With that simple command, Samsung’s new ES-8000 becomes attentive, listening and watching for its master’s next move.
The television immediately obeys, turning the volume up a notch.
Then with a Kinect-esque hand gesture, the channel changes. A flick of a wrist in the other direction and the TV returns to the main menu. The Samsung Rep who is demonstrating the television moves his hand around – fist clenched – and the cursor on the screen moves accordingly.
Both the voice recognition and motion tracking are quite good; the device quickly responds quickly to commands. While voice recognition and motion tracking aren’t inherently new, only with the Microsoft Kinect and now this Samsung T.V have they evolved into being a post-gimmick experience.
The User selects an application, in this case a Twitter app, and it loads up – offering the user the option of running the app in picture-in-picture mode from a feed of the T.V’s inputs.
This is a smart T.V.
Samsung first introduced the ES-8000 at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and it was released in North American markets at the end of March. It made an appearance at the Samsung Road Show – which, despite a lack of automotive references, was tied into the Vancouver Auto Show – in Burnaby.
What gives this smart T.V its cerebral ability is a proprietary dual core processor, which Samsung refused to comment on at length (only confirming it wasn’t an ARM chip).
As equally impressive as the T.V’s smarts is its exterior design. With the ES-8000, Samsung has opted for an alluring 5-mm silver bezel. This is a welcome change from the usual black bezel, and gives the T.V an eye-catching alluring look.
This year Samsung has been working diligently to build their own ecosystem with their branded DLNA called SugarSync. The Samsung rep demonstrated how a user could control their T.V with their Samsung smartphone, and, more impressively, stream content from T.V to phone (amusingly much of the content being played were Blu-ray rips downloaded from Torrent files).
In markets, such as Asia, where Samsung is a complete consumer electronics and appliance hegemon SugarSync would allow users to control anything Samsung in the household: from laundry machine to air conditioner.
While Samsung lacks such complete market convergence in Canada, this feature may be the extra incentive a consumer would need to opt for Samsung instead of something else for their next purchase.
The Samsung ES-8000 has an average retail price of $2299.99 for the 46” model, and $2599.99 for the 55”.