Sunday, June 17, 2012

S Beam: Transferring files in a jiffy with the Samsung Galaxy S III

Friends and I have been playing around with some features of the Samsung Galaxy S III. Let me tell you about one neat feature that I found so helpful for my blogging and social media work - the S Beam.

Remember the old days when mobile phones had infrared? It was so popular for transferring files then but you had to place two phones so that the infrared windows were almost touching. A slight jar or separation of the phones and the connection was cut.

Then, bluetooth came along. At around 100kb/sec, it became widely used for exchanging pictures and maybe small files. But large videos would take several minutes at this speed.

 S Beam now uses NFC technology with Wi-Fi Direct so that file transfer becomes very fast, practically instantaneous for files that are about several hundred KB in size.

File transfer is as easy as a back-to-back bump

Noemi and Vince tried it out during the Tatt Awards Night but for some reason, we could not get it to work then. Afterwards though, while my girl, Noemi and I were comfortably waiting for dinner, we tried S Beam again. Imagine, if we got it to work, it would help a lot because in our social media work, Noemi and I use our cameras on the phone and take lots of pictures we often want to share. It was such a pain for us to email pictures to each other.

To use S Beam, we went to Settings-More Settings and turned on NFC, Wi-Fi Direct and S Beam.

Next, we had to pair our Galaxy S III devices. First, a menu popped up to explain S Beam. Then we touched our phones back to back. My phone recognized Noemi's device number and prompted me to confirm if that is the device I wanted to pair. You will know if the phones are paired because you get a haptic feedback (a tiny vibration is felt on your phone).

That done, I went to my Gallery to select a picture to send. With phones still almost touching, I selected a picture. On the screen above, a sign appears "Touch to Beam". As soon as I touched the picture again, Noemi instantaneously received it on her phone. We tried a few more pictures. One touch and boom - it transferred in a second.

My girl was so fascinated with us playing around with S Beam that she caught us in this picture and called us "funny, techy moms".

Meet the "funny, techy moms" (picture taken by my girl)

The other night at another event, Abe Olandres (Yugatech) was with us and he also owned a Galaxy S III. This time, we wanted to see how long it would take to transfer a video.

There was some initial difficulty. Abe's phone was able to connect but he may have moved it away from Noemi's phone a little too quickly and the connection was severed. So Noemi and I tried ours. She had a video file that was just a little over 48MB. As soon as we touched phones and she pressed the file to beam, I saw the progress bar move so swiftly on my phone from left to right. All in all, it took only 20 seconds to transfer a 48MB video file. WHOA!

Attempting a video file transfer via S Beam
(photo courtesy of Carl

According to Abe, that works out to about 2MB/second. Based on some reviews I've seen, the S Beam speed can go up to around 300 Mbps/second but "that's dependent on how much interference there is in the area" according to this article. I'm quite happy now with 2MB/second.

Got a Galaxy S III? Try the S Beam feature out and let me know your user experience. There may still be a few more tricks in there that I don't know about.

1 comment:

  1. hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)