Samsung is turning to artificial intelligence (AI), the Cloud and its voice-controlled Bixby virtual assistant to connect and control home entertainment products, appliances, smart-home devices, and connected cars to do things faster and make the Internet of Things “work better for you,” Samsung Electronics president/CEO Tim Baxter said during a Sunday press event at CES 2018.
Eventually, Samsung will not only connect devices within the home but also connect the home with the car via 4G and 5G wireless and the Cloud, said HS Kim, president and head of Samsung’s global CE business.
Connecting cars to homes will make it possible to automatically turn on a home’s lights or adjust thermostat settings when a connected car pulls up to the house. A music service streaming through a car’s entertainment system could automatically start playing on a smart speaker as the driver enters the house. The home-car connectivity vision will incorporate in-vehicle technology designed by Samsung subsidiary Harman International.
In its 2018 appliance and home entertainment lineup, Samsung said it is pushing its IoT vision in multiple ways, including the addition of Smart Things smart-home control and monitoring via Family Hub smart refrigerators. The smart refrigerators control and monitor smart-home devices through its front-door touchscreen display and through the Bixby voice-controlled virtual assistant. Bixby will be available not only in the refrigerators but also in all 4K quantum-dot TVs. From the refrigerators and TVs, consumers will also be able to view doorbell-camera and baby-monitor video, and from the TV, consumers will be able to see the refrigerator’s contents.
In 2018, Samsung is expanding the Family Hub concept to more models.
In TVs, Samsung will use microphone-equipped Bluetooth remotes to send voice commands to Bixby to control TV functions, find content and control smart-home devices. Smart-home devices can also be monitored and controlled from the TV’s onscreen dashboard.
Samsung is also using connectivity in its 2018 TVs to simplify TV setup. Smart TVs will connect to the Internet without users manually typing in Wi-Fi credentials, thanks to automatic Bluetooth transfer of a home network’s Wi-Fi credentials to the TV from a smartphone logged onto the network.
Likewise, “effortless log in” will use Bluetooth to transfer the log-in credentials of select smartphone streaming-service apps to the streaming service’s smart-TV app.
Samsung intends to take Bixby to the next level by enabling it to “figure out what you need,” Baxter said.
In other connected developments, Samsung pulled plans to announce wireless-multiroom Wi-Fi speakers with the Alexa virtual assistant.
The company also said it will migrate its Knox security technology from smartphones to connected CE products, smart appliances and digital signage.