Samsung has always been a driving force at CES and the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show was no different. This year, the Zen-like company evolved its former outlook of “Digital Humanism” – defined by adding emotional value to digital technology – into “Human Digitalism,” an even greater integration of everyday devices such as phones, tablets and TVs into the emotional core of our lives. Heavy stuff for a company that’s essentially peddling internet-ready TVs. But the evening was not without its share of worthwhile announcements to those of you technophiles out there still wishing that your connectedness went beyond just your Xbox 360 or PS3. To prove the point, both Brian Roberts and Glenn Britt – CEO’s of Comcast and Time Warner, respectively – took the stage to demonstrate how their companys' individual delivery services will appear on Samsung Smart TV’s.
Comcast’s ever expanding Xfinity network will soon be available on all Samsung tablets, smartphones and Smart TV’s, allowing you to start watching a film on your tablet or phone, pause the show, and resume it right where you left off back on your living room TV. Equally, Time Warner’s On Demand service will operate directly from the Smart TV’s interface without the need for a set-top box, allowing viewers to access content from any DVR on their home network.
Next, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar offered a few thoughts on the future of television, surmising that children in 2020 would barely recognize how we watch TV today. Kilar drew examples to the vast disconnect between rotary phones and cell phones, only two decades apart, before announcing that Hulu Plus would be coming soon to all Android mobile phones via Samsung.
Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe, also took the stage to announce that both Adobe Air and Flash will be coming to Samsung Smart TV’s, a reveal which has ogvious implications on the designs for integrated apps across all Samsung technology.
Lastly, the evening concluded by revealing a newly minimalist design style for the new Samsung Smart TV’s. From the way the units were presented, we got the impression that they were designed to blend into any surface or pattern against which they were placed, projecting an image to ostensibly make them invisible. Still images of the television disappearing against various wallpapers underlined the thought. However, the corresponding promotional video simply stressed the thin design and almost non-existent frame. So we’re left to wonder if the imagery was simply a metaphor for a smaller, thinner, less noticeable TV. Only time, and probably Samsung, will tell...