The venue certainly promises some blue sky thinking with clouds, seas and deep blue.
12:10 And we're off...
A bit of rock music and a wave of blue get us underway. We're promised an adventure from bada at the start of new smartphone world.
S.H. Shin (President of Samsung Electronics Europe) is up first....
Bada means ocean in Korean and there's an ocean of opportunities opening up for operators, retailers, developers and users. Suffice to say he's very excited.
12:15 Now into the meat of it..
Dr. Hosoo Lee (Executive VP Head of Media Solution Center at Samsung Electronics)
Dr. Lee talks about the barriers to smartphone growth, but stresses that Samsung is dedicated to delivering easy to use, affordable smartphones to everyone.
He goes on to indicate the wide variety of features and APIs that will be available to developers.
Last year Samsung launched the developer challenge. Recently it's launched the Samsung Application Store which is coming to all territories.
The three core ideas of bada are:
Smartphones for everyone
Feature-rich developer platform
Vibrant mobile ecosystem
12:20 So far there's a lot of promises and vision, but not much detail. What is bada then?
Maybe Thomas Richter will help out? He's up next.
(Director of Portfolio Management, Samsung Telecommunications Europe)
Thomas asks the sensible question, why launch a new platform now?
Then goes into a little history...
"To date the smartphone market has been for professional users. Samsung's vision is to extend the smartphone experience to the average users across mainstream devices - hence smartphone for everyone."
12:25 Finally, we're into detail....
First up some nice examples of the user interface are flashed up including a neat Chelsea Flash UI.
Then a game (hurrah) a very slick-looking version of Resident Evil Degeneration from Capcom.
Next we're onto location-based services, combining mapping with social networking services. Nothing particularly different here. Bada supports third party services like Twitter and Facebook through its APIs
Onto the hardware now...
2009 - 40 million Samsung touchscreen phones sold
2010 - Even more!
All the bada handsets will have some common features:
- GPS/motion sensor
- WGVGA/WVGA screen
- Multipoint touch
Essentially, there'll be a standard base feature set to make developing/porting easier.
Now we've got a date, of sorts - the first Bada handset to be available in first half of 2010
12:30 We're onto the application store now
Payment options first, there'll be credit card and mobile billing
The store will have 50 countries available from launch and then grown further through 2010
Blimey, we're moving at a lick now. Next up they're introducing the new Bada developer site including: developer tools and resources and an evangelist list.
Also there's the dada developer challenger - over $2.7 million of total rewards with $300k for first prize winner.
There'll be worldwide developer days in San Francisco, Seoul and London.
12:35 Now they've got some big partners up on stage...
Twitter we're up....and then down again, nothing much said, still a nice day out in London.
Capcom's representative is up to talk about three words:
Hmm, I think we can read between the lines here...
EA is up next, saying much the same things about excitement for the platform.
Gameloft followed shortly, outlining it's already had success with Samsung, selling over 1 million games through their devices. Michel Guillemot also highlighted the importance of digital distribution, and dropped in the fact Gameloft has 3,500 mobile focused developers. It is ready to take on the platform.
After the gaming trio, it's Neil Davis (CIO) of Blockbuster.
Neil outlines a very interesting future for movies, a partnership that could soon mean that you could start watching a movie on your widescreen TV, then move to Blu-ray in the bedroom before finishing off on your smartphone on the train.
He went on to suggest the smartphone will become the uber-remote of all other entertainment devices.
12:50 Question time....
Q: There seems to be a lot of focus on gaming in this presentation, is that key?
A: Gaming is a key feature. There will be many games available in the [Samsung Application] store, although games aren't the only applications, also a focus on lifestyle, entertainment and health.
Q: How many Bada phones will there be next year?
A: First to be launched Q1 next year and ramping up rapidly. Exact numbers are down to operators
Q: Can you download bada to existing devices?
A: The application store will support bada-based applications that can be downloaded.
Q: If I'm an developer working for other platforms, what will encourage me to shift to bada?
A: We will have a contest offering $2.7 million to attract people to our platform. We'll make every effort to support our developers.
Q: Is social networking a key feature? What formats will it support?
A: Bada has its own social network features but will also support and integrate most popular services such as Twitter, etc.
Q: There's a lot of investment in TouchWiz 2.0, how does that fit in with Bada
A: Bada builds on TouchWiz 2.0, but all Bada phones will TouchWiz 3.0
And that's a wrap...all over in less than an hour.
Still a fair few questions to be answered, but the adventure is well and truly launched.