Samsung inTouch brings Android-powered Skype to your TV

Samsung's inTouch system turns your standard TV into a smart TV by adding Android functionality in the form of Skype calling, YouTube streaming and web browsing.

Sick of your boring old, non- Android TV ? We bet you are. Luckily for you, Samsung has developed inTouch, a TV webcam that brings Skype video-calling and other Androidy goodness to your existing TV.

inTouch may look identical to Microsoft's Kinect system for the Xbox 360, but rather than make you look daft by waving your arms around, inTouch acts primarily as a video-calling device. The unit comes with Wi-Fi and the Skype application is pre-installed, so all you need to do is plug it into your TV via the HDMI cable and get busy showing everyone on your contacts list your amazing new festive jumper.

It's not just about the video calling though -- inTouch runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread , so you'd be right to expect some extra app fun on board. YouTube and Google News and Weather come preinstalled, effectively turning your regular, boring TV into a web-connected smart TV. There's no mention of Android Market, so it doesn't look as though you can add new apps, but it does have a full web browser, so you'll always be up to date on the best in technology from CNET UK.

InTouch comes with a handy palm-sized keyboard to help you navigate around and type in those pesky URLs. It's pretty small though and the keys don't exactly look finger-friendly, so we doubt you'll be wanting to bang out a long email to your family about what you've been up to over Christmas -- better to just Skype them and put up with the comments about your dishevelled look.

If you're bored of broadcast TV, pop in a thumb drive in the USB slot at the back and turn your TV into a massive, expensive photo frame.

There's no word on UK availability yet, but it's expected to hit the States in March for $199 (around £130). Though that's hardly throw-away cash, it's considerably cheaper than replacing your entire TV with an Internet-enabled version.

For more tech news from CES in Las Vegas, head over to our sister site CNET.com's dedicated page and make sure to let us know what floats your boat on our official Facebook page.

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About the author

Andrew is a senior editor at CNET and has always been fascinated by tech. When not getting up close and personal with the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.

 

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