By: Nick Gambino
As promised, NewsWatch is on the ground reporting live in Las Vegas from CES 2020. There’s a lot of exciting tech being unveiled at the largest tech expo in the world, but we figured we’d kick things off with a company that always brings it – Samsung.
From smart kitchens to Star Wars robots, Samsung is pulling no punches on coming correct. Surprisingly, the one getting the most attention is Ballie, the little robot that’s awfully reminiscent of the cute, orange-and-white droid from the new Star Wars trilogy, BB-8.
The little assistant looks like little more than a rolling ball that follows you around, performing assistant-like duties. There’s something really cute about the BB-8 wannabe, but don’t be fooled, he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve that allows him to pull his weight around the house.
Ballie might just be the future of virtual assistants with the ability to make its away around the house, checking on things and making sure things are in order, even checking off tasks on your to-do list if it spots you completing them.
Its resident sensor allows it to follow you while still giving you enough space, unlike a certain yellow lab who hangs around my house and whose favorite place to sit is directly on top of my feet.
Ballie is conscious of personal space and is merely tagging along to easily call up your schedule and politely remind you of any upcoming events. Its intended purpose is to be the central control for all of your IoT devices around the home but with a personal touch. It’ll even snap photos or videos of family activities, like your very own photographer. (As you can see, I’m very careful not to assign it a human pronoun like “he” or “she” because that’s how the robots win.)
In addition to their foray into cute robots, Samsung is also introducing a fully intelligent home with a smart kitchen and other amenities that speak with each other. “The boundaries between physical and digital are dissolving,” Senior VP Head of Design Innovation Center, Federico Casalegno, said when unveiling the new intelligent home.
While there was plenty to show off, what really caught my attention is their new refrigerator and its ability to assess the items within it, creating an inventory with suggestions for awesome recipes and even what you might want to pick up from the grocery store.
Then there was the demo of the Gait Enhancing & Motivating System or GEMS. You might remember this one from last year, but it’s evolved into much more in the intervening 365 days.
Described as both a sport and entertainment system, GEMS is effectively an exoskeleton that connects up to Samsung Air Glasses, Galaxy smartphones, watches and other devices to track your movements during workouts and provide an immersive experience, like placing you on a hike through the Himalayan mountains.
Analyzing your motions, GEMS provides an avatar personal trainer and suggests ways to adjust your workout for a safer, more effective experience.
There wasn’t much in the way of launch dates, but we’ll keep an eye out for any new developments in this promising tech from Samsung.