2012 was by many accounts not the year of the Smart TV. Although new tech became available, it was often clumsy, difficult to use or redundant. In its press conference at CES yesterday, Samsung unveiled their next generation smart TV which aims to answer some of the frstrations that emerged last year.
Samsung now produces TVs that are “almost human” according to their America Operations CEO, Tim Baxter. The Korean electronics giant has taken voice recognition and intuitive content selection to new heights. The company has also claimed the best inter-product connectivity of any manufacturer on the globe as well as claiming top flight in picture quality and design. Their most pricey smart TVs also come with a quad core processor that is three times faster than the best option from last year, meaning much better web surfing and content streaming, and this all available in a massive 85 inches!
Despite what may or may not have been copied from Apple in the smart phone wars over the last few years, it is clear that Samsung is determined to be a leader of innovation, and is serious about firming up its position as the most dominant Electronics Empire the world has seen. But are they still moving too quickly? Is innovation still reaching consumers before it is ready?
New features are all well and good but if they don’t work to a level that results in redundancy of the feature they are ‘replacing’, then they are useless. There was much frustration that hand gesture and voice recognition, for example, were unworkable. There were complaints that Samsung had concentrated more on quantity of apps, rather than quality, with apps ranging from the great to the ridiculous. There is also the fact that over 40% of smart TVs are still not connected to the internet – which is one of their primary functions, and a major reason for their hefty price tag.
54 million smart TVs were sold in 2012, and that figure is set to quadruple by 2017, so getting in on the game early and establishing brand presence in this massive market place is vital
It remains to be seen if the glitzy unveiling will translate into great product reviews and fuller utilization of smart features, which the industry needs to realize potential over the next few years.
In a previous article I highlighted that in 2012 smart TVs were underutilized due to being too difficult to use and because new features did not work properly. Let’s see if 2013 will bring about the Smart Revolution the industry, and Samsung, have promised.