Samsung’s product launches at the vast Consumer Electronics Show are traditionally the biggest and most lavish – lavish by tech industry standards, that is, if not Las Vegas.
This year the South Korean firm wanted to talk about connectivity, and how you and everything in your home can soon be better connected – starting with television.
Its new line of SUHD TV sets all have a new SmartThings controller hub, following Samsung’s acquisition of the company in late 2014. The hub enables you to control your home: lights, locks and thermostat as well as your TV, thanks to a small dongle called the SmartThings Extend Adapter. The dongle attaches to the back of the TV, similar to how you might plug in a Chromecast or other device; with it you can control more than 200 compatible devices from your television screen, using it as a hub for your connected home. The dongle will be available for free to every customer who purchases a 2016 SUHD television.
Samsung also launched a new UltraHD Blu-Ray player and a soundbar. The HW-K950 soundbar uses forward- and upward-firing speakers to deliver a Dolby Atmos experience in your home, with no need to mount additional speakers on the ceiling.
In keeping with the long-running CES joke about smart fridges, Samsung announced the Family Hub, which allows the user to buy everything from a jug of milk to vegetables for dinner from a large screen on the fridge door that connects to FreshDirect and ShopRite, using a MasterCard shopping app.
The 21.5-inch display, which looks like an Android tablet, can be used for pretty much anything else including playing music, displaying the weather, playing YouTube videos, showing calendar entries and displaying photos and notes for your family. The device also has SmartThings integration, allowing you the same control as from your television.
A FlexZone can be used as either a fridge or a freezer, depending on what you need. When you do actually head out to the store, you can pull up a photo of the inside of your fridge (it grabs one each time you close the door), so you can see if you’re out of milk or if the kids grabbed those leftovers.
Samsung also demonstrated Project Beyond, a new 360-degree camera for capturing content for virtual reality headsets, and two new versions of the Gear S2 Classic in rose gold and platinum. It announced that compatibility for the Gear smartwatch would be headed to iOS later this year.
While, as expected, the company didn’t announce a new phone, it did show off the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, an Android tablet running Windows 10. Think of it like a Microsoft Surface tablet: the device is the first Windows product that the company has made under the Galaxy name. It has a detachable keyboard case and a 12-inch display with 2160×1440 resolution. The device will be available in Wi-Fi and LTE models from February.
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