Samsung’s connected world

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Investing in technologies that will connect all its consumer electronics products and their users, Samsung is reaffirming its leadership position in the global CE marketplace. Anna Ryland reports.

Creating a world in which all consumer electronics products ‘talk’ to each other and where customers can instantly share their experiences with their friends and family is the direction of the latest product developments from Samsung.

In 2011, the world’s leading CE manufacturer’s sales reached $143 billion, said Seokil Kim, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics, at Samsung European Forum in Prague.  Last year the company achieved world leadership in ten key CE product categories, but it is aiming to become the world leader in all main CE categories by 2013.

However this year, the focus of Samsung global strategy will be B2B solutions, with the manufacturer transferring its B2C competences into the business platform, stressed Mr Kim. Design will also be an important element of the manufacturer’s strategy in 2012, further differentiating the brand from its competitors.

Smart developments

The company has already secured 32% share of the total European TV market and an impressive 60% share in the premium €1,500+ market, announced Michael Zoeller, European marketing director TV/AV, Samsung Europe.

The manufacturer’s future strategy in the TV/AV markets will be based on three pillars: smart interaction, smart content and smart evolution. For example, the latest generation of Samsung Smart TVs will be equipped with an integrated camera and a microphone to facilitate ‘smart interactions’ between friends and family members. The voice and motion controls will allow users to ‘manage’ their TV sets with verbal instructions and gestures. The face recognition function will automatically create a profile of the user and will adjust the suggested content to their tastes on the basis of their viewing history. Meanwhile a Dual View display, allowing two users to watch different channels simultaneously on the same screen, should help to maintain harmony in the household.

To future-proof its televisions, Samsung is going to introduce the Smart Evolution Box – the first of this kind on the market – which, accounting for future technology developments, will allow users to add future applications to their current sets.

Among new services to be added to Samsung Smart TV will be the Fitness and Children interfaces for which the manufacturer is developing its own content. Also  exclusive to Samsung will be the Allshare Play, a Cloud-based service which will enable instant content sharing between various devices, such as TVs, smartphones and cameras. Making its internet TVs even smarter, the manufacturer will equip the 6, 7 and 8 TV Series, and its latest Blu-ray players, with web browsers.

In order to revitalize the stagnant home theater market, Samsung focused its product developments in this area on design, matching the design of the latest docks with that of its TVs.

In the audio category, the biggest story at the Forum in Prague was the vacuum tube technology that refines sound quality. It was applied to the horn shaped speaker docks (DAE550 and DAE650 – also supporting iPad), the wood-clad DAE760 amplifier and the new HT-E6750W 7.1 channel home cinema system.

The connectivity message was also present in the latest line-up of Samsung digital cameras and camcorders. The WB85F and WB15F digital cameras not only offer 21x and 18x optical zoom respectively, and 16 megapixels, but are also equipped with a Wi Fi-enabled Mobile Link functionality. It allows users to instantly share and email their pictures directly from the camera to their PCs, TVs and other devices.

A new development for Samsung digital imaging is also Cloud storage. The images can be saved directly to the Microsoft SkyDrive, providing 25GB free storage facility and instant sharing of images.

Smart appliances

Having increased the sales of it domestic appliances by 13% in 2011, Samsung will now focus on reducing their energy and water consumption, said Simona Baltateau, Samsung’s product manager for DA.

Samsung’s flagship domestic appliance at the Forum was the latest model in the G-series refrigeration. The new G-Series 700mm combo line-up is a solution for people looking for a large capacity refrigerator but who don’t have space in their kitchens to fit an American-size product. The new models offer an impressive 440-litre capacity thanks to their Thin Wall insulation technology which increases inner storage space without affecting the refrigerator’s body size.

The manufacturer also demonstrated the full colour line-up (in blue, red, green and black) of its O’table – a tabletop portable induction hob that allows people to cook meals with ease regardless of where they are.

O’table boasts a range of user friendly features to help customers with their cooking, including pan detection technology, a safety system with anti-overflow functions, a safety shut-off feature, residual heat indication, a child safety lock, 15 different power levels, auto water boiling and ‘keep warm’  functions. 

Stealing the limelight

The showstopper of the Forum was the first-time unveiled Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. The 7-inch model is the first tablet from Samsung with the Ice Cream Sandwich, the most recent update to Google Android. The manufacturer offers it as a gateway to some 13 million music tracks and 2.3 million of e-books.

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