Samsung’s 5th-Gen Smart TVs LaunchMarch 6, 2012 By Nancy Klosek
In addition to a slew of built-in features that, depending upon model, include voice and gesture control capability, improved picture quality, and a dual-core processor for quicker app-launching and toggling capability between tasks, select models in the new series will also carry a slot on the back that will accept a Samsung “Evolution Kit,” slated for release in 2013. The kit will simplify memory and software platform upgrades. “All those upgrades are now not going to be limited to the purchase of a new TV,” said Joe Stinziano, senior vice president, home entertainment, in describing its benefits.
Tim Baxter, Samsung Electronics America president, said the new features were in keeping with several overarching company goals, including offering broader app selection, new content via new partnerships, and new ”signature services” aimed at families, children and the health-conscious that are exclusive to for Samsung TVs. Another feature is improved interconnectivity: tying all devices to each other for both multi-screen experiences and accessibility to the cloud, he said.
Eric Anderson, vice president of content, said content sharing, once limited to the boundaries of the home, is being broadened in the 2012 lineups to “sharing content between all devices, any place, any time,” through Samsung’s new AllShare Play technology, which lets consumers browse a website from a mobile device and funnel the content to a Samsung Smart TV, or share content simultaneously on several devices, no matter where they are located. Samsung is also making available, through its compatible Smart TV, PC and mobile device models, 5GB of free cloud-based storage.
Samsung has also focused design and programming attention to the remote control, a primary input device that has been around in some form or other for 60 years, said Baxter. This year, he said, Samsung is offering at least a half-dozen ways to interface with their TVs.
Some Samsung Smart TV models will have HD cameras, a pair of noise-cancelling microphones and face recognition software built in to enable voice and gesture control. In external control devices, the company’s Smart Touch Remote Control is being introduced. It features a touchpad for easy app selection, edge-mounted controls for single-finger access, a built-in mic, and universal remote control capabilities. The company is also offering a new QWERTY key-based remote called the Smart Wireless Keyboard that is also compatible with its Galaxy Tab 2 tablet.