A car barrels across a highway, accompanied by a gently stirring orchestral movement. Wait, it speeds away in silence. Actually, it's careering along to a rapid drumbeat and a brutal string arrangement, suggesting there's trouble ahead. That's how Samsung's Joong-Sam Yun prefaced our meeting at the company's Sound Lab in Korea, overlapping different backing tracks to a TV show opening and highlighting the drastic effects of audio. His team is trying to bring a similar aural clout to the company's devices.
Samsung's Galaxy S series has become known as the iPhone rival, no doubt magnified by the ongoing legal tussles between Samsung and Apple, and its own ads for the Galaxy S III. Becoming arguably the most visible (and successful) Android smartphone maker has made it a magnet for criticism, fair or otherwise. Despite multiple critically and commercially well-received smartphones, dominating the TV market and spending $10.8 billion a year on R&D, it seems the Korean company hasn't quite achieved the identity it wants. Now, with an eye on changing consumer perception, the company has turned to sound design to make Samsung distinctly recognizable to your ears.
Aside from shifting to studio recording and increasingly sophisticated methods aimed at making its ringtones and start-up melodies unique, Samsung's Sound Lab is also tasked with testing and creating new uses for haptic technology -- another effort that the company hopes will ensure its future mobile products maintain that smartphone market share.