CES Coverage 2017: Samsung’s ‘talking’ fridge is very ‘cool’

There were some incredible gadgets and devices on display at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, but one domestic appliance really stood out! Samsung’s latest vision for the connected family was unveiled at CES with the talking fridge getting people talking literally, excuse the pun!

Last year, the company released the Family Hub Fridge, which proved to be a big hit with consumers. The fridge was equipped with a king-size touch-screen, cameras positioned on the inside of the appliance in order to help you keep track of food and Wi-Fi connectivity. However, their newest upgrade of the Family Hub Fridge is set to be an even bigger success.

At CES 2017, Samsung launched its brand new line-up of fridges called ‘Family Hub 2.0’. Not only has it expanded the collection to 10 models, the fridge can now also be controlled via voice commands! In a design that has drawn comparisons to that of the LG connected fridge, it was disclosed that you can ask the Samsung Family Hub 2.0 to read out recipes, tell you what your itinerary for the day is, and inform you of anything you may need from the shops.

That’s not the only task and duty this incredible connected appliance can do – it will also dish out recipes based on the contents of your fridge and allows you to order food through a click of a button if supplies are running low. The connected smart appliance is the latest in a number of gadgets designed to transform your home into a ‘smart home’ with a range of innovative products.

In addition to the above, the Family Hub 2.0 also allows each family member to create a profile to run simultaneously with calendars, to-do lists and personalised messages. New collaborations with Spotify and iHeart-Radio also mean you can ask your fridge to serenade you whilst doing the dishes or preparing a meal.

Since the huge popularity of Amazon’s Alexa, not to mention the increased functionality of Siri and Google Assistant, voice-controlled assistants are becoming an increasingly integral part of the connected home.

Huawei release new smartphone aimed at challenging the iPhone

While many vendors wait until the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February to reveal their new range of smartphones for 2017, some took the decision to officially unveil their new products at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. One such vendor was Chinese company Huawei, who released a fabulous new android device aimed at challenging the iPhone called the Huawei Honor 6X.

The company have outlined a clear vision with the introduction of the Huawei Honor 6X and that is to take on the iPhone. Huawei’s primary aim is to lure away users (especially millennials) from the much-loved iPhone.

Management at Huawei have been greatly encouraged by the initial reaction to their new device. Its customer satisfaction scores on par with those of Apple’s iPhone. Advantages of the Honor 6X over the latest iPhones, says Huawei, is stronger battery life (at up to two days for average usage), a speedy octa-core processor and a far lower price starting at $249.99. The Honor 6X also comes with a dual-camera setup, improved photo editing software and high-definition video capabilities. 

The Huawei Honor 6X is priced at $244.99 (3GB RAM, 32GB of storage) or $299.99 (4GB, 64GB of storage).

Nokia finally unveils long-awaited Android at CES 2017

Nokia finally remerged into the mainstream mobile market at CES 2017 with the introduction of its new android phone named the Nokia 6.

Nokia’s latest device the Nokia 6 is only available in China. However, there are fortunately more Nokia android phones to come with a big announcement expected at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona according to Nokia’s Facebook account. This Nokia 6 is merely just a taster.

Back in the early 00’s, Nokia were market leaders in the mobile phone industry, but the Finnish multinational corporation suffered a dramatic fall from grace. Once the biggest and best-known mobile phone manufacturer, following some tough competition from iPhone and Android Nokia in 2011 made the fatal mistake of agreeing to produce only Windows phones. In 2014 it packed up its mobile phone game and sold its business to Microsoft. Fast-forward to 2017, and with Android onboard, this could be the Nokia comeback we've been waiting for.

It's still not quite Nokia as we know it, since Finnish brand HMD Global currently owns the rights to develop, build and sell Nokia-branded phones - although it does so with Nokia's input.

The decision to launch the Nokia 6 only in China is "a reflection of the desire to meet the real world needs of consumers in different markets around the world.” With over 552 million smartphone users in China in 2016, a figure that is predicted to grow to more than 593 million users by 2017, it is a strategically important market where premium design and quality is highly valued by consumers.

VR a hot topic, but HTC lead the way with a number of amazing products

Virtual Reality (VR) was once again a hot topic at CES – and in truth it was everywhere in the convention centre – with countless booths displaying headsets and accessories. A large volume of studious and creators used CES to either launch or preview new experiences. But the biggest advancements may not be available to consumers for another year or two.

But the real winner in VR at CES was clearly HTC. The company not only unveiled its tracker, which makes it possible to turn toy guns, baseball bats and even fire hoses into trackable VR controllers. HTC also committed to building a standalone wireless VR headset, announced a VR subscription service and unveiled a content marketplace for VR arcade operators.

HTC’s efforts to monetize VR content could help smaller producers to see some return for their work. Right now, VR app stores favor popular apps, which tend to be video games, while burying some of the non-gaming and cinematic content.

It was further disclosed at CES that HTC will launch a new tracking module, subscription service for Vive VR. Viveport President, Rickard Steiber said: “Offering a subscription service can help with these kinds of discovery problems, and to entice consumers to give lesser-known fare a try.” “If you are app number 500 on that list, you are going to be very eager to be in the subscription plan,” he added. Steiber also said that subscriptions could enable more episodic content, and suggested that HTC could over time launch separate subscription packages for different types of content.