need to be signed into the same Microsoft account.
5Paid subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate required. Game streaming (beta) available from September 15, 2020; requires Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, sufficient network speed, and supported controller (each sold separately). Streaming limits apply. Catalog varies over time and by market. Actual speed may vary depending on market, carrier, and user environment. Available in select markets.
6Compatible with Bluetooth or USB-C accessories, sold separately.
7Samsung DeX wireless connection requires smart TV with Miracast support; both devices must be on same Wi-Fi network. Samsung DeX provides optimized experience with Samsung smart TV launched after 2019.
8Based on average battery life under typical usage conditions. Average expected performance based on typical use. Actual battery life depends on factors such as network, features selected, frequency of calls, voice, data, and other application usage patterns. Results may vary.
9Based on Super Fast charging results from internal Samsung lab tests, conducted with in-box charger while it has 0% of power remaining, with all services, features and screen turned off. Actual charging speed may vary depending on actual usage, charging conditions, and other factors.
10Requires optimal 5G network connection, available in select markets. Check with your carrier for availability and details. Download and streaming speeds may vary based on content provider, server connection and other factors.
11Only available where Wi-Fi 6 is supported. Availability of Wi-Fi 6 support may vary depending on market.
12Availability of UWB function may vary by market and/or by applicable law.
13Nearby Share availability may vary by market or carrier.
14Nearby Share availability may vary by market or carrier.
15Compatible with Galaxy Book Flex, Galaxy Book Flex alpha, Galaxy Book Ion, Galaxy Book S and Samsung Notebook Plus based on Windows 10 OS.
16Wireless Display capable Windows 10 PC models and Windows 10 2004 or later version are required for this new feature. (Windows update: September 2020 or later) Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ to support this feature through additional firmware updates later this year.
17This device and related software are not intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of diseases. SpO2 feature is not available at the time of launch, will become available during Q3 2020. Feature will require a software update. Feature currently not available in Algeria, Angola, Canada, France, Iran, Libya, Japan, South Africa or Thailand.
18To ensure accuracy, users should calibrate their device every four weeks with a traditional blood pressure cuff.
19The Blood Pressure and ECG features are currently available in South Korea, both cleared by South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.
20Fall detection recognizes falls when engaged in dynamic motion, not when still. Requires network connection to notify emergency contact. GPS accuracy may be affected by obstructions to satellite signal such as buildings.
21Running analysis and VO2 max will not be available at the time of launch, will become available during Q3. Features will require a software update.
22Features including Active Noise Canceling are enabled through a Bluetooth connection or the Galaxy Wearable app on Android, available through the Galaxy Store or Google Play Store, and the Galaxy Buds app on iOS devices, available through the App Store.
23Display measurements are diagonal, and actual viewable area is less due to rounded corners and camera hole in-display.
24Availability may vary by market, carriers and retailers. Color availability may vary depending on market or carrier.
watchOS 7 was released to the general public last week, bringing new watch face features, sleep tracking support, and more to Apple Watch models dating back to the Apple Watch Series 3. Some Apple Watch Series 3 users, however, are reporting a variety issues since installing watchOS 7, including random reboots, poor performance, and more.
On Apple’s support forums, there’s a thread dedicated to Apple Watch Series 3 owners expressing frustration with device performance since installing watchOS 7. One of the most common complaints seems to be that the Apple Watch Series 3 will randomly reboot multiple times per day with watchOS 7 installed:
I’ve had several reboots a day since updating, it asks me for my passcode and shows blank stats on activity. Never had an issue like this before on Watch OS6 or earlier, surely there has to be a supplement update from Apple to address this?
Multiple Apple Watch Series 3 users refer to watchOS 7 as “the worst” watchOS update that Apple has released so far.
My series 3 completed an auto update overnight to Watch OS7. Today it has shut itself down at least 3 times, locked itself while on my wrist about 4 times, failed to load complications on multiple faces (weather, activity rings, date etc), disconnected from my phone at least twice. This has been the buggiest upgrade I have seen.
On the MacRumors Forums, there’s another thread dedicated to Apple Watch Series 3 owners voicing frustration with watchOS 7, including complaints of random reboots, laggy performance, and more.
Two things make these complaints even more notable. First, there is no way to downgrade a watchOS 7 update, which means these Apple Watch Series 3 owners can’t downgrade back to watchOS 6. watchOS 7.0.1 was released as a bug fix update this week, but users report that it has not solved their problems.
