CES wouldn't be CES if Samsung didn't have a slew of new appliances to announce, and the longer the company invests in its vision of a connected home, the more we at Engadget wind up writing about refrigerators and vacuums.
That said, they are admittedly pretty cool. Samsung's smart Family Hub fridge, for instance, packs all of the same nifty storage options found in the company's Bespoke refrigerators, and once again lets you peek inside the fridge with a camera. All of the interactions are handled by a spacious touchscreen that has also received some much-needed interface tweaks. Unlike before, when apps you downloaded to the Family Hub fridge were just sort of splayed all over the place, they now get sorted into specific homescreens for media, meal planning and more.
There are also new tools here for the novice cook or nutritionist — you can plot out a week's worth of family meal on a calendar for all to see, and a tie-in with a Samsung cooking app provides meal inspiration, automated ingredient ordering, and guided cooking instructions piped through the refrigerator's 25W speaker. Ironically, while this is a fridge meant for families, there's no way to load your family recipes into the companion app; they're all culled from sources approved by Samsung's teams.
Meanwhile, the company's latest robot vacuum — the JetBot 90 AI+ — pairs the usual room-sense LiDAR array with a slew of cameras powered by Intel's on-device image recognition algorithms. We're told the JetBot can identify objects as small as 5nm and, after figuring out what it's looking at, make on-the-fly decisions about how to tackle — or weave around them — as needed.
If they're small and round, the JetBot may determine the objects to be spilled cereal or pet food and plow right through them. And if the object has the telltale visual characteristics of a dog poo? Well, in that case, the JetBot may choose to steer clear, so as not to smear your pet's mess across your otherwise clean-ish floors. The JetBot can even detect people; if it does, and you're not around, the vacuum will send you a notification to let you know.
Beyond those AI recognition smarts, you can set the JetBot to avoid certain areas and schedule cleaning sessions, same as always. And maybe best of all, all of the debris the JetBot picks up gets dumped into it docking station when finished, so you don't need to worry about cleaning out the little robot after every trip around your living room.
Now that we're spending more of our time at home than ever, splurging on smart appliances might not be such a bad idea. Samsung hasn't yet provided prices for either of these smart home appliances, but expect to see them trickle onto store shelves soon enough.