And behold, the smart home cometh! Samsung pushes an AI/IoT combo vision
- Samsung is still highly enthused about smart home gadgetry
- Yes, there’s a big fridge with a screen
- And there’s a connected washing machine that doubles as a personal assistant
- Just what you always knew you wanted
It had been my impression that the ‘smart home’ had crested Gartner’s hype curve and was now descending into the ‘trough of disillusionment’. If it has, no one has told Samsung. The Korean giant has, along with a few other smart home purveyors (see - Lenovo Smart Home Essentials and Lenovo Link app offer plug-and-play smart home) have pitched up at the Berlin IFA 2018 tech shindig this week to show off home-oriented IoT stuff and, in Samsung’s case, to “outline its commitment to developing ground-breaking products and services that will shape the next era of connected living.”
Samsung has a long-term plan. Way back in early 2015 we reported that it had plonked down over US$100 million which it said would fund developers and create an open system to catalyse the [then] ‘paused’ IoT market and it’s kept up the pace and rhetoric ever since.
The company’s vision of IoT in early 2015 was of a “huge dystopian info-gathering machine with Samsung playing the ‘Google’ role right at the centre where all the IoT big data gets distilled into gold,” we wrote at the time.
But it’s arguable that the ‘smart home’ market is still paused three years later, now that the excitement of having a smartish toothbrush or an annoyingly smart fridge (one that replenishes itself - no thanks all the same) has cooled.
Here’s what Samsung wants us to get excited about
AI: everything these days has to be powered by it, you might have noticed, and the artificially smart home is no exception.
Samsung is pushing both AI and 5G for consumers and says it has made multi-billion dollar investments in recent months, with new AI research centers established across the world, including a recent addition at Cambridge in the UK. It claims about 1,000 renowned AI researchers will be working in its facilities globally by 2020, designing and developing user-centric AI .
Samsung’s IFA IoT announcements in brief
- Samsung Family Hub refrigerator uses a large touchscreen as a control panel to control connected devices. With Bixby and Voice ID, users can instantly receive tailored and personalized information and the Family Hub’s Meal Planner helps consumers plan meals by recommending recipes.
- Quick Drive washing machine can wash clothes in half the time without compromising on washing performance, it claims. In addition, its AI-powered laundry care Q-rator system serves as a personalized and intelligent assistant.
- Has introduced the Q900R QLED 8K TV, complete with 8K AI Upscaling. Available in four ultra-large screen sizes (65”, 75”, 82” and 85”), Samsung QLED 8K TV will feature several 8K-ready enhancements, including Real 8K Resolution, Q HDR 8K and Quantum Processor 8K, all created to bring 8K-quality images to life.
- Has announced The Wall, a cutting-edge Micro LED screen designed for enterprise and out-of-home viewing environments. Complete with self-emitting display technology and a modular design, The Wall is fully-customizable to give users the freedom to decide how to incorporate the display in their space.
- It’s introduced a new 49 inch model to The Frame line-up with the addition of easy discovery, giving users easy access to specially-curated works of art that can be displayed on the screen without having to sort through hundreds of options. In addition, The Frame’s Art Store continues to expand, with more than 850 works of art from institutions including the Berlin State Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Tate.
See full press release below
Samsung showcases ground-breaking technologies shaping the future of connected living at IFA 2018
Germany on August 30, 2018
Samsung outlines its vision for products and services for the next era of connected living, enabled by AI, IoT and 5G
Samsung Electronics today held a press conference at IFA to outline its commitment to developing ground-breaking products and services that will shape the next era of connected living. Samsung showcased how breakthrough technologies that are powered by AI and IoT can bring greater convenience to people’s lives; eliminate complexity to enhance everyday experiences; and offer a level of security that gives peace of mind.
“Samsung is uniquely positioned to provide consumers with a full range of cutting-edge AI and IoT products and services based on our wide-ranging portfolio of TVs, displays, audio, home appliances and of course mobile devices,” said HS Kim, President and CEO of Consumer Electronics Division, Samsung Electronics. “We are striving to shape a new era of connected living, where our products and services seamlessly interact with one another to make our consumers’ lives richer, smarter and more entertaining.”
At the Frontline of the Future
Samsung is at the forefront of unlocking the power of AI and 5G for consumers, with multi-billion dollar investments announced in recent months, to ensure the continued integration of advancements across hardware, software and services. With the new AI research centers established across the world, including the recent addition at Cambridge in the UK, Samsung expects about 1,000 renowned AI researchers to be working in its facilities globally by 2020, designing and developing user-centric AI that continuously learns and enhances users’ lives in an ever-more intelligent, useful and personalized way.
Furthermore, a next generation network infrastructure is a pre-requisite for the next era of connected living: through its active role in establishing 5G industry standards, Samsung is spearheading the rollout of next-generation networks and later this year, anticipates the introduction of the world’s first 5G-powered gigabit home broadband service (5G Fixed Wireless Access) in the U.S.
The Next Frontier of Picture Quality with 8K Resolution
Samsung continued to revolutionize the visual display industry at IFA 2018 with the introduction of the Q900R QLED 8K, complete with 8K AI Upscaling. Available in four ultra-large screen sizes (65”, 75”, 82” and 85”), Samsung QLED 8K TV will feature several 8K-ready enhancements, including Real 8K Resolution, Q HDR 8K and Quantum Processor 8K, all created to bring 8K-quality images to life.
