Each year the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, we are offered a glimpse into the near future with companies showing off their newest innovations, often by simply upgrading on what we’ve seen at a prior CES.
Samsung adds new smart fridges to its lineup
Home innovation isn’t going anywhere. It’s clearly here to stay and we’re rapidly reaching a point where we almost feel we must have everything integrated. From connected light sockets, to Wi-Fi enabled thermostats and refrigerators that do our shopping for us we’re entering the age of The Jetsons through a series of cameras, touchscreens and apps.
At last year’s CES Samsung introduced its line of Family Hub appliances, which were largely panned by tech journalists and reviewers given their limited connectivity and app weaknesses. Samsung has clearly listened and has added voice recognition, a wealth of new applications and 21.5-inch touchscreens for ten models of its refrigerators.
The touchscreen offers numerous uses including a play on the old-fashioned note on the refrigerator using either your finger on the touchscreen or the accompanying smartphone app for Android and iOS.
Somewhat surprisingly, Samsung has continued to use proprietary apps rather than working with Amazon’s Alexa which app developers have run with for good reason. As a result of this “walled garden” approach the company is forcing developers and third parties to embrace something considerably more closed that Alexa or Tizen.
That said, Samsung did announce a number of partnerships with others including Spotify, iHeartRadio, Ring, Grubhub, Glympse and others. For all the above criticism, there are a number of truly fantastic models on offer (ten in total) for those looking to both keep their food cold and spend around $6000.
Using its vast array of smart cameras the line of Family Hub 2.0 refrigerators will help users shop, without actually shopping, through integration with the Groceries app thanks to MasterCard.
“For a more convenient kitchen experience, Samsung’s advanced voice technology has also been integrated across many of Family Hub 2.0’s apps. For example, users can issue voice commands to learn the weather and time, add products to shopping lists and order groceries online, manage to-do-lists as well as calendar schedules, in addition to controlling various other apps,” Samsung said in announcement introducing the new line of Family Hub refrigerators.
Samsung responds to new home starts in the United States
Despite spelling out the doom and gloom facing those in the “rust belt” of the United States and appealing to the fears of the mostly white manufacturing class that catapulted Donald Trump to the White House, the numbers tell a bit of a different story.
“2016 has seen over 1.2 million new housing starts and significant growth in home remodeling,” said John Herrington, chief of Samsung’s home appliance group in the United States. “This line-up of Samsung built-in products addresses the growing needs of these premium consumers.”
In addition to the new line of refrigerators, the South Korean giant is showing off a number of new smart appliances this year with washers and dryers, coffee machines and even smart stoves all getting their time in the spotlight.
Samsung clearly believes that this is the future and if you stroll around CES this year and next you’ll see that the future of smart homes is a reality right now.