Samsung (SSNLF) announced an integrated strategy for its vast array of consumer electronic devices built on them all being networked and controllable via its voice assistant at a press event on Monday evening at CES in Las Vegas.
The South Korean consumer electronics giant said that 90% of its TVs, appliances, smartphones and tablets are currently internet of things (IoT) ready, and that over one billion connected Samsung devices are already in use around the world. And by 2020, Samsung said all its devices will be IoT ready and “intelligent.”
Samsung’s plan calls for all its devices to be easily connected to the internet and to each other without the need to input lengthy passwords, and to be controllable by its Bixby voice assistant, already a feature in its latest smartphones. Samsung faces stiff competition in the digital assistant space from Amazon’s (AMZN) Alexa, Apple’s (AAPL) Siri and Alphabet (GOOGL) Google’s Assistant.
In a demonstration on Monday of what this strategy could allow its customers to do, Bixby was asked on a Samsung phone to show what was inside a Samsung-made refrigerator. An image of the appliance’s interior could then be shown on a Samsung TV or phone.
Another demonstration showed Bixby providing calendar/personal assistant services on a refrigerator’s touchscreen.
Samsung did not make any announcements about its new smartphone expected this year, the Galaxy S9. Details for that eagerly-awaited device are expected be shared at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona held at the end of February.
At the CES event, Samsung also unveiled its new Notebook 9 Pen, a sleek 2-in-1 PC that weighs just 2.2 pounds and has a 360-degree rotating display. The Notebook 9 relies on the same S Pen stylus as Samsung’s Galaxy Note line, and supports traditional “Air Command” features.
Samsung also debuted the Samsung Flip, a touchscreen device that serves as a giant portable screen and digital whiteboard, and said it would be available in the US and Europe later this month.
The company also discussed its plans for 5G and the connected car, noting that it’s supporting Verizon’s (VZ) upcoming 5G fixed-broadband launch in Sacramento, Calif. Dinesh Paliwal, the CEO of Harman, which Samsung acquired in early 2017 for $8 billion, was brought on to discuss his company’s development of a “digital cockpit” that merges infotainment and instrument cluster systems within a car. Tesla has long been developing these kinds of solutions for its own vehicles, but has not been keen on licensing them to third-party automakers.
Paliwal discussed next-generation telematics technology that allow cars to communicate with other cars and other nearby devices, and said Harman had signed a deal with a “leading European automaker” for its telematics solution.
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