Real 8K Resolution can produce 4,000 nit peak brightness – a standard met by most film studios. Q HDR 8K, powered by HDR10+ delivers perfect colour expression for realistic, life-like images, just as the creator originally intended. The Q900R’s 8K AI Upscaling, a proprietary technology developed with artificial intelligence, is designed to enhance both picture and sound quality – regardless of the original source quality or format – to premium 8K quality.
Samsung also announced The Wall, a cutting-edge Micro LED screen designed for enterprise and out-of-home viewing environments. Complete with self-emitting display technology and a modular design, The Wall is fully-customizable to give users the freedom to decide how to incorporate the display in their space.
In addition, Samsung introduced a new 49” model to The Frame line-up with the addition of easy discovery, giving users easy access to specially-curated works of art that can be displayed on the screen without having to sort through hundreds of options. In addition, The Frame’s Art Store continues to expand, with more than 850 works of art from some of the world’s most renowned art institutions, including the Berlin State Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Tate.
Finally, sound quality continues to remain a top priority, with the introduction of the HW-N950 and HW-N850 premium soundbars from Samsung and Harman Kardon. Both soundbars support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X to create an incredibly immersive sound environment.
Home Appliances Full of Ideas
Globally, modern lives shift towards more dynamic technologies, expecting these to play multiple roles at home. In line with this trend, the kitchen becomes the centre of the home and appliances act as intelligent personal assistants. Ultimately, people want to transform their lives at home more than ever. Building on such continued momentum, Samsung has met the needs of evolving homes and consumers’ lifestyles with a full range of cutting-edge AI and IoT solutions.
With Family Hub refrigerator, users can enjoy a connected living experience to make kitchen life even more convenient and fulfilling. Using the large touchscreen as a control panel, Family Hub can easily control connected devices including third-party devices. With Bixby and Voice ID, users can instantly receive tailored and personalized information they need, while Family Hub’s Meal Planner helps consumers plan meals by recommending the recipes that suit them best.
Dual Cook Flex has brought increased cooking efficiency to meet varying dietary requirements and preferences. With its flexible door and dual-cook function, users can cater to each family member’s needs efficiently. With the Cooking Guide, consumers can also receive recommendations on which oven to use based on the food ingredients and the type of cooking.
The revolutionary washing machine Quick Drive has dramatically transformed people’s lives for the better. Quick Drive can wash clothes in half the time without compromising on washing performance, freeing up consumers’ time. In addition, its AI-powered laundry care Q-rator system serves as a personalized and intelligent assistant, while Laundry Planner minimizes time wasted on washing clothes by allowing users to start and stop laundry according to their schedules.
Next-Generation Mobile Experiences
At IFA, Samsung presented its most powerful smartphone yet, the Galaxy Note9. Announced earlier this month in New York, the Galaxy Note9 is designed for those who demand the best of the best. The phone comes in two internal storage options – 128GB or 512GB* – which can be maximized to 1TB with a microSD card inserted. The Galaxy Note9’s 4,000mAh battery performance enables users to talk, text and play games without worrying about battery life, and its intelligent camera helps users to capture the perfect shot every time. The S Pen, a trademark of the Galaxy Note series, has been revolutionized by incorporating a Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) function. Evolved into a Bluetooth remote control device, the S Pen now lets users take selfies and control presentation slides – even if the phone is 10 metres away.
Building on its premium professional credentials, the Galaxy Note9 is also compatible with the Samsung DeX, delivering a PC-like experience. By simply connecting a single HDMI adaptor** to a screen, the phone can power a virtualized desktop or serve as a fully-functional second screen. Not only that, the Galaxy Note9 offers maximum productivity, but without compromising on security, with the most comprehensive configuration, deployment and management features on the market, courtesy of the Samsung Knox platform.
Also showcased at IFA is the new Galaxy Watch, which blends the look of a traditional watch with smart technology. Galaxy Watch’s improved battery life of up to 80+*** hours eliminates the need for daily charging. With the addition of LTE connectivity, users of the Galaxy Watch can now also stay connected without being tethered to a smartphone. Reflecting the rise of consumer consciousness around well-being, the Galaxy Watch comes added with a new stress management tracker, sleep tracker and breathing exercises to help users stay focused.
The Samsung Electronics Booth will be open at Level 2, City Cube Berlin from Friday, Aug. 31 to Wednesday, Sep. 5.
* 512GB internal memory as standard. 512GB models available in select countries. Up to 512GB additional storage with external SD card (sold separately).
** Samsung’s HDMI adapters includes HDMI Adapter (EE-HG950), Multi Port Adapter (EE-P5000) and DeX Cable (EE-I1300)
*** Battery life varies by device and usage: Galaxy Watch 46mm (80+ hours with typical usage; up to 168 hours with low usage) and Galaxy Watch 42mm (45+ hours with typical usage; up to 120 hours with low usage). The actual time of battery life may vary depending on the network connection, component, setting, signal strength, noise and many other elements.
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