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How Samsung TVs will take your at-home workouts to the next level in 2021

The new Samsung Health feature offers workouts from fitness gurus such as Jillian Michaels.

This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

Working out in front of your TV during the pandemic? A new feature on Samsung's 2021 televisions, announced last week ahead of CES, aims to help. Attach an optional webcam to the TV and an app on the screen will recognize you're working out, track your progress and offer encouragement and coaching as you burn calories.

The extra, which Samsung calls Smart Trainer, is part of the Samsung Health app that debuted on its TVs in 2020, only this year it's expanding to offer guided personal training. It requires an optional webcam, and Samsung has a list of recommended cameras, all from Logitech

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The system uses a motion-recognition AI algorithm in the TV to identify and analyze your movements, posture and form on camera. Based on this information, the Smart Trainer guides the rep counts, exercise time, estimated calories burned and form accuracy in real time. At the end of the workout it produces a scored workout summary.

I tried the Smart Trainer in an early demo and, despite my personal lack of fitness, it seemed to work well. Once I fired up the app a little window popped up showing me on the screen, complete with an indicator showing where to stand. After taking a second to recognize me, the workout began. I chose jumping jacks and tried following the pace of the on-screen trainer, who quickly got me out of breath. When I lagged an on-screen message let me know, and I earned encouragement when I hit the right pace.


Your intrepid author gets hit butt kicked by the Smart Trainer.

Drew Evans/CNET

The workouts in the demo were by fitness guru Jillian Michaels, who Samsung says is the first of six personal trainers to provide workout content for its TVs. 

The smart trainer feature is available on 2021 Q70A TVs and above, including the Neo QLED models. Pricing and availability for the TVs will be announced at a later date.

Drew Evans/CNET