Our electronic devices are becoming more intelligent by the minute. Some of us might even be dreaming of the day we can talk to our TV sets, boss our vacuum cleaners around, wirelessly control our appliances, or use our smartphones as LCD projectors. Unbelievable? Yes. But impossible? No.
Little do we know that these so-called pipe dreams have become reality, right under our very noses. During its third Southeast Asia, Oceania and Taiwan Forum held last March 15, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. unveiled its new line of “smart” products that push the boundaries of the future, changing the technological landscape—and consumer lifestyle—as we know it.
Through its 2012 catalogue, the South Korean brand giant aims to deliver connectivity and content across all of its devices, from TV sets to mobile phones, tablets to notebook PCs, and cameras to home appliances, in an effort to address the ever-growing needs of today’s consumers.
“We want to excel in affecting consumers positively with innovative products and excellent made-for-Asia content,” said Gregory Lee, president and CEO of Samsung Asia.
Here’s a sneak preview of some of the products that have made our noses bleed in awe.
With today’s technology, it somehow feels wrong to call your TV set an “idiot box.” The ES800 LED TV, possessing a dual-core processor and screen size of up to 75 inches, embodies Samsung’s three guiding pillars: Smart Interaction, Smart Content and Smart Evolution.
As was demonstrated during the SEA forum, this TV allows owners to interact with their TV via voice control, motion control and face recognition. Say “Hi, TV!” to turn on the voice control or “Web browser” to go online; you can also adjust the volume by saying “Volume up/down” or by pointing a hand.
A nifty service offered is the AllShare Play, the “link” that lets the user retrieve and share personal content across multiple devices (for example, smartphone to TV to tablet) regardless of location. Also, owners can now update their TV hardware and software yearly via the Evolution Kit (which can be plugged through a slot at the back of the TV). This pretty much obviates the need to spend for a new set every time an upgraded model comes out.
‘Beam’ me up, Sammy
As far as this gadget is concerned, your days of borrowing your school’s (or company’s) bulky LCD projector for reports are numbered. The Galaxy Beam is a smartphone with a built-in projector for multimedia content display of up to 50 inches wide.
You can turn any wall into an instant mini-theater, show photo slideshows to an audience, or do impromptu presentations in public. It runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB internal memory, microSD slot, and 5MP camera with flash.
Apart from the Galaxy Beam, we also got a sneak peek at the new Galaxy Tab 2 series in 7.0- and 10.1-inch models. They have essentially the same features as the original Tab series, but these run on the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) OS and have a microSD storage option of up to 32GB.
Plus, they offer upgrades like Google Play, AllShare Play, video call and ChatON (Android’s cross-platform communication service, much like BBM and WhatsApp, which works on iOS, Android and Bada platforms).
Hello, instant upload. With the introduction of Samsung’s WiFi-enabled cameras, there’s no need to deal with the hassle of transferring your photos to your hard drive before you can store them or post them online. Portrait-happy campers can use the dual-screen DV300F’s front LCD display to take their own snapshots or videos, and upload them to Facebook or YouTube via Social Sharing right away.
Meanwhile, the WB850F leads the pack of long-zoom cameras that make for handy travel buddies. The black 16.2MP Smart Camera is equipped with 21x optical zoom, CMOS sensor, 3-inch VGA AMOLED screen, and 1080p (Full HD) video recording capability.
Light as a feather, thin as a board
Just when we thought laptops couldn’t get any thinner, along comes the Notebook Series 9. Incredibly slim at half an inch, it comes in 13- and 15-inch models and weighs about 3 pounds, making it the most compact ultra-portable laptop in the market. For people who are afraid of breaking it just by touching it, the single-shell body is supposedly built with duralumin, “the same material as an advanced aircraft and is twice as strong as aluminum.”
Perks include a backlit keyboard, a 128GB SSD (solid-state drive) that gives it speed, and its rapid bootup/wakeup time. Plus, it’s gorgeous as heck. Battery life allegedly lasts for up to 10 hours, but we won’t be able to attest to that until we get our hands on this black beauty. Better save up for this one, though, because when it comes to electronics, beauty usually comes at a price.
We’d never thought we’d get excited over a vacuum cleaner, but we did. A stickless broom with a brain is what this is. Or a cleaning genie in a bottle—er, disc. As Samsung’s next-gen cleaning robot, the 8 cm-tall NaviBot S provides hands-free automated floor cleaning for people who just don’t have the time or energy to do chores. All you really need to do is lift a finger. Literally. (Sorry, kids, it doesn’t do dishes.)
It has an upgraded Visionary Mapping Plus system, a type of camera- and sensor-based navigation that enables the bot to capture images and create a map of your house, determine the best cleaning path, avoid obstacles and dangerous areas, and keep track of its progress. It even knows when its power supply is low, and it automatically goes back to its dock to recharge.
It comes with an Auto Dust Emptying function that lets it go back to its dock and dump its contents when it senses that the dust bin is full. It also has tiny brushes for “arms” that enable it to reach those annoying nooks and crannies, and they also pick up pet hair (check out the fun demo with the dog on the Samsung website). And, oh, it’s WiFi-enabled, so you can just summon it as you please. Amazing.