Fridge’s even smarter

Tech­nol­ogy gi­ants bet big on ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence fu­tures

The Observer - - GAMES & GADGETS - HAN­NAH BUSCH The writer trav­elled to CES in Las Ve­gas as a guest of Sam­sung Aus­tralia.

SAM­SUNG’S vi­sion for the fu­ture smart home in­cludes a fridge that can rec­om­mend the next TV show to binge.

Voice con­trolled smart home de­vices were a ma­jor part of Sam­sung’s big press con­fer­ence at CES 2019.

Wash­ing ma­chines will get new smart fea­tures via Sam­sung’s AI plat­form Bixby, and the ex­ist­ing Fam­ily Hub fridge will get even more con­trol in the com­pany’s vi­sion of a con­nected home. The new Fam­ily Board of­fers a re­designed screen ex­pe­ri­ence, al­low­ing fam­ily mem­bers to share mem­o­ries in a cre­ative space on the front of the screen.

Sam­sung will also in­tro­duce Bixby into 2019 QLED tele­vi­sions – like their newly un­veiled 98-inch QLED 8K TV – via an AI re­mote.

TV fans will be able to ask their smart TV, or Bixby-con­nected de­vices like their fridge, for rec­om­men­da­tions.

They will even be of­fered shows and movies to watch based on data like their view­ing habits and sub­scrip­tion ser­vices.

The TVs will also work with other AI plat­forms such as Google As­sis­tant and Ama­zon’s Alexa.

“We have a bold vi­sion for con­nected liv­ing,” Sam­sung con­sumer elec­tron­ics CEO HS Kim said.

“It sim­pli­fies a com­plex world.”

Sam­sung is not the only one bet­ting big on AI-cen­tred homes. LG al­ready an­nounced its ver­sion of the con­nected home and Ama­zon is fea­tur­ing at CES with its in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar smart speaker Alexa.

Sam­sung’s ma­jor sell for its AI fu­ture is con­ve­nience. Hands full do­ing the dishes? Ask your fridge to look up din­ner recipes. Want to clean the house? Use the hub to ac­ti­vate clean­ing mode and send out your con­nected ro­bot vac­u­ums or open smart blinds.

But much like Ama­zon and Google, Sam­sung faces the same dis­trust about data use, and the com­pany touched on a new AI phi­los­o­phy in an­nounc­ing the con­nected home.

“AI has to be re­spon­si­ble,” HS Kim said.

“The pro­tec­tion of user in­for­ma­tion and pri­vacy must be para­mount.”

Photo: John Locher

SMART: Richard Les­lie demon­strates the Fam­ily Board in­ter­face in the Sam­sung booth at CES.

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