Samsung's big CES unveil highlights a connected home

Highly anticipated Samsung product presentation focuses on interacting with your home, whether you're watching TV or washing your clothes.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
3 min read
Samsung at CES 2014. James Martin/CNET

Samsung CEO BK Yoon made the company's current mission clear at a CES press conference Monday: Samsung wants to take over your home.

Yoon said Samsung products will soon aid people in almost all aspects of their lives.

"Imagine getting a health check from your doctor through your TV. Imagine your family watching a TV show in the living room while you cook. This is streamed directly to a screen on your kitchen appliance. Imagine taking a call from your refrigerator without picking up your smartphone. These are all glimpses into the home of the future," Yoon said at a packed event in Las Vegas.

The South Korean company highlighted a slew of products, including a unique "bendable" TV and its new line of kitchen appliances. Throughout its event, Samsung was sure to bring onstage people from a variety of industries, displaying the varied reach of its products.

For home entertainment, Samsung highlighted its Smart Home service, which lets people use an app to control devices and home settings and access customer service. Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, also highlighted the second-screen features of its TV Smart Control.

"Say 'movie mode' on your smart TV control and watch as your lights dim and your audio rises to theater-like levels," Baxter said. "We'll roll out smart home products this year and open our service protocol to partners."

To illustrate these partnerships, Samsung trotted out representatives of a few of its partners, including Pete Bevacqua, CEO of the PGA Tour; tech and media entrepreneur Mark Cuban; and Hollywood director Michael Bay, who left the stage abruptly after his teleprompter started having issues.

Watch this: Michael Bay quits Samsung's press conference

Samsung's new "bendable" TV lets users bend and unbend the screen using its remote control. Check out CNET David Katzmaier's first take on the bendable TV here.

For non-entertainment products, Samsung rolled out its "Chef Collection," its line of kitchen appliances, including a storage unit that can double as a fridge, and an oven that lets users cook two separate dishes at different temperatures at the same time. Samsung also touted a new dishwater technology called Waterwall, which supposedly cleans better than the conventional rotary or circular spray processes.

The kicker to its large home appliances was its 9000 series washing machine. The machines are large enough to wash laundry for a family of four in 30 minutes but designed to make them easy to unload despite the large size, according to Samsung.

The company also introduced two Pro tablets, the Galaxy TabPro line and the Galaxy NotePro, on Monday. The TabPro comes in three sizes (a 12.2-inch, 10.1-inch, and 8.4-inch models) and there are Wi-Fi and LTE versions. The 12.2-inch NotePro weighs 1.6 pounds and is also available in Wi-Fi and LTE versions. Both the TabPro line and the NotePro will be available in the first quarter of 2014.

Samsung's CES 2014 press conference (pictures)

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After conquering the smartphone market, Samsung has set its sights on the home appliances market with a goal to be the top appliance manufacturer by 2015. Prior to CES, the South Korean company gave consumers an idea of what it would showcase at CES, including the 105-inch curved 4K TV (which it brought out on stage with great fanfare on Monday) and its TV Smart Control. Samsung had said it would show new smart TV features, such as a fine-tuned voice interaction service and improved gestures.

Updated, 3:03 p.m. PT: Added more information from the press conference.