Samsung yesterday put their consumer electronics products on show, giving kiwis a glimpse of the technology they can expect to see in retail stores in the coming months.
While a great number of products where revealed at the Bangkok launch, including the stunning high-end 88 inch JS9500 SUHD television, there was no official mention of the upcoming Galaxy S6 smartphone.
Instead the media were shown the new Galaxy A range of ultra slim smartphones which are pitched more to the mid market as well as a plethora of digital home appliances.
Samsung Forum 2015 Key Announcements
SUHD TV: Pitched as the next leap forward in UHD TV technology, Samsung showcased a range of SUHD televisions. While UHD itself is still in the early stages of adoption, the new SUHD standard will deliver more than double the brightness and greater colour richness of the previous technology.
This is possible because of nano-crystals which transmit different colours of light depending on their size, producing higher colour purity with increased light efficiency.
Despite all of that, Kiwis will potentially be most interested in the Rugby Mode smart feature which enhances the look of a sports game and produces highlights of key match moments on the fly. Prices and dates available for the 2015 televisions are yet to be announced.
Premium Audio: A new line up of home theatre audio solutions were revealed. The WAM 7500/6500 speakers deliver a 360-degree sound from a stylishly egg shaped body. The company also showcased its new Curved Soundbar 8500 series which complements their range of curved TV’s.
Digital Appliances: The Dualwash washing machine drew a lot of attention due to a non-digital innovation. The washing machine has a built in sink in the lid which allows users to pre-treat their laundry before tipping it into the wash.
Phones and Music: The assembled media were hoping to catch sight of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6, but there were to be no leaks before its March reveal. Instead they were shown the mid range Galaxy A devices. The Galaxy A7, A5 and A3 all feature a slim metal unibody design in a range of colours and sizes.
Beyond hardware, Samsung announced the arrival of Milk Music in the Asia-Pacific region with a rep confirming that it would launch first in Australia and New Zealand. Optimised for mobile devices, Milk Music is Samsung’s version of an internet radio/music discover .
The “Listening TV” issue
Separately from the launch, Samsung New Zealand also put paid to the internet reports that Samsung Smart TV’s may be “listening in” on private conversations and transmitting the information to advertisers.
A press release issued just before the conference. “Voice recognition allows the user to choose to control the TV using voice commands in addition to their remote control and is a Samsung Smart TV feature which can be activated and deactivated by the user.”
It went on to say “If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature, voice data is only given to a – voice-to-text conversion provider during a requested voice command search. At that time, the voice data is sent to a server which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV. “
Delegates at the Samsung Forum that I spoke to seemed bemused that the voice search feature, commonly seen these days in smartphones, had received so much adverse publicity.