CES 2020: Samsung reveals new helper robots, fitness devices, and smart city tech

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On January 6, Samsung held a keynote presentation at the Las Vegas-based 2020 Consumer Electronics Show. In it, CEO H.S. Kim unveiled a new corporate initiative called “Age of Experience” that aims to make consumers’ lives healthier and more convenient. Moreover, the firm revealed smart home, connected fitness, and smart city innovations it will utilize to realize its aims.

Next-Generation Smart Homes

Federico Casalegno, Samsung’s Chief Design Innovation Officer, said his firm intends to transform living spaces into “living organisms.” The executive then unveiled a host of connected devices that will improve residents’ lives by anticipating their needs.

For instance, Samsung designed its Family Hub line of refrigerators to do a lot more than store food. The connected appliances give owners the ability to remotely view their interiors and make meal suggestions using its contents. These smart devices, now on sale, also give users the ability to shop for groceries online using their built-in 5G-enabled displays.

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Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerators can also interface with its Chef Gardens. Powered refrigeration by the firm’s Bixby Vision AI, the appliances cultivate a range of fruits and vegetables year-round. Moreover, the corporation’s engineers made the smart appliance capable of growing lush and nutrient-rich produce with minimal user input.

The South Korean conglomerate’s smart kitchen system also includes the Bot Chef, a pair of AI-controlled robot arms. Owners can use a range of different voice commands to direct their meal preparation assistant to slice, stir, and flip different foods. Sadly, the corporation hasn’t set a release date for the Chef Garden or the Bot Chef.

Samsung’s CES 2020 presentation also indicated how its new bezel-free televisions would play a role in its smart home revolution. The firm’s Q950TS sets display images and video in 8K QLED with 99 percent of their screen. As such, its smart TV can entertain with high-definition video and games, serve as high-end communication portals, and gorgeous art showcases. The company didn’t reveal pricing or release date info for its new multifaceted TVs.

Effectively, Samsung wants its consumers to use its smart appliances to customize the look and feel of their homes digitally.

Samsung Health Innovations

The corporation’s “Age of Experience” presentation also featured the debut of some new Samsung Health innovations. Sebastian Seung, the firm’s head of research, took the stage to explain his firm is using AI to facilitate “the next evolution of the wellness experience.”

Seung noted Samsung had teamed with Kaiser Permanente to develop a new in-home cardiac rehabilitation program called HeartWise. In tandem with a Samsung smartwatch, the program reminds users to exercise regularly while constantly tracking their biometric data. Subsequently, the app transmits the collected information to the patient’s charts, which allows medical professionals to track their progress.

Samsung and Kaiser hope HeartWise will help patients recuperate from serious medical events in their homes, not unfamiliar medical facilities. Indeed, the two organizations found their solution reducing readmission of cardiac rehabilitation patients rates from 10-15 percent to 2 percent.

The electronics company also debuted a new augmented reality (AR) workout system during its CES keynote. Called the Gait Enhancing & Motivation System (GEMS), the platform utilizes AR glasses, a Galaxy smartwatch, and a smart exoskeleton to provide customized “fitness experiences.”

With the system, consumers can be guided through virtual workout sessions by a digital personal trainer. The platform also allows users to exercise in exotic locales, like a mountaintop or the bottom of the ocean. Furthermore, by tracking the wearer’s specific motions, GEMS can help correct their position and recommend certain poses and lunges.

The online-enabled workout system also allows geographically disparate individuals to exercise together in real-time. Moreover, GEMS can communicate with Samsung smart kitchen appliances to suggest ideal post-workout meals.

Ballie is Humanity’s New Robot Buddy

Samsung also unveiled a product that ties together its smart home and health offerings, a robot personal assistant called Ballie.

Reminiscent of a “Star Wars” helper droid, the softball-sized rolling bot is fully integrated with the corporation’s other connected offerings. It also features an on-device AI and camera that can recognize individual service users and their pets.

In a demonstration video, Ballie helped its owner workout, arranged a video call, and dispatched a robot vacuum to clean up after their dog. Besides, Samsung noted its most adorable new device can relay video to a user’s smartphone, so it can act as a roving surveillance solution.

The Future of Smart Cities

While the electronics giant’s “Age of Experience” presentation featured many near-term offerings, it also showcased some long-term projects. Notably, Samsung senior vice president Emily Becher detailed her firm’s ambitious smart city roadmap. Essentially, the corporation has plans to make dense urban centers easier to navigate and more environmentally friendly over the next decade.

The corporation intends to integrate municipal AI systems, Internet of Things sensors, and 5G networks to allow buildings and vehicles to talk to one another.

Samsung is teaming with real estate developers like Greystar to create smart buildings that offer residents several interactive benefits. For instance, in a connected complex, users can summon elevators, remotely turn off their lights, and be guided to their parking places. Moreover, networked buildings can detect in-unit appliance and utility breakdowns and autonomously call for repairs.

Similarly, once in their vehicles, smart city dwellers can adjust their routes in real-time to compensate for congestion. As heavy traffic is known to increase vehicle omissions, Samsung’s next-generation roads will decrease pollution. Moreover, smart cars can receive municipal network alerts about potential road hazards before they enter the driver’s line of sight.

With its digital urban infrastructure in place, Samsung will endeavor to make city living more convenient and healthier.

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  1. Samsung also offered a peek into the future home. Federico Casalegno, Chief Design Innovation Officer of Samsung Design Innovation Center, stated that the home will offer unique, immersive experiences with cutting-edge innovations like AI, sensors and data analysis: “As a living organism, the intelligent home will be a deeply personal space, tailoring experiences for each of us, according to our personal needs.” Dr. Casalegno highlighted how spatial boundaries of the physical and digital worlds are dissolving, transforming living spaces into bespoke experience-spaces, like an art gallery, yoga studio or other forms of imaginable space. Such blurring of the two realms, according to Dr. Casalegno, is what will transform the home in the next decade.

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