Head of Samsung Mobile leaves company, NYT reports

(via Wired.com)

(via Wired.com)

Samsung’s chief product officer for its mobile devision, Kevin Packingham, has parted ways with the company, The New York Times reports.

Packingham, a former Sprint Nextel vendor, was responsible for leading the company’s mobile team during the notably successful launches of the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy S 4 Android phones on all the major US carriers. Packingham cited Samsung’s aggressive advertising campaign for the Galaxy smartphones as a key to making their respective launches successful for both Samsung and the carrier stores.

Samsung Mobile confirmed the departure to NYT:

“Kevin Packingham has departed Samsung Mobile,” said Ashley Wimberly, a Samsung Mobile spokeswoman, in a statement. “We thank Kevin for his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Details surrounding Packingham’s departure are vague at this point, and a successor to the two-year Samsung Mobile chief has yet to be announced. Read more

Amazon set-top-box (FireTube?) on for the holidays, will allow gaming and other apps

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 1.58.20 PM

This morning  we reported that Amazon had trademarked FireTube, and the trademark could serve as a name for the company’s long-rumored TV product. Now, the WSJ follows up by claiming said device is on Amazon’s roadmap for the holiday season. Here are some of the details on the device:

  • Will compete with the Roku and Apple TV
  • Will stream Amazon Prime content
  • Will run third-party media apps and gaming content
  • Amazon is working on a dedicated remote for the device, but it could also be controlled via smartphone/tablet apps

Of course, the device could be shelved at the last minute, but given the uptake in reports about an Amazon TV device, today’s trademark discovery, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s want to expand his company’s hardware portfolio, it seems likely that the device truly is in the imminent Amazon product pipeline.

Read more

Philips Healthcare and Accenture create Google Glass surgical proof of concept

Today Philips and Accenture announced the creation of a proof-of-concept that uses a Google Glass head-mounted display for performing surgical procedures. The demonstration connects Google Glass to Philips IntelliVue Solutions and proves the concept of seamless transfer of patient vital signs into Google Glass, potentially providing physicians with hands-free access to critical clinical information. Additional ideas:

  • Accessing a near real-time feed of vital signs in Google Glass;
  • Calling up images and other patient data by clinicians from anywhere in the hospital;
  • Accessing a pre-surgery safety checklist;
  • Giving clinicians the ability to view the patient in the recovery room after surgery;
  • Conducting live, first-person point-of-view videoconferences with other surgeons or medical personnel; and
  • Recording surgeries from a first-person point-of-view for training purposes.

This is interesting but proof of concepts have already been happening like the surgeons we covered in August. Press release follows: Read more

Google wins FastCo Interactive design award for iPhone Maps app

jpegThis one is a head scratcher: FastCompanyDesign named Google Maps for iOS a design award winner in the Interactive category. “The app’s continued polish is a testament to the power of focused iteration”.

If any of us ever took Google Maps for granted, that impulse ended the moment Apple released its mapping software. Apple’s PR nightmare reminded us all just how hard this whole navigation space can be. But Google Maps for iPhone not only rescued us from bad directions, it did so through a more refined UI than ever before. “I think Maps is iterative…but I don’t think we should penalize for that,” says Doug Bowman, creative director at Twitter. “It’s even harder to get folks’ attention when something has been up for a while…it speaks to what Google, as a large company, can actually focus a team on.”

Someone show them Maps on Android?