CES 2020: Samsung unveils 'Ballie' robot, AR glasses as it heralds a new decade it calls the ‘Age of Experience’
At CES 2020 – the world’s largest consumer technology trade show – Samsung unveiled the electronics giant’s latest advances in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, edge computing, and augmented reality (AR), as it laid out its vision for a new decade it termed the “Age of Experience”.
In Samsung’s keynote address at CES 2020 -- an event produced and owned by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) – the company did not focus on the familiar.
Instead, it appeared to outline its vision for the new decade – one where Samsung will focus on human-centric innovations that allow the creation of rich, “personalised experiences” that make consumers’ lives more convenient, enjoyable, and meaningful.
“2020 is a big year. It’s the dawn of a new decade, a decade full of promises and possibilities,” Samsung Consumer Electronics President and CEO HS Kim said during his opening remarks.
“In the Age of Experience, we need to re-think the space we have to accommodate our diverse and evolving lifestyles. What makes Samsung’s approach unique is the fact that we have a very clear philosophy built around human-centered innovation,” he added, highlighting three key areas of importance going forward: technology for good, security and privacy, and citizenship.
Samsung unveils Ballie
Unveiling the company’s vision of robots as ‘life companions’, HS Kim introduced a small, robot personal assistant called Ballie that is designed to understand and support your needs by being proactively helpful around the house.
Ballie’s on-device AI capabilities allow it to be a fitness assistant and a mobile interface that works to solve consumers’ changing needs, doing all this while ensuring strict data protection and privacy standards, Samsung said.
“We believe AI is the future of personalised care…On-device AI (like the one used in Ballie) puts you in control of your information and protects your privacy, while still delivering the power of personalisation,” said Sebastian Seung, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Scientist at Samsung Electronics.
Samsung’s Ballie can interact with other smart devices, and in Samsung’s demo video about the robot, is seen interacting with the TV, as well as with a smart vacuum cleaner.
Watch that full video here:
The company, however, did not provide any details on the launch date or pricing details for the personal robot.
Samsung also demonstrated a pair of smart glasses, hinting at the company’s AR ambitions for the new decade.
Its smart glasses demonstration showed a person wearing an upgraded version of its exoskeletion called Gait Enhancing and Motivating System (GEMS), which helps users correct their gait and posture and aids them with everyday walking.
The demonstration showed how consumers can use AR glasses to work out with a virtual personal trainer from anywhere, while GEMS works to aggregate and analyse results to give users personalised recommendations on next steps.
Again, Samsung did not offer any details on the price of these AR glasses or when it would be out in the market.
Tech to address global urbanisation
Samsung also spoke about how it looks at leveraging 5G, edge computing, and AI to transform the urban transportation experience in the age of increasing global urbanisation.
“We’re investing in mobility as a service, so you can get across the city in multiple modes of transportation with just one single dynamically priced transaction, easily processed by your smartphones,” Emily Becher, Senior Vice President and Head of Samsung NEXT Global said, as she touched on Samsung’s vision to lead the new era of vehicles, with 5G technology enabling ‘vehicle-to-everything communication’ to seamlessly connect cars to the rest of the city.
Personalised health solutions
With its focus on personalised care, Samsung showcased its personalised health solutions like the home-based, virtual cardiac rehabilitation solution that it developed in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente.
The solution, Samsung’s HeartWise application, pairs a Samsung smartwatch with a smartphone via Bluetooth and sends reminders to the patient to exercise, collects activity data, and continuously displays the patient’s heart rate during workouts.
This data is automatically uploaded via the smartphone to the patient’s chart so that clinicians, case managers, and physical therapists can track the patient’s progress and engage with them accordingly.
The company said it will continue to focus on offering personalised health solutions that cater to consumers’ changing needs.
(YourStory is at Las Vegas, Nevada, to cover CES 2020 at the invitation of the Consumer Technology Association)