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.

Samsung Debuts 2021 Eco-Friendly Lifestyle TVs

Samsung Jan. 6 unveiled its 2021 portfolio of Neo QLED, MICRO LED and Lifestyle TV displays during its first-ever virtual event ahead of next week’s virtual CES 2021. The new line underscores Samsung’s goal to develop TVs leaving a lower carbon footprint, using solar power and renewable packaging, among other sustainability issues. The new HDTV screens are also gigantic, up to 110 inches in diameter.

“During the past year, we have witnessed the pivotal role technology played in helping us carry on with our lives and stay connected with each other,” JH Han, president of visual display business, said in a statement. “Our commitment to an inclusive and sustainable future goes hand-in-hand with our relentless pursuit for innovation to meet consumers’ ever-changing needs – from reducing the carbon footprint of our products, to providing a suite of accessibility features, to offering an unparalleled viewing experience that fits each user’s lifestyle.”

Samsung long-term sustainability programs include seeking to decrease its overall carbon footprint in TV manufacturing. The company will also seek to lower user power consumption and use more recycled materials across its entire TV line.

The South Korean-based CE giant is expanding its ‘Eco-packaging’ design to all 2021 Lifestyle TVs and most of the 2021 Neo QLED line. This initiative aims to upcycle up to 200,000 tons of corrugated boxes each year. By minimizing text and graphic imagery on the Eco-packaging, the oil-based ink from color printing that’s traditionally used on TV boxes is eliminated, helping to further reduce waste.

In 2021, Samsung TVs will come with a solar-powered remote control that can be recharged by indoor light, outdoor light or USB — a first-of-its-kind innovation for the brand. This will help prevent waste from a projected 99 million AAA batteries over seven years. To construct the remote, Samsung innovated manufacturing process that upcycles plastics from recyclable bottles — including 24% recycled content.

In addition to sustainability, all 2021 QLED and Neo QLED models feature the latest advances in technology and Artificial Intelligence(AI). New features include Caption Moving, Sign Language Zoom and Multi-Output Audio, giving those with the hard of hearing, the deaf, people with low vision, and the blind the ability to optimize their viewing to their needs and preferences. By 2022, Samsung said it would expand its Voice Guide feature — which provides audio guidance for people with the deaf and people with low vision. And Samsung will continue to develop new AI based features to enhance the accessibility of Samsung TVs in the years to come.

The company is also introducing new display technology, Neo QLED, to its flagship 8K (QN900A) and 4K (QN90A) models with a new light source, Quantum Mini LED precisely controlled by Quantum Matrix Technology and Neo Quantum Processor.

The Quantum Mini LED is 1/40 the height of a conventional LED. Instead of using a lens to disperse light, and a package to fix the LED in place, the Quantum Mini LED uses thin micro layers filled with many more LEDs. Quantum Matrix Technology enables ultra-fine and precise control of the densely packed LEDs, preventing blooming — and allowing viewers to enjoy content as its meant to be seen.

Neo QLED increases the luminance scale to 12-bit with 4096 steps; this helps make dark areas darker and bright areas brighter, resulting in a more precise and immersive HDR experience. By using up to 16 different neural network models, the Neo Quantum Processor can optimize picture quality to 4K and 8K picture output regardless of the input quality.

The Neo QLED 8K features a new Infinity One Design — a nearly bezel-less screen providing an even more immersive viewing experience in a sleek design and form factor. And Neo QLED 8K’s attachable Slim One Connect box — an all-new cable management system that can be attached to the TV’s back — allows for an easier install and cleaner aesthetic. The 2021 Neo QLED 8K also includes several premium, room-filling audio features; Object Tracking Sound (OTS) Pro’s dynamic sound corresponds to the movement of objects on screen, and SpaceFit Sound analyzes the installed TV’s physical environment and outputs immersive sound tailored specifically to your space.

