It won’t be wrong to say that Samsung started its CES 2020 keynote in a pretty interesting fashion. It all started with Samsung CEO and head of its consumer electronics division Hyun-Suk Kim being accompanied by a robot (of the size of a ball) on the stage. Samsung has announced a bunch of home automation and Artificial Intelligence innovations during the ongoing CES 2020, and we will talk about all of them in detail. So, without waiting any further, let’s dig in to Samsung’s offerings during the CES 2020.
Samsung Announces Project NEON Artificial Humans, Ballie Robot, and Galaxy Home Mini
Let’s begin with the Galaxy Home Mini first of all. Samsung’s long-awaited Home Mini might finally get to see the light of the day as the company has announced that it will launch its Bixby-powered smart speaker early this year. Samsung’s Galaxy Home speaker was announced way back in August 2018, and it has ever since been missing out on seeing a commercial launch owing to the fact that Samsung is “continuing to refine and enhance the Galaxy Home prior to launch.” For all its worth, the Galaxy Home Mini might just have received the final go from the company’s Research and Development team and is all geared up to be launched. Just in case you are unaware, the Galaxy Home Mini uses the company’s Bixby assistant to control the various IoT devices by making use of the SmartThings platform by the company. It also doubles as a home speaker using sound technology from Samsung’s AKG audio brand. Samsung has still kept quite as to when the bigger Galaxy Home product would be commercial. It would be pretty interesting to see as to how the company’s assistant devices fare in the current market, which is already taken over by the likes of devices making use of platforms like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
Moving on to Neon, the Samsung Technology and Advanced Research Labs (aka STAR Labs) made its debut last Monday at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. The company describes Neon as “a computationally created virtual being that looks and behaves like a real human, with the ability to show emotions and intelligence.” What Neon essentially does is that it makes avatars that look and even act like real people. Unlike the conventional smart assistants available in the market, Neons are not the know-it-all assistants that we are used to interacting with. They are not intended to provide you answers to questions by browsing through the internet. As per the company, “Neons are not AI assistants. Neons are more like us, an independent but virtual living being, who can show emotions and learn from experiences. Unlike AI assistants, Neons do not know it all, and they are not an interface to the internet to ask for weather updates or to play your favourite music.”
Neons are designed to act and behave like real humans. They form memories as humans do, and they learn skills as humans do. Neons can help the user with “goal-oriented tasks or can be personalised to assist in tasks that require a human touch.” Lastly, the company said that each Neon is unique and has its own personality.
Let’s switch our gears to the Ballie now. Ballie, as the name suggests, is a ball-sized rolling robot which is designed to understand and support your needs – it can run your smart home for you. Ballie can also act as a fitness assistant, and it has a “mobile interface” that devices ways for you to improve your life. The company showcased a video which demonstrated some of the many things that can be accomplished with Ballie.
Meet #Ballie, Samsung’s human-centric vision of robots that takes personalized care to the next level. The small rolling robot, “understands you, supports you, and reacts to your needs.” #CES2020 #SamsungCES2020 pic.twitter.com/YzwgZN1Lgw
— Samsung US Newsroom (@SamsungNewsUS) January 7, 2020
As seen in the short clip, Ballie opens the smart curtains for the user, turns on the TV for a dog when its owner is not home (plus, sending a video of the dog to the owner on their Samsung smartphone, by the way), calls in a robot vacuum cleaner when the dog (or anyone, for that matter) spills something on the floor. Samsung further says that Ballier will be able to call for help if/when it sees that someone has fallen and can’t get up on their own. Sadly, the company has not discussed a specific timeframe for Ballie to be launched, but we can expect it to arrive soon.
What are your thoughts on Samsung’s latest innovations? Do let us know in the comments section below.