Samsung’s New TVs Beat Apple To The Voice (And Face!) Recognition Game

Samsung’s long made some of the best HDTVs — and now that they’re all decked out with 3D and apps, what’s left? Beautiful, slim TVs that’ll use your voice and face as controls. That rumoured Apple iTV just got jumped. Also new from Samsung…a separate 55-inch Super OLED TV. Damn!

While it’s not fair to directly compare the Samsung UNES8000 LED (left) and PNE8000 Plasma (right) TVs to a product that doesn’t exist yet, it’s pretty exciting to see the company deliver on concepts we’ve been dreaming about from Apple. Both highest of the high end models will sport built-in cameras through Kinect-style motion control, facial recognition, and (drumroll) voice commands, to control the TV’s settings and internal apps (including Kinect-y fitness exercises). We’ll have to wait until we’re standing in front of these beauties before we can attest to how well this body control works, but the attempt itself is promising.

Beyond the arm-wavey action, the sets themselves are typically gorgeous: extremely thin silver bezels, a graceful swooping U-base on the LED set, and a classy x-foot on the plasma. Both are 3D (of course), and process your picture with a dual-core CPU. They look like alien princesses. And both will likely be as expensive as they look — we’ll give you pricing and availability info as soon as we can.

And while the UNES8000 LED and PNE8000 Plasma look good, it’s that 55-inch OLED TV that I’m still drooling over (see image and press release below). Expect more thoughts on it tomorrow after I give it a test on the show floor.

Stay tuned for Australian pricing/availability. More at [Samsung Australia]

Samsung Super OLED TV Press Release

Samsung’s Super OLED TV represents the culmination of Samsung’s latest engineering technologies, and marks a new era of minimalistic design. Super OLED technology features self-emitting RGB sub-pixels which do not require a backlight and weighs significantly less than a Samsung LED TV of the same size. The design of the Samsung Super OLED is an engineering feat that provides a breathtaking form factor that blends into virtually any environment.

When powered on – a bright, vibrant picture illuminates the screen from edge to edge. When turned off, the TV appears like a framed piece of luxurious floating glass; when hung on the wall, it more closely resembles a work of art than an electronic device.

Intuitive Controls and an HD Camera with Smart Interaction Technology**

Consumers can use Samsung’s new Smart Interaction technology to easily manage their TV experience. By using Voice Control, Motion Control and Face Recognition features to complement the remote control, users can turn the TV on or off, adjust the volume or activate selected apps through speech. They can also use voice to activate the search function in the web browser and “tell” the TV what they are searching for.

The Super OLED’s built-in HD camera recognises movement in the foreground to enable intuitive control, and two unidirectional array microphones recognise voice at an incredibly accurate rate. Noise cancellation technology helps to separate any background noise from the user’s commands.

Rich Content for Outstanding Entertainment**

The Samsung Super OLED TV is equipped with Samsung’s new dual core processor, which allows users to run multiple apps simultaneously for a faster, uninterrupted experience, as well as a smoother web browsing experience as compared to some Samsung LED TVs.

The Super OLED TV also offers the latest improvements to Smart Hub, Samsung’s integrated destination for access to various types of content from a single screen. The interface has been updated for easy navigation and fast performance. With a new tabbed web browser, users can conveniently open multiple pages at a time for an enhanced web experience.

To help bring the family back together in the living room, Samsung is launching several signature services that help redefine what the TV can do for consumers. Samsung is adding to its connected ecosystem with three new signature services for Smart TV:

Kids offers a wealth of infotainment and games in a kid-friendly interface that parents can control and monitor.

Fitness contains complete and interactive fitness programs. It allows users to connect their Wi-Fi enabled scale to manage their weight goals and use the TV’s built-in camera to create a virtual mirror to monitor their exercise routines. They can also connect Samsung TV to a Samsung smartphone via a mobile Fitness app.

Family Story lets users organise photos and enjoy slide shows on the big screen. Family members can also share memos and reminders anywhere they are via their Samsung phone, tablet, PC or TV.

Samsung Apps is an industry leading TV apps platform. Popular Australian apps include BigPond Movies, ABC iView, BBC and AFL/NRL game analysers. In 2012, Samsung will launch new Video-On-Demand services and catch-up services with local and rich content such as Yahoo plus 7 services.

Samsung’s AllShareTM Play offers a seamless way for users to access, manage and share content through cloud storage and access that content on supported Samsung smartphones, tablets, cameras, computers or TVs, regardless of their location.

Pricing and Availability

Availability and pricing of the Samsung 55” Super OLED TV will be confirmed closer to the Australian launch date.