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Content updates include:

  • Samsung Health seamlessly transforms the home into a personal gym, and the new Smart Trainer feature tracks and analyzes posture in real time, just like a personal trainer. During and post-workout, Smart Trainer provides feedback on form, helps you count your reps, and estimates calories burned. With video and interactive training via Bixby-enabled voice control, Samsung Health Smart Trainer elevates and personalizes the home workout experience.
  • Super Ultrawide GameView gives gamers the option to play not only at the wide 21:9 aspect ratio, but even at the ultrawide 32:9 ratio. The wider field of view ensures gamers don’t miss a moment of the action. And Game Bar lets players quickly monitor and adjust critical aspects of play — whether that’s switching aspect ratios, checking input lag, or connecting a headset. Finally, FreeSync Premium Pro minimizes stuttering so players enjoy smooth picture quality throughout gameplay.
  • With Google Duo, consumers can use their phone to initiate a high-quality, high-speed video call that up to 32 people can join — no matter which operating system they’re using. With Google Duo app, you can make video calls directly through an optional USB-connected camera. And with smart camera solution, the camera can follow your movements. It will automatically zoom in and out so you’re just the right size, always in focus.
  • PC on TV on Samsung devices allows consumers to connect a PC to the TV, enabling working and learning from home through the TV screen with a connected mouse, keyboard, and PC. Consumers can also directly access MS Office 365 through the TV’s web browser to create and edit documents. Simply install an Easy Connection app on your computer and log into your Samsung Account — and your TV will automatically connect to your PC, making working from the living room seamless.

 

In 2021, the promise of Micro LED comes home. With the new MICRO LED line, Samsung has made Micro LED available in a traditional TV form factor for the first time — bringing consumers a breathtaking visual experience on an ultra-large next-generation screen.

Available in 110-inch, 99-inch and smaller sizes by the end of the year, the new MICRO LED line uses micrometer-sized LED lights to eliminate the backlight and color filters utilized in conventional displays. It is self-illuminating, producing stunningly lifelike colors and brightness through its 24 million individually controlled LEDs.

Samsung has innovated its Smart TV features to take advantage of the new MICRO LED line’s massive screen. For example, consumers can use the 4Vue (Quad View) feature to comfortably watch up to four different content sources simultaneously on one screen. Viewers can connect multiple external devices to keep up with multiple playoff games at once, or stream a walkthrough while playing a video game.

Finally, the new MICRO LED’s dynamic audio experience is just as immersive as its visuals. With Majestic Sound, it delivers breathtaking 5.1 channel sound with no external speaker — transforming any room into a luxurious home theater.

Enhancing the Award-Winning Lifestyle TV Portfolio

Samsung is also making enhancements to its 2021 Lifestyle TV line with new design and form factors to reflect the changing interests and tastes of consumers. Since launching in 2017, The Frame has redefined the television, transforming displays into stunning works of art, with over one million units sold.

The 2021 version builds on The Frame’s innovative legacy, offering a more customizable experience in a slimmer form. The Frame is about half thinner compared with previous iterations, mirroring the depth of a traditional picture frame. New attachable bezel options come in five color options and two different customizable styles — Modern and Beveled — to match the aesthetic of whatever room The Frame is in.

With a subscription to The Frame’s all-new Art Store, consumers will be able to enjoy 1,400+ carefully curated pieces. Samsung’s new AI-based auto-curation technology better analyzes individual consumer preferences to recommend artwork.

Samsung Electronics Unveils 2020 QLED 8K TV Lineup, New AI Capabilities at CES

Samsung Electronics Jan. 5 introduced its QLED 8K line on the eve of CES 2020 in Las Vegas. The lineup features AI-based innovations that make the viewing experience more immersive, and connected features that make consumer lifestyles more integrated, according to Samsung.

The 8K lineup leverages the power of machine learning to optimize audio, video and smart capabilities, and it offers a range of smart features powered by Tizen, so consumers can more easily interact with their home and mobile devices, and access new features such as Samsung Health.

“2020 will be a tipping point for our industry, the year when 8K broke into the mainstream as the definitive viewing experience,” said Joe Stinziano, head of the consumer electronics business at Samsung Electronics America. “Our 2020 8K lineup delivers that experience. Its unprecedented immersive capabilities and unparalleled smart features empower consumers to pursue their passions more simply and more comprehensively than ever before.”

Every Samsung 8K TV shipping today meets the requirements of the 8K Association’s Certified Test Specifications and carries the CTA 8K Ultra HD Display Definition logo, according to Samsung.

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This year, consumers will also be able to enjoy and stream AV1 codec videos filmed in 8K on QLED 8K TVs. All Samsung TVs in the 2020 8K line will ship with this capability built-in. And, Samsung is working with partners like YouTube to create pathways for streaming native 8K content.

In addition to building out the 8K ecosystem across the industry, the QLED 8K lineup helps consumers to experience the power of 8K resolution even when they’re watching lower resolution content.

Based on powerful Samsung semiconductor technology, the Q950’s next-generation Quantum Processor 8K features improved AI-based upscaling capabilities that use machine learning to analyze and identify the characteristics of individual pixels. It then restores different elements of the image to create a pristine 8K picture, regardless of the content source.

