Last year Samsung raised eyebrows when it slapped a giant 21.5-inch LCD touch screen on the front of a refrigerator. This year, Samsung is going even further with that technology, adding voice-recognition as well as several new apps.
Samsung announced the second generation of its Family Hub at its big CES press conference Wednesday. Samsung is bringing Family Hub to several other refrigerator models, after putting it on just a single line last year. The internet-connected screen can be used to shop, see inside the fridge, play music, write up to-do lists, create a family calendar, and many other things. The screen also has drawing apps for those worried about the loss of valuable refrigerator real estate for the kids’ pictures.
“Family Hub is all about food, family and entertainment, and we are taking each of these functions to the next level,” said John Herrington, senior vice president for Samsung Electronics America.
Herrington said current Family Hub owners will get an upgrade to the new version.
Samsung competitor LG announced a voice-activated refrigerator powered by Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa. Samsung is keeping its voice tech in house rather than using Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft Cortana, or the Google Assistant.
Samsung said it has been the leading TV maker for 11 years, but it is not resting on its laurels. The company introduced the new QLED TV, which uses “Quantum Dot Technology” to create better picture through richer colors and contrast.
“This is a TV that will transcend the definition of an electronic device, and will become a true lifestyle product,” said Joe Stinziano, executive vice president at Samsung Electronics America.
The TV includes a “nearly invisible” optical cable that links the TV to a “one connect” box that can connect every device to the TV, Stinziano said. Samsung also released a “no gap” mount designed to set the TVs flush with the wall.
Samsung did not say how much QLED TVs will cost, but we do know they will ship in February.