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Samsung launches Smart TV with facial, voice recognition

gadgets Updated: Feb 10, 2012 11:48 IST
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The world’s top TV maker has launched its flagship ES8000 Smart TV in Korea, welcoming what the company says is “The Future of Smart TV, NOW.”

The high-end HDTV packs in next-generation features such as voice and gesture controls and the ability to recognize faces.

Instead of fumbling for the remote, users can simply say commands like “volume up” or “turn on” -- commands which will be recognized in around 30 different languages says Samsung.

Wii-like motion controls will enable users to select apps, browse the web or change the channel by moving their hand through the air. The built-in camera on the ES8000 is also equipped with facial recognition technology that can automatically log you on to your Smart Hub and VoIP service Skype without needing a password or ID.

According to a report in The Korea Herald, the ES8000 series will feature smart evolution kits on their back which will enable users to “upgrade ... key features like the TV processor by replacing it with a new one beginning next year,” said Kim Hyun-suk, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Business.

Samsung, Sony and LG are going head-to-head in the race to develop and sell innovative TVs with next-generation smart features. LG is creating its own L line chips for inclusion in its premier TV line later this year. Apple is rumored to be gearing up to take on the big TV manufacturers with the release of an app-based Apple TV or “iTV” sometime in 2012.

Meanwhile, Samsung is also working on a new Google TV that will rival Sony’s existing Google TV and LG’s forthcoming 3D-enabled Google TV. Hyun-suk told The Korea Herald Samsung plans to release the Google TV by the end of 2012.

The ES8000 was unveiled in Korea on February 8 and is expected to arrive in stores worldwide by the end of March. Samsung did not provide pricing information.