SAM­SUNG TALKS UP CON­NEC­TIV­ITY & BIXBY VOICE AT CES ME­DIA CON­FER­ENCE

SmartHouse - - CES 2018 // Samsung - Writ­ten by DAVID RICHARDS

LG talked about con­nec­tiv­ity at CES 2018, so did Sam­sung in a big way, there was also new prod­ucts an­nounced such as the Sam­sung Flip which yes is com­ing to Aus­tralia along with 5G, a new note­book pen as well as a new wave of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.

How­ever, there are doubts about whether some of the new Sam­sung IOT in­no­va­tions such as Bixby Voice ac­ti­va­tion will make it to Aus­tralia.

This year the Sam­sung CES re­veal was run a tad dif­fer­ent, it was more talk about com­mu­ni­ca­tion and brand than ac­tual new prod­ucts.

Tim Bax­ter Pres­i­dent and CEO of Sam­sung North Amer­ica said that Sam­sung spent a whop­ping $14 bil­lion on re­search and de­sign in 2017, a big chunk of this ap­pears to have gone into soft­ware.

What is sup­posed to be tech­nol­ogy that will make our lives sim­ple will I am sure frighten the liv­ing day­lights out of a lot of peo­ple who have only re­cently got use to us­ing their smart­phone.

Bax­ter said that at this stage IoT is hard for the consumer to grasp. It re­quires mul­ti­ple apps, pass­words and hubs to get things work­ing smoothly. From Spring 2018 Sam­sung will be join­ing all its sep­a­rate apps to just one, called SmartThings that will al­low Sam­sung to con­nect with third party de­vel­op­ers via the Open Con­nec­tiv­ity Foun­da­tion, so any SmartThings com­pat­i­ble prod­uct will work with the app, not just Sam­sung ones.

Bixby, Sam­sung’s smart as­sis­tant, is be­ing taken to the next level.

“By 2020 all Sam­sung de­vices will not only be IoT ready, they’ll also be in­tel­li­gent” ex­plained Sam­sung ex­ec­u­tives.

All new Sam­sung TVs will come with Bixby – that is if you live in the USA or Europe. The jury is still out as to whether Aus­tralia will get Bixby by the end of 2018.

Sam­sung claims that Bixby, their voice tech­nol­ogy that is set to com­pete Ama­zon’s Alexa and Google As­sis­tant, will be­come the hub of the smart home.

How Sam­sung in­tends to get there is by tip­ping bil­lions into the de­vel­op­ment of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.

We will de­liver “less com­plex­ity, but more sim­plic­ity” said Joe St­inziano, Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent Amer­ica.

What is com­ing is a new Fam­ily Hub fridge freezer and fridge range that in the US and Europe will come with the Bixby voice as­sis­tant.

This is a fridge with a gi­ant dis­play screen at­tached to the door. Ac­cord­ing to Sam­sung ex­ec­u­tives there are 18 ver­sions to choose from, but one thing is cer­tain they are not cheap.

Some slick demos showed off how pass­words are elim­i­nated and how the Smart Hub in­ter­acts with other smart home prod­ucts like smart door­bells or baby mon­i­tors.

One of the clever­est prod­ucts re­vealed by Sam­sung is the Flip which is a smart, por­ta­ble white­board that is fully con­nected. You can eas­ily flip a draw­ing or a di­a­gram to a smart­phone di­rect from the white­board.

What I am told that is that Flip will be launched in Aus­tralia in the first half of 2018.

The white­board al­lows users to flip from land­scape to por­trait eas­ily, con­nects to smart­phones and digi­tises ev­ery­thing, so no more tak­ing a bunch of pictures of pa­per for some­one to write up later. This could be the ul­ti­mate ex­ec­u­tive of­fice toy.

Miss­ing was a ru­moured Bixby smart speaker – Sam­sung’s pre­dicted ri­val to the Ama­zon Echo, Google Home and Ap­ple Home­Pod.

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