IoT is upon us. Well, that was what we said the whole year of 2018 anyway. This year is the year we will see 5G being implemented. The focus of 5G, as we have mentioned countless of times in 2018 is Internet of Things (IoT). If you live under a rock, IoT simply means you can control your windows, lights, cooker, fridge, showers, air-conditioning, microwave, car, and everything else you can find at home using either your smartphone, your tablet, or your PC. Oh yes, CtOS for real guys (if you do not know CtOS means, go look up Watch Dogs).
The thing is though all the talks about IoT and how much we are moving into that kind of lifestyle is still plenty of just talking. True IoT products, meaning products that is built for IoT and can be controlled by a router out-of-the-box is not yet a standard these days. That is true, right?
Well, you see; that may not be the case because Samsung has been very big into IoT stuff last year. They made your average fridge become the Connected Living Hub with their new fridge last year. From there also you can control and monitor your washing machine or even your TV. As long as all of them are connected in the same WiFi umbrella. That turns out to be a brilliant idea. So they introduced a new IoT device right? Like an IoT table. Err, not exactly.
Before we dive into the product launch though we have to take a look at what Samsung’s new understanding of Connected Living. To begin with, Samsung already laid some of the crucial bricks on the road to IoT living. They started out with the SmartThings app, which is now a cloud based ecosystem linking everything from your smartphones to your smart TVs. It does not just connect to Samsung devices, although if it is connected to Samsung’s smart devices you get a lot more function than just unlocking your smartphones or tablets.
Then came Samsung’s very own digital assistant platform to rival Google’s brilliant Assistant; the Bixby. The Bixby assistant was clunky, and slow, and cold when it was first introduced about two years ago. A year on though the Bixby platform has seen a huge step in terms of growth and function. They even managed to work with Adobe; one of the world’s leading technology companies in terms of software and even Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). That even got integrated into Samsung’s new device called the Galaxy Home; a Google Hone rival with Bixby. Bixby is also Samsung’s AI platform mind you. That became the second layer that Samsung needed in the Connected Living concept.
The next step is 5G, the even faster than 4G LTE+ wireless network solution. Yes, when we thought 4G LTE+ was fast 5G basically crushed that thought and went even faster. In theory it could even be 10 times faster than regular 4G LTE. Samsung got that covered too now with over 2,000 patents for 5G technology and being the only manufacturer with FCC certification on their upcoming 5G equipment. Yes, Connected Living needs speeds so fast your eyes blister.
The last thing they need to complete and deliver the experience is of course the products; and boy did they unveil some very interesting products. They revealed a new PC monitor which you can see in our coverage here. They also added to their QLED television line with a brand new 8K resolution TV out of the 98-inch display. Like their older QLED TVs that measures in at a maximum of 75-inch as of late 2018; the TV can automatically detect whatever media source you might plug into the ports of the TV and optimise itself for the contents of your set-top box, gaming console, blue-ray players, and so on and so forth. The TV even cleverly sets up whatever sound system you plug into the TV.
Though similar to the new 4K QLED TVs you see end of 2018. The 8K resolution is still nothing short of revolutionary; although good luck finding 8K sources at this point. Even 4K adoption is still slowly progressing thanks to the amount of processing power required from creating and playing 4K contents. The 8K QLED TVs comes in four other sizes starting from the smallest 65-inch to 85-inch. Thanks to the lack of 8K resolution contents though; something else that is considered to be the center of the family makes a bigger impact in CES 2019 – the fridge.
Yes, the new Connected Living Family Hub Refrigerator; the improved and enhanced version that we saw last year. For the most part; the Family HUB refrigerator is similar to what we saw last year. You still see the digital display that any family member can interact with. Your kids can leave a note to you and you can leave notes to them. You can even turn your TV off while the kids are having dinner and monitor your laundry at the same time via the display. So all in all, the same as the Family Hub from last year.
For the year 2019 the Family Hub is even more intuitive and simpler to use than before though. They even integrated Bixby into the Family hub which helps in pushing your morning briefings to the fridge. You can read your morning news before grabbing that orange juice on the door compartments now. Of course you can check out your daily schedules too on the fridge. All that can be done via voice activation too. So; “hey Bixby”. Thanks to SmartThings, the Family Hub can control even more things in your home.
Now with Bixby’s AI prowess too you can be even healthier with the Family Hub. Obviously as well the Samsung Family Hub keeps track of the food you keep inside the fridge; how many Kgs of potatoes you have left, how much milk you have left, and what not. The new Family Hub takes a step further by recommending recipes for you and your family with what is in the fridge. Yes, it did that before but Samsung says that the new Family Hub is even more clever in ensuring that your family stays healthy. Whether or not that is true remains a mystery until we get the fridge though.
Samsung’s Family Hub is expected to be pushed into more refrigerators from Samsung. It is safe to assume also that Samsung would be introducing more fridge that are Samsung’s Family Hub enabled. There are no mentions on when the new Family Hub will be available on the refrigerators; but we assume pretty soon.
Also published on Medium.