Samsung CES keynote lays out vision for tomorrow

  • January 12, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson
Jong-Hee Han’s keynote at CES

Samsung Electronics took the bull by the horns at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with plans to build a more sustainable, customised and connected future using products and initiatives that reduce environmental impact, cater to consumers’ lifestyles, and make smart home experiences truly seamless.

The South Korean company unveiled its vision for the future – “together for tomorrow” – during a pre-show keynote where vice chairman Jong-Hee Han highlighted the firm’s efforts to usher in a new age of togetherness, with customisable experiences that reflect consumers’ evolving lifestyles, and innovations that mark progress for society and the planet.

The together-for-tomorrow vision is one that empowers everyone to create positive change and drives collaborations that address some of the planet’s most pressing challenges. The keynote illustrated how Samsung hopes to make its vision a reality by introducing a range of sustainability initiatives, partnerships, and customisable and connected technologies.

“I’m excited for you to be a part of our vision to see how innovation can create positive change, and to join us and work together for tomorrow,” said Han. “These developments will make sustainability part of your product experience, enabling you to live a more sustainable life.”

At its core, Samsung’s vision is built on what the company calls everyday sustainability. It is a concept that puts sustainability at the heart of everything it does. The company has been realising this by adopting low-impact product manufacturing practices, footprint-reducing packaging and a more sustainable customer experience, and by responsibly disposing of products at the end of their life.

Samsung is also building sustainability into the ways people experience its products. As an example, it introduced enhancements to its first-of-its-kind SolarCell Remote, which eliminates battery waste with a built-in solar panel that can be charged during day and night. The remote gets electricity from radio frequencies in devices such as wifi routers.

“What’s more, 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,” said Han. “When you line them up, it is the distance from right here, Las Vegas, to Korea.”

E-waste is another big challenge for the electronics industry, which is why Samsung has collected more than five million tons of e-waste since 2009. For mobile products, last year, Samsung launched Galaxy for the Planet, a sustainability platform that was created to reduce its devices’ environmental footprints throughout their lifecycles.

“These are important steps,” said Han, “but we cannot achieve our goals alone. We believe open innovation and collaboration are keys to fighting climate change and protecting our environment.”

With this in mind, Samsung announced that its eco-conscious technologies such as the SolarCell Remote will be made open source, so others can also use them for their new devices.

Understanding that each person is unique and wants to customise their devices to suit their lifestyle, Samsung says it is strives to find ways to help people redefine their relationships with everyday technologies. This people-first approach to innovation is a key pillar of the company’s together-for-tomorrow vision.

To introduce more tailored product experiences to consumers’ homes, Samsung announced the rollout of more customisation options for its Bespoke line of home appliances. This includes options for Samsung’s Family Hub and French three- and four-door refrigerators, alongside dishwashers, ranges and over-the-range microwaves. Samsung is also introducing products such as the Bespoke Jet vacuum and Bespoke Washer and Dryer, expanding the line to every room in the home to offer consumers more ways to customise their space to suit their style and needs.

Samsung is constantly exploring ways to harness customisation to help users get more out of their devices. The YouMake Project represents the culmination of those efforts empowering consumers to choose and customise products based on what matters most to them, so they can enjoy a more personalised experience across their devices. Announced at the keynote, the initiative expands Samsung’s Bespoke vision beyond home appliances and brings it to life in the company’s smartphones and large-screen devices.

During the keynote, Samsung demonstrated its commitment to ushering in an era of seamless connected experiences by highlighting its collaborations with partners as well as its next products.

Unveiled for the first time at CES, the Samsung Home Hub takes connected home experiences to the next level with a SmartThings service that integrates with AI-connected appliances to simplify home management. Samsung Home Hub combines six SmartThings services into one device that gives users complete control over their smart home and makes it easier to manage household chores.

To enable different types of smart devices to work better with each other, Samsung announced plans to make SmartThings Hub a built-in feature of its 2022 TVs, smart monitors and Family Hub refrigerators. Doing so should help make connected living experiences more accessible and seamless for everyone.

Pointing to the need to offer consumers better smart-home experience regardless of brand, Samsung also announced its role as a founding member of the Home Connectivity Alliance (HCA), which brings together various smart-home appliance manufacturers. The organisation aims to foster interoperability between devices across brands to give consumers more choice, and to enhance the security and safety of products and services.

“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-personalised and truly smart for our consumers,” said Katherine Shin, vice president 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 keynote underlined a commitment to corporate social responsibility that continues to characterise its approach to innovation. That commitment is not only realised in the company’s technologies, but also in its dedication towards programmes that empower the next generation to bring about the changes they want to see in the world by nurturing young people’s development and building skills for the workplaces of tomorrow.

“Today, I’m honoured to share that Samsung’s programmes to empower the next generation have now reached more than 21 million people since 2012,” said Han. “This is the better tomorrow we all seek, enabling people to reach beyond their dreams, a planet protected so others can experience its wonders and innovation as the spark for change.”