At the ongoing IFA 2013 in Berlin, Samsung is not only showing off its latest range of products from home appliances to wearable technology. The company is also promoting its vision of a “Connected Home” – an idealistic view of a future where digital products and appliances can all be controlled with a single Master Key called a smartphone.
On top of that, Samsung also showed off the company’s latest range of Ultra High Definition – or 4K – televisions, as well as its new OLED screens. The 110-inch S9 TV obviously took most of the attention, but the sleek curved OLED UHD TVs were also one of the highlights of Samsung’s digital products at IFA 2013. But of course, that’s not including the new Galaxy devices on display: the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear smartwatch as well as the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition – all three were announced at their own Unpacked Episode 2 launch two days before IFA 2013 opened.
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With the spotlight mainly on the Galaxy devices, the company made a bold decision to hold a separate launch event two days prior to the opening day of IFA 2013. That allowed Samsung to spread the attention to its other digital devices, such as its range of OLED TVs and large-screen UHD TVs.
The S9 UHD TV in particular stood out with its stunning external metal frame, as did the S9C curved OLED UHD TV. Both feature Ultra High Definition or 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) displays, ensuring that despite the large screen, image quality remains astonishingly sharp, as demonstrated below:
Samsung’s UHD offerings were also not limited to TVs. The company also showed off its UHD Monitor, with a 31.5-inch screen size. Not only that, the monitor is also one of the finest ever produced from the Korean giants, featuring a built-in calibration engine with 99% of Adobe RGB colour gamut.
The UHD screens are not just limited to consumer devices, as Samsung also showed off a 98-inch display for commercial use. As is often the case at this year’s IFA, the 98-inch commercial display is also the world’s largest of its kind.
Finally, there is the Connected Home concept. A highly futuristic and perhaps idealistic concept, Samsung’s vision of a home for the future lies mainly in the power of syncing virtually every device at home to your smartphone. The Master Key app allows users to remotely control other Samsung devices at home, from fridges, washing machines, TVs, and even vacuum cleaners.
The connected fridge, for example, can detect what items you store in the fridge, and check them off your shopping list which syncs to your phone. It can also tell you when products such as milk will expire.
On the other hand, with the WiFi-enabled washing machine, users can remotely start wash cycles from literally anywhere with an Internet connection via their smartphones. When the cycle is finished, the machine then sends an alert notification to the connected smartphone.
But perhaps what really takes the cake is the remote activation of cameras within the house. Houses with Samsung’s SMART TVs can be remotely monitored using the Master Key app, where users can set up a live stream of what’s happening at home using the SMART TV’s integrated webcam. If that’s not good enough, the Master Key app can even use the NaviBot vacuum cleaner’s integrated camera to act as a roving camera.
While perhaps a tad too idealistic for now, Samsung’s Connected Home concept is certainly a compelling look at how things may be like in the future. In fact, most of the devices featured in the concept here at IFA 2013 are already available for sale in the US and Europe, and some may even make its way to Malaysia in the future. That much power in a smartphone, however, could prove a major stumbling block for mass adoption which overrides the many, many conveniences a connected home may have.