Secondly, Apple still sells the Apple Watch Series 3 as part of its Apple Watch lineup, even though it seems as if the aging hardware might struggle to keep up with the new features of watchOS 7. This could also have implications for the availability of future software updates, such as watchOS 8, for the Apple Watch Series 3.
At this point, it’s unclear how widespread these issues are, but judging by the sheer volume of complaints, the problems are likely to already be on Apple’s radar. Have you experienced any of these issues with your Apple Watch Series 3 since updating to watchOS 7? Let us know down in the comments.
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Amazon’s presence in the home took a big leap forward this week, and not just because the online retail giant announced a completely redesigned Echo lineup and big updates to Alexa.
Amazon’s smart home devices, whether it be an Echo speaker, Eero mesh router, or Ring security camera, have always remained as stationary fixtures inside (or outside) the home.
That’s all starting to change, however, as Amazon announced the Echo Show 10, which can rotate based on the user’s position, as well as the Ring Always Home Cam — a miniature drone capable of flying around the home.
The two products could pave the way for Amazon’s future endeavors, such as the Alexa-enabled home robot the company is said to be working on. The new gadgets may help Amazon gain an understanding of how consumers receive smart home gadgets that move autonomously in the home or reorient themselves based on the user’s location.
It could also potentially help Amazon refine such technologies before making a more sophisticated gadget like the “Vesta” robot it has reportedly been developing.
The new Echo Show 10 can move its screen and camera as the user changes position to keep him or her in frame during video calls. If you enable Alexa Guard — the feature that prompts your Echo to listen up for sounds and turn the lights on while you’re away — the new Show can also periodically pan its camera around the room.
The Echo Show uses computer vision algorithms to understand when a person is in its scope of view, and owners can also manipulate the camera from the Alexa app to get a full view of the room. The new Echo Show can adjust its screen, camera, and speakers to face the user each time Alexa is triggered.
Amazon created the new Echo Show because it realized that people often aren’t stationary when they’re within their homes. As such, the company wanted to create a product that could cater to users as they move around the house and go about their daily routines, Miriam Daniel, Amazon’s vice president of Echo and Alexa devices, said to Business Insider.
The company also used virtual reality environments to gain a better understanding of how users interact with screens and cameras when developing the Echo Show 10, Daniel said.
“Up until now, customers are adapting to the technology,” Daniel said. “Whether it’s holding a phone in your hand or angling it just right to take a selfie, or how you have to pause and put yourself within frame of the camera. And so we thought a little bit about how should technology adapt to humans.”
The Echo Show 10 uses a combination of audio signals and computer vision to determine a user’s location and adjust its position accordingly. The camera looks for a human shape and the direction from which the strongest audio signals in the room are coming from to determine the user’s location, according to Daniel.
The ability to understand a person’s location within a room and adjust accordingly sounds like it could be crucial for a home robot like the one Amazon is rumored to be working on.
Ring, on the other hand, is launching a new home security camera that can autonomously fly throughout the home. The $250 miniature drone, which is called the Always Home Cam and will be launching in 2021, follows a predetermined path that the user sets by carrying the device around the house. It’s intended to help owners keep an eye on their homes without having to install multiple cameras throughout the house.
Big Brother Watch, the United Kingdom-based privacy advocacy group, called the Always Home Cam “Amazon’s most chilling surveillance product yet.”
Ring says its Always Home Cam only records while in flight and that its camera is blocked while it sits in its charging dock. The flying camera is also designed to be loud so that owners are aware that it’s nearby. Amazon says the Echo Show 10 features a built-in camera shutter that can block its view anytime.
When the Echo Show 10 is scanning its surroundings, it immediately discards any imagery of human shapes within milliseconds after extracting the necessary data points, Daniel said. The imagery also never leaves the device.
How customers react to and embrace these new mobile gadgets could be critical when it comes to Amazon’s future plans. The company is said to be working on a waist-high Alexa-powered robot that would be able to move around the home based on voice commands, according to reports from Bloomberg and Business Insider’s Eugene Kim. The robot itself could cost around $1,000 and is said to be a top priority for the company.
Privacy advocates are already taking issue with the idea of a small drone that’s only designed to make short, pre-determined trips of approximately five minutes each around your home. Imagine the backlash Amazon will likely face if it launches a bigger robot equipped with microphones, cameras, and wheels that can more freely roam around the house.
Regardless, the new products suggest that the path forward for Amazon’s Echo and smart home products involves making them less stationary and more mobile — whether it raises privacy concerns or not.
Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification.
Again, no fiddling. This time, just use Alexa, your Zoom calendar and voice computing to connect.
