Samsung CES 2020 conference: A quick run-through

Yesterday Samsung gave the first keynote speech of CES 2020, and there’s a lot of exciting new tech to talk about. We’ll give a quick run-through of the best bits below.
Samsung's CES 2020 keynote speech
The theme for Samsung’s CES 2020 keynote speech was the ‘Age of Experience. Photo: Samsung

Samsung kicked off CES 2020 yesterday with an inspiring keynote speech which boldly proclaimed the beginning of technology’s “Age of Experience”.

All keynote speeches come with some sort of buzz phrase which helps tie everything together, but they often require a bit of lateral thinking to get your head around.

When Samsung references the “Age of Experience”, it seems to be talking about the point where technology works so seamlessly on its own that we as the user are free to fully enjoy the experiences it provides.

With this theme in mind, Samsung’s CES 2020 speakers showcased a number of new technologies which aim to prioritize user ‘experience’ through ‘personal care’.

Say hello to Ballie

Probably the most eye-catching new bit of technology we saw from Samsung yesterday was a small robot helper called Ballie (think WALL-E but shaped like a ball).

As demonstrated by President of Samsung’s Consumer Electronics Division, HS Kim, Ballie rolls around on the floor, following the user as they move. It even maintains a safe distance so that you don’t accidentally step on it.

Ballie has a camera and sensors which stay level as it rolls, allowing it to perform many different functions as a personal assistant.

It also has its own On-Device AI which means it can be used as a fitness assistant and mobile interface which moves with you around the house.

You can see Ballie and some of the other technologies showcased in yesterday’s CES 2020 keynote speech in The Verge’s summary video below:

A focus on fitness

Health & fitness is another key theme from yesterday’s Samsung keynote. Alongside Ballie, there are a number of other bits of technology which aim to make fitness a seamless experience in the home.

Samsung also revealed its HeartWise app, which uses a smartwatch and smartphone connected via Bluetooth to monitor the user’s heart rate, giving them personalized exercise reminders throughout the day.

This ‘virtual cardiac rehabilitation solution’ was developed in collaboration with American healthcare company Kaiser Permanente and can be used to help doctors with patient rehabilitation.

Another bit of fitness tech on show was Samsung’s new GEMS (Gait Enhancing & Motivating System). Using AR glasses, GEMS allows users to work out in the presence of a virtual personal trainer in their own home.

Samsung says that technologies like these will fit together over coming years, forming the basis of smart rooms, smart homes and smart cities as 5G technology spreads.

Samsung's Ballie on display at CES 2020
Samsung revealed its Ballie personal helper yesterday. Photo: Samsung

Data security

Another focus for Samsung, and certainly something which will mean a lot to the consumers buying their products, is data security.

Samsung says it will continue to develop its Knox security platform to ensure user data is safer than ever. Discussing the issue of security, HS Kim assured users that “Samsung will never share your data with third parties without prior and direct consent from you.”

What this will look like in reality remains to be seen, but going off its CES 2020 keynote speech, Samsung appears to be taking security seriously.

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