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As to be expected from Samsung, the South Korean tech giant unveiled a slew of products at CES 2014. Among them were curved UHD displays reaching 105”, Galaxy Tab Pro and Galaxy Note Pros ranging from 8” to 12” sporting the latest version of Android and a variety of new features. Among these features included performance enhancements and a hefty battery life increase. Then came home appliances like laundry washers and dryers, and a very capable dish washer, all of which will be available later this year.
Perhaps the most interesting points in Samsung’s presentation were an embarrassing cameo from producer and director Michael Bay, which we will touch on later, and the introduction of the Samsung Smart Home.
Samsung Smart Home takes the concept of Disney Smart House (1999), and brings it to life with home automation. While you are in your kitchen making food, you can alert your Samsung refrigerator to play the movie your Samsung television is playing in the living room.
Voice commands control your every step, by connecting your devices, you can shout commands the home responds to. For example, by verbally expressing “theater mode”, your homes lights dim, 7.1 speakers adjust themselves for a movie-theater-like sound status, and you are ready to enjoy Bad Boys II for that late night romantic evening your significant other has been asking for.
Speaking of Bad Boys II…
Michael Bay (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Bad Boys II) had a rather unusual presence at CES this afternoon. The director took the stage to support Samsung’s unveiling of a curved UHD display before storming off the stage in a rather embarrassing fashion.
Bay, whose stage presence lasted what seemed like barely a minute, stepped front and center after a rather explosive build-up of clips from his films like Armageddon, Bad Boys II, The Island, etc., and proceeded to read a single sentence from the Samsung teleprompter. In a rather humorous, albeit embarrassing turn of events, the teleprompter began having technical difficulties immediately after which caused Bay to stumble and flounder about while Joe Stinziano (we can’t pronounce it either), the Executive VP of Samsung Electronics America attempted to save Bay by pitching him questions to keep the conversation going. However the director, producer was overwhelmed and stormed off stage after being unable to improvise on the spot. Stinziano then followed it up with “That’s Vegas for you” and claimed Bay was a very busy man before continuing like nothing happened.
Huawei, the largest telecommunications maker in the world, had a few surprises of their own at CES. Having released their Ascend Mate, the largest display on a mobile phone at just over 6”, just last year, announced their Ascend Mate 2. The handset comes in at 9.5mm thin with its sleek new curved glass design, upgraded processor, 13MP rear-facing camera and 5MP front camera (selfies galore!), and improved battery life, was an impressive feat to behold.
CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, Richard Yu, took the stage to celebrate and showcase their new phone, sharing all of the devices great new features, while coincidentally pointing out the flaws of Google’s Android OS (a system that actually runs on the AM2), and expressed the difficulty in understanding how the system operates. Of course the light at the end of this tunnel was the Huawei spin on the system for the AM2 that promised what Yu referred to as “Super Simple Mode”, a clean tiled version of Android that boasted innovation, intuitiveness and ease of use, while also having a strong resemblance to Microsoft’s own Windows Mobile OS.
What’s more, is that throughout the entire presentation, Apple’s iPhone’s and screenshots of Apple’s native web browser Safari made considerable appearances behind Richard Yu while he spoke of the “power of mate” and its “best handling design”.
Anything far from a boring presentation, the CEO seemed to be a huge fan of taking selfies, as he highlighted the auto-enhancement features of the phone’s camera, as well as it’s front-facing 5 megapixels promising a younger look and better angles for selfies, and even a panoramic selfie mode for just the perfect selfie. We just said selfie nearly half of a dozen times. Still nowhere near as much as Richard Yu did.
The AM2 promises support on all carriers (likely all GSM) such as AT&T and T-Mobile. Look for this device later in 2014.