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By 26 March 2012 | Categories: news

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Samsung’s prevalent message at the Samsung Forum 2012, which was held from the 22nd to the 25th of March at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town, centred around a lofty claim to “inspire the future”.
 
However, the company’s catchphrase proved to be more than a nifty slogan as Samsung showcased a number of advances it plans to launch during the course of this year.
 
First amongst them was what KK Park, the president and chief executive officer of Samsung, described as the “future of TV, now.” Park unveiled three new concepts on the TV front, namely Smart Interaction, Smart Evolution and Smart Content, incorporated in the company’s new ES7000 and ES8000 TVs.
 
The future, now
 
Smart Interaction allows users to control their TV using solely their voice and gesture (thanks to the integrated camera and microphone inside the TV), while family members will be able to use the face recognition functionality to seamlessly ‘log in’ to their own profiles on the TV.
 
Park explained that Smart Interaction was intended to “break the boundaries between users and their TV screen.” He added that the company had opened its API’s to developers so that they can create apps that take advantage of voice and motion control.
 
Samsung's new ES8000 TV is its flagship model. 
 
Additionally, in a bid to future-proof the new TVs, a slot at the back will accommodate a chip from which new features can be added to the TV moving forward. The third pillar of the new TVs, SmartContent, was the one which particularly piqued our interest.
 
Along with a hub through which TV users can discover and install apps on their TV, Park enthused that AllShare Play enables users to share content between all their devices across the cloud. This meant that, for example, content uploaded on one’s PC or tablet could be viewed on a SmartTV instantly.
 
Cameras, connected
 
Another development that users can look forward is in the realm of the company’s cameras. On this front, Didier Lapierre, Samsung’s business leader for the Indian Ocean Islands, showcased the company’s new range of cameras, which includes the DV300F, ST200F and WB850F.
 
The highlight of the range is their ability to email and upload photos directly from the camera – without having to find a Wi-Fi hotspot to do so. Additionally, the cameras will be able to share photos and video captured with other devices, wirelessly.
 
Matthew Thackrah, the business leader for consumer electronics at Samsung South Africa, explained that the new range was primarily aimed at the younger market for whom photo sharing was paramount.
 
Additionally, he pointed out that smartphones had actually spurred on the compact camera market rather than spelling its end.
 
Didier Lapierre holds the WB850F compact camera.
 
Fridges and freezers, made cool
 
Another notable announcement on the appliance side came from the fridge and freezer department, as Thackrah introduced the company’s DuraCool Plus technology that will be incorporated in this year’s products range.
 
He explained this enables Samsung’s fridges to maintain a temperature of zero degrees centigrade for three hours when it is cut off from power. “Most fridges immediately start reaching positive degrees when the power goes off, which is why food starts defrosting so quickly,” he explained.
 
In the event of a power failure, with which neither South Africa nor the rest of Africa is unfamiliar with, this can mean that hundreds if not thousands of rands in food stored in the fridge can be kept from going bad.
 
Additionally, the new range boasts a surge protector to protect the appliance’s motor, should power fluctuate when restored.
 
Thackrah further highlighted other developments in its new range, such as dual sense technology, which enables users to set different temperatures for their fridge and freezer; a multi-function fridge-freezer, which can be used as either a fridge, a freezer, or both, and the ability to adjust temperature settings for specific purposes (such as keeping fish cool) in separate zones.
 
To the point
 
However, as exciting and inspiring as these developments were, they were not the only ones, as Samsung set up proving that it’s ‘inspire the future’ was more than a lofty goal.
 
In part 2, the new range of Galaxy Tabs are announced, the Samsung Series 9 successor is showcased, and some uniquely African developments are explored.

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