Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) 2018 is set to kick off today and the company appears to be placing a substantial amount of emphasis on AR creation tools and supporting the development of AR experiences, based on the event's schedule and recent reports. Among no fewer than six AR-related sessions, the biggest announcement is likely to be the introduction of an AR cloud-based initiative the company refers to as Project Whare. Representatives of the company have reportedly stated that will receive a "soft" rollout following its announcement while job listings at the company have centered around the creation of a shared AR asset sharing and management platform for cross-platform developers. The services associated with that have also been described as enabling multi-user experiences in AR, with assets shared across platforms at scale.
Support for developers and would be AR content creators doesn't stop with the introduction of Project Whare either. Instead, no less than three sessions are noted on the schedule as being dedicated to AR creative tools, including partner session with Disney, another highlighting Samsung AR Emoji Studio, and one more titled "How to Be a Superstar AR Developer." One further session focusing on Bixby Vision also shows Staff Engineer and Head of AR/VR Team Sergey Litvinenko to be among those the participants. Finally, the Korean tech giant is expected to showcase a brand new AR headset at this year's SDC 2018 event. It's not immediately apparent whether that will be a new piece of consumer hardware or simply an example of the technologies the company is working on.
Background: Of course, those aren't the only developments expected to appear at this year's developer-focused event. Aside from augmented reality, Samsung has been rumored to be planning and has all but confirmed that it will be showcasing new mobile hardware and firmware as well. Specifically, the company is scheduled to show off a new iteration in its ongoing Samsung Galaxy UX beta program, built around Android 9 Pie. That's expected to culminate in a final variation under the Samsung Experience 10 branding but will likely be available as a less stable test version on the companies flagships following its announcement. Moreover, if the company holds to its past behaviors surrounding firmware updates, it should mark the arrival of some features from the latest flagship devices on older handsets.
Setting that aside, this year the company is expected to finally unveil more details about its folding flagship handset – tentatively, the Samsung Galaxy F – in an official capacity. That won't necessarily mean that the hardware itself will be shown since there are reportedly still some decisions being made on that front. Moreover, those decisions are almost certainly going to impact the software in some capacity. With that said, Samsung is expected to be showcasing at least some of the features of the folding smartphone's software and UI features during the event.
Impact: The Samsung Developer Conference will be running through November 8, so there's plenty of time for other surprises to crop up but this year's focal points appear to be drifting away from mobile software development. Many of the announcements that have been predicted do tie back into smartphones to some degree. However, Samsung seems to be placing most of its efforts toward AR and other emerging technologies ranging from flexible panels and devices to new AI implementations and development across a multitude of platforms rather than focusing solely on its own hardware.