When Samsung kindly invited us to attend their Samsung Forum 2019, we really couldn’t say no. Or rather, we didn’t want to. Come hell or high water, we’d do anything to be there.
Today, at the forum, Samsung’s unveiled a bevy of new information, updates and improvements to a variety of services and products under their purview including new QLED TVs, sound bars, appliances and much more.
While we were a little disappointed with the lack of showing of their new foldable smart phone and TV outside of CES, there are still tons of interesting stuff being displayed so let’s check it out.
Below are some of the highlights from the show:
Samsung’s 2019 Line-up for TVs & Sound bars
“At Samsung, we have worked tirelessly over the years to move the industry forward when it comes to premium picture quality, and the introduction of our QLED 8K TV with 8K AI Upscaling is an integral component as we look towards the future of displays” – Press release, Steven Koh, Director of Consumer Electronics Business Division
In what was the highlight of the show for me personally was another valiant effort from Samsung to push the boundaries of picture quality for consumer electronics.
Set to release at the earliest from 25th March to the end of April, Samsung will be offering their 8K QLED Q900R series displays starting from SGD$10,999.
Smart AI resolution upscaling, Samsung’s way of upscaling from a lower quality image or video seems to be a key tenant of transforming the current content offerings from content producers to befit with the native display of their TVs.
This is much needed as there are currently very little native 8K content that is being offered in the market right now, mirroring what we saw during the onset of the previous 4K TV display standards. Their displays are also shown to the press with HDR10+ certification, optimized for more dynamic range, colour and contrast from previous standards.
While there seems to be quite a price premium for products like these in the ultra-high-end TV segment, more competition is always good for the consumer as we would likely see a repeat of the 2013/2014 market as 4K was being introduced to the market, driving prices down overtime.
Samsung’s iterative improvements on IoT platform ‘Bixby’
Samsung is now providing their IoT platform and services, Bixby, for the APAC region that competes with the likes of Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa. Bixby now presumably includes conversational AI, called Natural Language Processing (NLP), that allows a user to converse with Bixby just like a person would, bringing it more in line with features that have been available from similar products.
In the press demo, phrases like “How are you doing today?” seems to correctly resolve into a response from Bixby.
Samsung also aims to seamlessly connect their products and devices through the use of their 2019 Family Hub App.
It’s featured on their fridges as a part of their SmartThings ecosystem that will include Bixby and a wealth of other productivity Apps like a diet planner and a ‘whiteboard’ App among others.
An interesting concept, but my take is that while it’s a novel concept, nobody would really run to the fridge just to use something like this; you are more likely to use (and I mean guaranteed ) the contents of the fridge rather than the fridge itself. I’m doubtful that its ever going to be the scenario below:
“Oh my god I need to remind Martin to pick up some eggs from the grocery store. BETTER GO TO THE FRIDGE.” Jason, Fridge Enthusiast What would be more practical is making the App available for more devices; like mobile for example, where it syncs the contents of any reminders or note when connected which makes way more sense than what they are currently offering.
In addendum: Seems like they do offer Family Hub on Android that does this! While not explicitly stated in any of the material provided, it is already a feature that you can use when you have this App installed. Props to you, Samsung!
You can get Family Hub for Android here
For full coverage, please stay tuned to this post as we will update on all the latest articles pertaining to the show below: