South Korea's tech giants are battling it out at this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, promoting their cutting-edge "smart" products. A total of 3,200 global players will showcase at one of the largest tech shows on earth Jan. 7-10, demonstrating how they aim to change our digital future.
First round seems to have gone to Samsung, with their Smart Home solutions, which have out-shone LG's Smart TVs, for now.
Samsung Smart Home
Samsung's Smart Home has been unveiled, and lets you control a full range of smart home devices through a single app. The new service operates on a single integrated platform to connect and manage Smart TVs, home appliances and smartphones. The Smart Home service will be commercially rolled out for Samsung appliances and devices in the first half of 2014.
How does it work?
Commands, including voice, can be used to control several appliances at once, through devices which are connected to the Samsung Smart Home Hub. For example, you could say ‘going out’ to your Samsung Galaxy Gear for your TV, lights and other select appliances to be switched off. Or you could say ‘good night’ to your TV remote for the TV to switch off and your lights to slowly dim until they are completely off.
Three main services that will allow users to connect with their devices from anywhere including Home view, Device Control and Smart Customer service. The application will connect Home and personal devices including Smart TVs, refrigerators, washing machines to digital cameras, smartphones and even its GALAXY Gear smart watch.
Samsung Smart Home platform will also be available to owners of third-party manufacturers, in order to make the platform more widely usable by consumers.
Wonpyo Hong, President, Media Solutions Center, Samsung Electronics stated, “With Samsung Smart Home, we are bringing our capabilities as the world’s number-one manufacturer of smart devices to make the connected home a reality for consumers today."
What has LG demonstrated so far?
LG has unveiled a new generation of Smart TVs, powered by the somewhat beleaguered Web OS that was first touted by Palm five years ago at CEs, but never took off in the face of Apple's iPhone onslaught. Now it returns, revamped in LG's new range of smart TVs.
This may herald a rebirth of sorts for Smart TVs themselves, which have so far unimpressed since their first release, due to a lack of content available, with most consumers using little more than YouTube and social network services like Facebook - making 'Smart TVs' more like web-accessible TVs.
Now LG, in collaboration with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, have spoken at LG's International CES press conference about the launch the LG Ultra HD Smart TVs powered by its WebOS. It will allow 4K content from Netflix to be streamed straight to the home and onto an LG Smart TV. Hastings noted that this will allow consumers to "stream in real time shows such as House of Cards that are filmed, mastered and edited in 4K."
LG has also unveiled its Home Chat service, which allows users to control devices by sending them text messages. HomeChat will allows users to control their smart appliances and will provide real time status updates of their devices from anywhere.
Stay tuned for more news from CES 2014.