How your devices will be connected to everything

REMEMBER the 'dem bones' jingle?

The leg bone's connected to the knee bone; the knee bone's connected to the thigh bone; the thigh bone's connected to the hip bone …

Well that jingle very much applies to the theme of the 2018 CES event in Las Vegas this week.

The phone is connected to the TV; the TV is connected to the washing machine; the washing machine is connected to the refrigerator; the refrigerator is connected to the car …. And so on, you get the point.

The tech giants have moved away from announcing stacks of shiny new gadgets at this year's event, instead focusing on connecting all of life's devices together in one happy little open ecosystem.

Samsung’s Yoon Lee and Joe Stinziano demonstrate how home devices and appliances talk to each other.
Samsung’s Yoon Lee and Joe Stinziano demonstrate how home devices and appliances talk to each other.

Samsung and LG have today both devoted their press conferences to explaining how they'll do it.

Korean tech giant Samsung revealed its 'multi-device experience strategy' to hundreds of reporters at a press conference so packed, an overflow room was required.

Samsung president and head of consumer electronics HS Kim said 'seemless connectivity' and one single cloud were key to its 'internet of Things' strategy.

A SmartThings app will be released in coming months providing one open platform where users can link all their smart devices, regardless of brand.

And by 2020, all of Samsung's connected devices would be 'internet of Things-enabled' and feature the brand's virtual assistant Bixby.

Samsung President Tim Baxter explains the connected strategy.
Samsung President Tim Baxter explains the connected strategy.

The popular Family Hub on refrigerators, which was introduced in 2016, will expand to include the SmartThings app - enabling the home's smart devices to be controlled from the kitchen.

Under Samsung's plan, consumers can use the Family Hub to do things like start the washing machine, check a baby cam, pull up a live view from the front door to see who is ringing the doorbell and turn all the lights off in the house.

The Family Hub is a centrepiece of the connected devices strategy.
The Family Hub is a centrepiece of the connected devices strategy.

Samsung America Senior Vice President Yoon Lee showed how the seemless connectivity could work on a TV by setting up an alert on his phone when his favourite show started airing which then turned the TV on to the right channel.

Wearables, including the GS3 and Gear Sport, will also be connected enabling the user to dim the lights before they arrive home or turn on the airconditioner.

But Samsung appears most excited by the 'connected car experience', saying - when the future of driverless cars arrives - Bixby can be told 'come pick me up' or to turn on the car.

"Whether you're on the couch, in the kitchen or on the go, Samsung is delivering a seamless experience," said Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics America Joe Stinziano.

Meanwhile, LG electronics president I P Park said 'connectivity was at the core of digital innovation' as he revealed LG would integrate its ThinQ artificial intelligence into its products in 2018.

At the heart of its AI play was smart bot CLOi, which threw a robot-style tantrum and refused to speak during an embarrassing live demo, but promises to help smart devices communicate with each other.

LGs David VanderWaal with IP Park, Google’s Scott Huffman and LGs TV guru Tim Alessi pose with CLOi after her trainwreck behaviour at the Las Vegas press conference. Photo: Tanya Westthorp
LGs David VanderWaal with IP Park, Google’s Scott Huffman and LGs TV guru Tim Alessi pose with CLOi after her trainwreck behaviour at the Las Vegas press conference. Photo: Tanya Westthorp

"The world has become too complex for products to operate on closed platforms," said Dr Park in revealing the brand continued to work with Google and Amazon to develop connectivity partnerships.

"Open connectivity allows LG products to coexist in the home in an open ecosystem."

Samsung Australia's Garry McGregor said the departure from rolling out shiny new gadgets was a 'big move' for the tech company.

Samsung’s Yoon Lee and Joe Stinziano demonstrate how home devices and appliances talk to each other.
Samsung’s Yoon Lee and Joe Stinziano demonstrate how home devices and appliances talk to each other.

"The technology industry is at an inflection point where great products are a given but what we see in the research is people are getting over these pain points (connectivity) … this is the next level of tech," he said.

Samsung also unveiled a host of other functionality including a universal guide for TVs that surfaces content from a variety of sources and customises it to the user's taste plus a slimmer, sleeker 2-in-1 PC - the Notebook 9 pen.

The Flip - a giant digitised whiteboard that Samsung believes will transform the modern meeting, was also unveiled along with a first-of-its-kind 146-inch modular MicroLED TV.

Samsung reveals 'The Wall' TV at CES Las Vegas. Photo: Tanya Westthorp
Samsung reveals 'The Wall' TV at CES Las Vegas. Photo: Tanya Westthorp

LG revealed it would increase its image processor in the OLED TV and introduce Dolby Atmos sound to all 2018 TVs.

Tanya Westthorp travelled to CES as a guest of Samsung



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