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Samsung’s CES 2022 Keynote Speaker Exhorts Industry to Move Toward Sustainable Innovation

LAS VEGAS — CES 2022 keynote speaker J.H. Han of Samsung Electronics encouraged the technology industry to make innovative products “in harmony with our planet to create a more sustainable world.” After a montage of COVID-19 images, he noted that in “challenging times” the world has always found a way forward.

Speaking in-person Jan. 4 at the show in Las Vegas, the vice chairman, CEO and head of the DX (device experience) division outlined several steps Samsung has taken to move toward sustainability.

Last year, the company’s Carbon Trust-certified memory chips helped reduce carbon emissions by nearly 700,000 tons, he said, and Samsung’s visual display business plans to use 30 times more recycled plastics than it did in 2021, as well as expand its use of recycled materials to include all mobile products and home appliances over the next three years.

“Last year all of our TV boxes included recyclable materials,” Han noted.

In 2022, the company will be expanding the use of recycled material to include interior packaging as well, he said, incorporating it into Styrofoam, box holders and plastic bags. The company also announced the global expansion of its Eco-Packaging program, which transforms cardboard boxes into cat houses, side tables, and other furniture items, to include packaging for home appliances such as vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens and air purifiers.

Saving energy and reducing the use of batteries is also a goal of the company, which introduced enhancements to its SolarCell Remote, which eliminates battery waste with a built-in solar panel that can be charged both day and night. The enhanced SolarCell Remote gets electricity from radio frequencies in devices such as Wi-Fi routers.

“It will be included in more Samsung products — like new Samsung TVs and home appliances — with the goal of eliminating more than 200 million batteries from landfills,” Han said. “When you line them up, it is the distance from right here, Las Vegas, to Korea.”

Samsung plans to make SolarCell Remote technology open source so that other companies can utilize it.

By 2025, Samsung plans to make all of its TVs and phone chargers operate on near-zero standby power, so that the products will consume almost no energy when not being used.

Through collaboration with Patagonia, Samsung is working on washing machines that sift microplastics from fabrics, such as fleece that the clothing company makes. Microplastics wash into the ocean and harm the environment.

“This is a serious problem, and not one we can solve on our own,” Vincent Stanley, director of philosophy at Patagonia, said in a video presentation.

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As far as new gadgets, Samsung introduced The Freestyle,” a lightweight and portable projector that offers a “cinema-quality experience no matter where you are,” according to Georgina Vhas Tordoff, of the company’s Future Generation Lab. It features AI-enabled sound, built-in streaming apps and Smart TV accessibility features. The Freestyle can be set up virtually anywhere, weighs less than two pounds, toggles 180 degrees, offers 360 degree sound and projects up to 100 inches, she said.

The company also highlighted its new “Samsung Gaming Hub,” which offers an all-in-one platform for discovering and playing cloud and console games and is set to launch on the company’s 2022 Smart TVs and monitors, as well as its new “Odyssey Ark,” a 55-inch, flexible and curved gaming screen.

The company also announced innovations for the connected home with the Samsung Home Hub, integrating devices in the home, which will be built into 2022 TVs, Smart Monitors and Family Hub refrigerators.

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Samsung used the opening keynote presentation to announce its role as a founding member of the Home Connectivity Alliance (HCA), which brings together various smart home appliance manufacturers, including Trane Technologies, GE, Electrolux and American Standard, to make connected devices from different manufacturers compatible and safe.

“As a global coalition of smart home appliance manufacturers, HCA members share a belief that connected ecosystems and digital technology will allow us to further develop product experiences that are elegant, hyper-personalized, and truly smart for our consumers,” said Katherine Shin, VP of customer experience at Trane Technologies. “The HCA invites any global manufacturers with a similar vision for efficiency, interoperability and innovation to come and build with us.”

The goals of the group are interoperability (to offer consumers more choices among brands), safety and data security, and increased energy efficiency.

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