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CES — Samsung Touts IoT With New Audio Integrations

The evolution of the refrigerator and other things Internetty

Samsung Soundbar (far left) and Wireless Audio 360 Speakers

At the 2016 CES show, Samsung continued its commitment to what it calls a “smarter life” and made several announcements that are designed to improve lifestyles via technology integration.

And yes, some of that connectivity revolves around the eggs in your refrigerator.

In addition to announcing a new connected Samsung SUHD television set, two new smart watches and new VR Gear virtual reality headsets, the company rolled out — literally, on a slowly rolling robotic stage — its newest plans for Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity in the kitchen.

Calling the kitchen the center of the home — an idea place to engage and entertain with companion music in the background — the company launched the Family Hub refrigerator, which includes a 21.5-inch HD LCD resolution screen embedded into the right exterior door that allows users to send email messages, update calendars, pin electronic photos, and play audio and video.

The company says that one of the key features is the ability to stream music through the refrigerator’s built-in speakers or via Bluetooth wireless speakers. Video programming can be viewed using Samsung Screen mirroring technology that connects with a Samsung smart TV.

In addition, there’s a feature that takes a photo of the contents of the fridge every time the door shuts. That way, when owners are at the store and wondering if they have enough eggs, they can connect to the smart fridge from a mobile phone and pull up a photo.

“We are transforming the communal kitchen experience for consumers in ways that will redefine how they view and use their refrigerator,” said John Herrington, senior vice president and general manager of Home Appliances for Samsung Electronics America during Samsung’s CES press conference. “Now more than ever, we are delivering in a big way on the promise of the Internet of Things, not only in refrigeration.”

The company also introduced a new portfolio of audio products, including a new Soundbar featuring Dolby Atmos technology and enhancements to the Wireless Audio 360 audio series.

The new HW-K950 Soundbar is includes two Dolby Atmos-enabled wireless rear speakers for 5.1.4 sound. The additional number (beyond the standard 5.1) in the case of Atmos refers to “height” (e.g. ceiling speakers or upward-firing speakers or channels). Sitting about 2 inches in height, the HW-K950 uses three forward-facing and two upward-facing speakers and can be connected together wirelessly.

The company also introduced new colors and patterns for the Wireless Audio 360 products in an effort to complement home décor and bring audio content throughout the home.