The new year is almost here and that means one thing for the tech industry: CES is just weeks away.
This year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will feature technology-driven products, accessories, and services from companies across the world. The convention, held yearly in Las Vegas, is host to a broad swath of announcements and is often the venue where companies show off their most ambitious technologies.
Though CES is open to companies of all sizes, the focus of the event inevitably shifts to larger manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung, which often showcase products that will not hit consumer markets for years to come. Samsung in particular, with its ever-expanding lineup of products, will be one of the companies dominating the convention.
Samsung this week previewed its CES showing, stating that it will be focusing on its smart TV technologies. Having already dominated its Android competitors and built itself up as a rival for Apple in the mobile space, the company is now looking to take over consumers' living room experiences.
In particular Samsung is touting its voice recognition software, which it says will support 23 different countries by the end of 2014. Its new smart TVs will also have a "finger gesture" capability, allowing consumers to control channel and volume controls with their fingers.
“Samsung’s 2014 smart TV models deliver significantly improved voice interaction and motion control features so that our consumers will be able to enjoy our smart TV more intuitively,” said Kyungshik Lee, SVP of Visual Display Service Strategy at Samsung. “We will continue to develop content that integrates voice and motion recognition for added convenience.”
Samsung's preview makes it even more clear that tech companies believe that consumers want voice and motion controls for their living rooms. Another prominent example is Microsoft's Xbox One console, which the company was willing to price far above its competitor to include the new Kinect motion and voice sensor.
However, such Star Trek/Minority Report visions remain just that, as current technologies are both slower and less accurate than standard remotes. What is shown at CES by Samsung and others is likely to be remarkable, but it will take years for consumers to see the benefits - if there are any to be had.