Korea’s tech powerhouse announced a series of new products at the IFA 2015 exhibition in Berlin. Here are the two most successful – and the two strangest
Samsung’s press conference last week Thursday in Berlin was considered one of the more anticipated events at IFA 2015 which officially opened last week Friday. An hour before the doors opened, a line of journalists from around the world were queued up to enter the main atrium curious to hear what the Korean tech giant had to say.
Samsung used the event as a launch pad for its entrance into the smart home and IoT markets. When a titan like Samsung announces a line of products for a previously niche market, you know that these products are no longer just for geeks.
Here are the two most successful announcements at IFA 2015:
The smart house and automatic sleep monitor
Samsung opened the press conference by announcing a new product series which enables wireless centralized control of appliances. Samsung is calling it the SmartThings Hub. At $100, it’s a new, improved and rebranded version of an earlier product.
However, Samsung is a bit behind on this one. A number of competitors have already introduced their own versions, and have generated a lot of buzz around the technology well ahead of the Korean conglomerate. However, Samsung is taking an open source approach and supports 200 of its products.
One thing worth noting about the new SmartThings Hub is its new sleep sensor that makes it possible to monitor the quality of one’s rest. SleepSense will know when to turn off the TV and what temperature to set the room to. In this way, it’s able to optimize the sleep we get.
Collaboration with Volkswagen
At a time when consumers are questioning the value of a smart watch, Samsung seems to have all the answers. Its Gear S2 is an impressive device with more than enough features to convince even the biggest smart watch skeptic. Among other things, the watch can tell you if you locked your car. Moreover, the watch will log where you parked the car and tell you how to get back when you’re ready to head home.
Now, for the misses:
A washing machine with a special compartment for clothes you’ve forgotten
This washing machine lets you add clothes you forgot to throw in at the beginning of the cycle. The idea behind it is clever, and it solves a common problem. Overall, it’s hard to fault this machine. It sports an impressive design, and significantly speeds up a traditional full wash cycle. The only disconcerting thing was that Samsung promoted it as one of the most innovative technologies at the conference. It certainly wasn’t.
A blu-ray player that supports UHD
Do you own a blu-ray player? Maybe planning to buy one some time soon? If you answered “no,” you’re not alone. The technology isn’t as commonly used as it once was. Shows, movies and music are all downloaded instantaneously.
With that in mind, Samsung debuted its new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc player. While a novel idea, this player isn’t likely to have mass appeal.