Samsung’s home appliance showcase at the virtual CES 2021 event focuses on many technologies designed to make lives easier for its user. If we were to sum up the highlights of its CES keynote, there were stylish refrigerators, smarter appliances with better ecosystem integration, and a few robots. Maybe we are closer to The Jetsons kind of life.
First, we have the company’s line of Bespoke refrigerators, which it launched in Korea in 2019. Samsung is bringing this flagship refrigerator series to the US with different types of modules—1-Door, Bottom Mount Freezer, and 4-Door—allowing for modular configurations that can grow to fit each household’s unique needs. These come in various colors and finishes to customize your kitchen and match it to your interiors.
Samsung claims it’s been a “game-changer” for the brand as it drove two-thirds of refrigerator sales in its home country.
The 4-Door Flex model, with its flat-panel design and recessed handles, is the latest model of the Bespoke line. It comes in eight unique colors and glass or steel finishes, including Grey Glass, Sky Blue Glass, Navy Steel, Champagne Steel, Matte Black Steel, Navy Glass, White Glass, and Rose Pink Glass.
The 4-Door Flex model has the new Beverage Center accessible inside the upper-left door. It provides quick access to drink in two ways: through an internal, filtered water dispenser and a built-in AutoFill water pitcher, which you can add flavor to if you want. It also has a Dual Ice Maker that makes regular ice cubes and small “ice bites” meant to chill drinks faster.
The improved Flex Zone allows you to turn compartments from fridge to freezer temperatures, depending on your needs. There are five different temperature settings: Freeze, Soft Freeze, Meat/Fish, the new Fruits/Veggies, and Beverage. There is also a Flex Crisper that stores meat or fish at the optimal temperature and Crisper+ that keeps your fruit and vegetables fresher for longer.
Samsung is also looking to add customizable elements for its other appliances, including air purifiers and its clothing care device, AirDresser. We’re going to keep our eyes peeled for those.
Samsung is bringing this popular Family Hub feature to the SmartThings app. SmartThings Cooking recommends recipes that fit your tastes, dietary restrictions, and what you have on hand, and then it will build weekly meal plans to match.
When you’re cooking, it sends recipe instructions directly to synced Samsung cooking devices. Family Hub can order groceries, and the Front Control Slide-in Range can automatically preheat, while SmartThings Cooking guides you through every step of meal prep. All of these are accessible through the SmartThings app on your Family Hub or your smartphone.
You can even browse the categorized recipe collections to match your craving, ingredient, or mood. But from the coverage we’ve seen, SmartThings Cooking won’t let you add recipes you already have. We hope Samsung will offer this option in the future. In the US, they can enjoy convenient one-stop grocery shopping through Walmart, Kroger, Instacart, and Amazon Fresh, using the Whisk network.
SmartThings Cooking lays out the recipe to guide you through the simplified cooking process. You learn about timing and have the steps explained to you like you’re at an at-home cooking class. You can also manage meal prep with one-touch control over cooking modes, temperatures, and time settings. Plus, you can monitor the entire process at a single glance.
SmartThings Cooking is powered by Whisk, a smart food platform acquired by Samsung NEXT. Whisk’s Food AI brings together user preferences, intent, and environmental factors to deliver personalized cooking experiences.
While SmartThings Cooking is a standalone service accessible via the SmartThings app, Family Hub owners can also enjoy meal planning conveniently from their fridge. It has a full-screen dedicated board optimized for SmartThings Cooking, which works with Family Hub to understand what’s inside the refrigerator and add missing ingredients directly to your online grocery cart for at-home delivery.
JetBot 90 AI+
While we think Samsung can improve its name, this new smart robotic vacuum can carefully do the cleaning for you. The company claims it’s the world’s first smart vacuum running on Intel AI. It uses sensors and AI-enhanced object recognition tech to maneuver around your home with ease.
It has a LiDAR sensor that’s similar to those used in self-driving cars. It detects distance and tracks location for precise movements. A 3D sensor knows the difference between objects (such as a toy and the leg of a chair) and detects small objects left lying around. It recognizes a room’s shape to maneuver around it thanks to an object recognition algorithm that can make out objects of all kinds and map the safest, most efficient route.
JetBot 90 AI+ then uses this information to clean as closely as possible around items on the floor while maintaining a safe distance from fragile or delicate items. And it can lower itself under furniture when needed. If anything is classified as dangerous or likely to cause secondary contamination (think dog/cat poop), it will merely avoid the object.
The JetBot 90 AI+’s digital inverter motor maximizes the 30W suction power of its Jet Cyclone system to trap dust from the air and dirt from the floor. This vacuum’s self-cleaning brush has fine fibers made of soft woven textiles, which can pick up dust from hard floors and reach into crevices.
After it’s done cleaning your home, the JetBot 90 AI+ heads back to its Clean Station, where it automatically empties dirt, dust, and hair it collected into a bag. Samsung claims you only need to replace the bag once every two to three months.
And since it can connect to the Samsung SmartThings app, you can control this smart vacuum from anywhere. You can schedule a clean, set “no-go zones” on a map of your home, or even connect to its camera to keep an eye on your house and your playful pets while you’re away.
Bot Care & Bot Handy
We’re not sure if these prototypes will end up as actual consumer products in the future. But Samsung had a couple of robots it wanted to show off.
The Samsung Bot Care is designed to utilize artificial intelligence to recognize and respond to your behavior. Think of it as a robotic assistant/companion. It can learn your schedule and habits and send you reminders throughout the day.
The unfortunately named Bot Handy reminds us a bit of those robotic arms used in factories. Still in development, the Bot Handy also relies on advanced AI to recognize and pick up objects to assist you as you work around the house. Samsung claims it can tell the difference between the material composition of various items, so it uses the right amount of force to grab them. In Samsung’s demo, you can see Bot Handy moving dishes in and out of the dishwasher.
Smart Dial Front Load washers
On the laundry side, Samsung introduced new 8800 Series Smart Dial Front Load washers, which also uses AI to learn your washing preferences and recommend optimal washing and drying cycles for you. Once it understands your preferred settings, the Smart Dial prioritizes these options for quick access in a simplified, easy-to-use control panel.
Its OptiWash feature detects the laundry load’s weight and uses a patented Turbidity Sensor to determine the ideal amount of water and detergent to use in that cycle. It decides how long to wash clothing to make sure the clothes come out in their cleanest form.
Samsung tries to simplify the stacked washer and dryer combo. With the MultiControl feature, you can fully operate both the washer and the dryer from a centralized panel on the washer, ensuring all controls are within reach. You can also use the SmartThings app on your phone to receive the end of cycle alerts, remotely start or stop your wash, schedule cycles, and more.
Samsung hasn’t released pricing and availability for most of these home products. But the JetBot 90 AI+ and smart washer will arrive in the US in the first half of 2021.
Check out more of our CES 2021 coverage here.