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CES 2017: Samsung Builds On Family Hub Fridge, Front-Load Laundry Innovation

Samsung Electronics has introduced the second generation of its acclaimed Family Hub refrigerator which, besides keeping food cold, can serve as the electronic hearth of the connected home.

Samsung’s Family Hub 2.0, unveiled at a CES 2017 media event on Tuesday, features improved app integration, diverse new app partners, and an expanded lineup.

Specifically, the innovative platform has grown from four to 10 models, including new three-door and four-door French door options which join the current four-door Flex offering.

Samsung said Family Hub 2.0’s expanded and intuitive app integration has significantly enhanced the refrigerators’ usability and food management. For example, images taken inside the fridge by its array of View Inside cameras can reveal which food items need to be replenished and can be added to a shopping list feature for ordering through the Groceries by MasterCard app.

In addition, owners can receive recipe readouts through the Recipe app, powered by AllRecipes, which can also be displayed in enlarged type on the fridge’s 21.5-inch LED touchscreen as an aid to multi-tasking home chefs.

The touchscreen, through a new and easy-to-use interface, can also serve as an interactive digital bulletin board where family members can share photos, handwrite and post memos in real time, and access updated calendars using their smartphones and individualized user profiles.

Samsung has also incorporated advanced voice technology across many of the Family Hub 2.0’s apps, allowing owners to ask for the time and weather, add items to shopping lists, order groceries online, or manage to-do lists and calendar schedules.

The company said it is also working closely with partners like Grubhub, Nomiku, Glympse, Ring, Spotify and iHeartRadio to provide additional upcoming options for entertainment, food delivery and cooking, and location-based safety and home security services.

“After just one year of availability, the Family Hub has transformed the concept of the connected kitchen by enabling users to order and manage grocery shopping, connect with family and friends, and access entertainment right from the comfort of their kitchen,” Samsung home appliances president Byung-Sam Seo said in a statement. “Taking flexibility and functionality to a whole new level, the Family Hub 2.0 is entirely about helping consumers better manage as well as enjoy their lives.”

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Also enhancing consumers’ kitchens is a new smart built-in cooking line featuring various models of double- and single-wall ovens and counter-depth gas, electric and induction cooktops and range hoods. All of the built-ins are equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing users to start, adjust and turn off their ovens, and monitor their cooktops and range hoods, from their smartphones, while new Bluetooth connectivity syncs cooktop with range hood to automatically start up the fans or turn on the lights when cooking.

 In addition, the double wall oven incorporates Samsung’s Flex Duo feature that allows owners to create three distinct oven spaces that can be individually controlled, while the induction cooktops feature removable magnetic knobs (and virtual flames) for easy cleaning.

Meanwhile, building on the popularity of its “activewash” washer, which features a beneath-the-lid sink for pre-washing, and taking the concept to the next level, Samsung also introduced FlexWash, a smart washer that is two washers in one. Developed with a small top-loading washer on top and a larger, more traditional front-loading washer below, FlexWash can clean two loads of laundry at once on a single power cord, saving consumers time, energy — and bending.

Indeed, unlike competitive dual washers that make use of the pedestal space below, users can load and unload this newest configuration without performing deep knee bends.

Samsung has also developed a companion two-in-one dryer. Featuring a small, top-loading delicate rack dryer on top and a large, front-loading dryer for regular loads on the bottom, the aptly named FlexDry dryer is a first for the U.S. market, the company said, and a major leap forward in dryer design.

Samsung said the top-loading rack section was designed to dry delicates on low heat without tumbling, and operates within a carefully-calibrated temperature range of room temperature to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.  It also features a novel air-flow mechanism to ensure even drying of garments.

The front loader below boasts its own unique features, including MultiSteam to freshen clothing and help smooth out wrinkles, and a sanitizing Steam Dry, which further reduces odors and static and relaxes wrinkles.

Samsung is showcasing its new built-in, Family Hub and Flex laundry lines this week at booth #15006 in the LVCC’s Central Hall.