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.