The Q950 also leverages the power of AI to ensure that nothing distracts viewers from their content. While other TV sensors can only adjust screen brightness based on the ambient light within the room, Adaptive Picture analyzes the brightness of the room, as well as the scene being played on the screen, to optimize brightness and maintain contrast in high-glare environments.

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Addressing the speed of the internet connection, AI ScaleNet uses cutting-edge compression to significantly cut the amount of bandwidth needed to stream content. This helps consumers enjoy a higher quality image, and a smoother streaming experience, even if they have a slower internet connection, according to Samsung. Samsung Electronics continues to work with Amazon on this feature, utilizing AI ScaleNet from standard definition to 4K in Prime Video.

On the audio side, the Q950 features speakers on every side of the display, as well as woofers in the back to deliver virtual 5.1 channel surround-sound. Samsung takes this hardware to the next level, with sound features that further enhance sound immersion. If consumers are watching a movie that hasn’t been mixed for three-dimensional sound, the audio won’t track with the movement onscreen. Object Tracking Sound+ solves this problem by detecting the movement of objects on the screen and adjusting the audio accordingly. Also, with Active Voice Amplifier (AVA), the Q950 can enhance voice clarity in response to ambient noise like a blender or vacuum cleaner. Finally, Q-Symphony creates a more dynamic soundscape by pairing the Q950’s speaker with the audio of a Samsung Q series soundbar, including the 2020 CES Best of Innovation honoree, the Q800.

In 2020, Bixby, Samsung’s AI assistant, is getting even smarter, through a new ability that leverages Ambient Mode to change the mood of a room. For example, if they tell Bixby to create a calm atmosphere, the TV will then display a relaxing backdrop on the screen. In addition, Samsung will be integrating Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant directly into its premium lineup of 2020 Samsung Smart TVs, including the Q950.

The Q950 features a new and improved Universal Guide that uses AI-based algorithms to analyze the type of content that consumers watch, as well as the services and TV channels that they tend to use, to offer recommendations uniquely customized to their specific habits and tastes.

With the launch of Samsung Health on TV later this year, consumers can enjoy a fitness and wellness solution that allows them to see their activities, track their progress, and pursue shared fitness goals with the entire family. Plus, they will have access to free and exclusive content from leading partners, including Calm, FitPlan, Jillian Michaels, Echelon, Obe Fitness, and Barre 3 and more.

Other features include Multi-View, which helps consumers to simultaneously enjoy content on their mobile devices and their TVs, by mirroring the phone screen onto the TV screen even while it is playing TV content, and Tap View, which allows consumers to mirror their phone screens by touching their mobile device to the TV. Finally, Digital Butler brings together both connected and non-connected devices in one dashboard. It uses infrared technology so that consumers can manage legacy devices near the TV.

Samsung and Universal in Content Pact on Next-Gen HDR10+

Samsung Electronics and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will bring to market titles mastered with HDR10+, according to a Samsung press release.

HDR10+ is an open source-based, next-generation high dynamic range video standard led by Samsung. HDR adds brightness and contrast dynamically for each scene, delivering brighter brights and deeper darks, according to the release.

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Samsung and UPHE will collaborate on a wide selection of new release and catalog fare with HDR10+ technology, according to the release.

“We are delighted to team with Samsung Electronics on HDR10+ to deliver this striking, cutting-edge technology to entertainment consumers, providing them the opportunity to enjoy unparalleled, state-of-the-art movie-watching experiences across an array of Universal physical and digital titles,” said Michael Bonner, EVP, digital distribution, UPHE, in a statement.

“We have launched a new era of picture-quality technology with HDR10+, providing an amplified vivid viewing experience for consumers” said Hyogun Lee, EVP of the R&D team, visual display business, at Samsung Electronics. “Based on Samsung Electronics’ unique technology and proficiency, we will continue to expand our alliances with premier partners like Universal to provide consumers with the best HDR content possible.”

Samsung Electronics has been collaborating with various companies such as movie studios and OTT operators since the formation of the HDR10+ LLC in August 2017, according to the release. In addition to efforts in Korea, Japan and the United States, Samsung will continue to strengthen the HDR10+ logo and certification program partnership in other territories around the world, according to the release.

Additional details on the HDR10+ certification/logo operating program can be found at www.hdr10plus.org. Logo and technology fees are free.

Dolby also has a dynamic metadata, scene-by-scene, next-gen HDR format, Dolby Vision, requiring a licensing fee.