CES Press Day: NVIDIA, Samsung, and Intel


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Samsung

The Samsung PR event was very impressive, especially when you consider that in 50 years, they came from a startup third-rate B&W TV company to one of the largest consumer electronics companies globally.

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The most impressive announcements from Samsung are, as expected, their new 90” 8K UHD smart TVs.

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With their connected TV and partnership with Amazon Prime, why would you need satellite or cable TV? There is no doubt that Samsung is focused on AI and bringing its power into the home using Bixby or a version thereof. The Samsung vision of an advanced smart home includes connecting all appliances, lights, TVs, and other audio, and just about everything else. In doing, they want to use a door-sized screen on the refrigerator as a family CES19-2-SmartRefrigerator.jpghome center. All other appliances, new phones, and other 5K-enabled devices will connect with the refrigerator door as the visual hub. I know it sounds strange, but when you see it, it actually makes sense. Remember when anyone in the family wanted to show a picture, note, etc., they would just pin it to the refrigerator door?

Besides demonstrating the Samsung vision of the modern smart home, a number of announcements were made both in and outside of the press event. Perhaps the most surprising was the announcement that Samsung’s Bixby digital assistant will soon be able to control apps made by Google. A report (from Tec Crunch) states that the list of Google apps Bixby will be able to control will include Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Play. Since Google has been pushing its own assistant so hard, this was very interesting. Perhaps Google does not consider Bixby much of a competitor and are not concerned about Bixby taking share from Google. Most of us who have used digital assistants have not been very impressed with Bixby, so we will see what the next iteration brings. The timing of this ability has yet to be announced.

Samsung also announced that Bixby will be added to the company’s new QLED and premium HDR TVs along with its growing lineup of smart appliances. Additionally, it added new software partners like Uber, Ticketmaster, and iHeartRadio. Still, no mention today on when the expected Bixby-supporting Samsung Galaxy Home smart speaker will be available. However, Samsung did confirm the expected news that its first smartphone that will connect to 5G networks will be released in the next six months. It was expected because all four major U.S. carriers (Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon) have announced that they will start selling a Samsung 5G phone sometime this year.

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Some of the other new announcements from Samsung include a new version of its Family Hub smart refrigerators, a high-end gaming laptop, the Notebook Odyssey, and even some robots including Samsung Bot Care, which is an entirely new market for them. The rolling home robot is a healthcare assistant designed for CES19-2-BotCare2.jpgelderly users and other people in need of home assistants. The robot can offer health briefings, give out medication, and check a user’s vitals. The company offered a preview of the robot on stage at the end of the event and gave us the ability to view it up close and take pictures. Overall, many interesting announcements were made by Samsung, and they have a clear path forward.

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