Or better yet, plug a webcam to the TV via the $119 Fire TV Cube device and do it on the big screen TV of your choice. Maybe not 85 inches, but many of us have good 50 to 60 inches or larger in the living room. If not, Best Buy would be happy to sell you a 50-inch TCL, Samsung or Amazon-branded Toshiba TV in the $300 range.
The Amazon solutions are both listed as coming soon, but if you have a Facebook Portal video chat device, you can use the dedicated unit to connect now to Zoom. The update started rolling out Friday.
The Portals start at $129, and are available in three sizes: with 8-inch, 10-inch or 15.6-inch screens. An edition that connects to the TV, Portal TV, is not supported for the Zoom calls.
The smart displays were originally marketed as places for video chat first, then using the video screen to look up recipes on YouTube, operate your smart home and best of all, as economical and easy to mount digital photo frames.
Those features are still sound, but add in the dedicated Zoom device, and the kids who are stuck at home taking school on their laptops can have one unit just displaying the teacher and lessons. This would leave the students hands freer for schoolwork and notetaking on the laptop.
For those who are taking meetings all day, the same issue applies. Isn’t it hard to take notes when your laptop screen is filled with speaker video windows? Plus, this way, you wouldn’t have to worry about webcam placement. After all, it’s best to be at eye level, which most people ignore, and not have the webcam looking up at their chins and noses. That requires stacking the laptop atop a bunch of books, which gives you a better look, but makes it really hard to type.
So the savvy speaker or student would have to constantly move the books around. That dedicated device on the desk would solve the issue, living atop the books that could just stay there and not have to be moved around.
Meanwhile, that’s not all folks. On Wednesday, Google holds its annual fall hardware product event, where it’s expected to unveil a new top of the line smartphone, the Pixel 5, an updated streaming device, Chromecast and a new take on the Nest Home Hub video display unit.
Last year’s Nest didn’t work with Zoom or initially with Google’s Meet, the video chat service Google heavily touts as a Zoom alternative. (It does now, but setup is highly convoluted. You ask Google to set up a meeting, then need to click the touchscreen to confirm. Google generates a code to send to your guests, which it sends to your phone, via the Assistant app. You open your phone, copy the invite, and text or e-mail the invite. Got that?)
Meanwhile, Google has already said it will begin accepting calls from Zoom on Nest Hubs before the end of the year, so expect more action and hopefully improved usability.
Finally, we began this edition by talking about that crazy Microsoft TV/PC.
What if you want to put Zoom calls on your TV now, without having to wait for Amazon’s Fire TV Cube update?
TVs with built-in webcams are rare, and besides, how would you connect to Zoom without a computer?
To get Zoom on the TV, all you need is a laptop, an HDMI cable, adapter to plug it into your laptop and webcam, and you’re in business.
Connect the HDMI cable from the TV to laptop, plug in the webcam and position it well (so it doesn’t look up your nose) change your HDMI settings on the TV to bring in the laptop, and you’ve got a Zoom call on the big screen. You’ll just need to operate it from your laptop. Without spending $21,199!
Questions about any of this? Just look for me on Twitter, where I’m @jeffersongraham.
In other tech news this week
ICYMI, Amazon announced 13 new products, including a redesigned Echo and Echo Dot speakers, which no longer resemble coffee cans but instead are now spherical, more powerful Fire TV Sticks (to help your programs load faster) and some wild stuff. There’s the indoor security drone from Ring that flies around your home automatically checking on things when you’re not at home (so Amazon claims), and security cameras for the car. The Fire TV products will be the first to come market, Wednesday, while Amazon says we’ll see the new Echo devices in October and November. The Ring products won’t be out until 2021. Amazon also announced a new gaming service, Luna, which is invite only. Amazon will start selecting players in October.
APPLE: Spotify and the makers of Fortnite and Tinder are taking on Apple and Google as part of a newly formed coalition calling for “fair treatment” in the way the tech giant runs its app store. The Coalition for App Fairness, a Washington-based nonprofit, will advocate for legal and regulatory changes, such as measures that could block Apple and Google from favoring their own apps in the iPhone and Android operating systems they control.
FACEBOOK: Warning of an urgent threat to democracy, civil rights activists say they’ve formed an independent Facebook oversight board to scrutinize the role the social media giant is playing in the 2020 election. The “Real Facebook Oversight Board” is an initiative from Citizens, a new nonprofit created to hold big tech accountable. It has start-up funding from Luminate, which is backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s foundation The Omidyar Group.
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