In a room packed to capacity at CES 2014, Samsung laid out what we can expect from it in the coming year. A trio of execs stood surrounded by what the company had just spent the last hour unveiling: curved UHD TVs, one that bends, home appliances and tablets.
"This is how Samsung's vision for 2014 is coming together," said Kevin Dexter, senior vice president of home appliance at Samsung Electronics America, to conclude the day's biggest media event.
There were few surprises in a pretty ho-hum press conference, save for an awkward moment when Director Michael Bay, invited on stage to chat up Samsung's new curved 4K screens, became flustered over an "off" teleprompter and abruptly walked off stage.
Joe Stinziano, executive vice president, Samsung Electronics America, recovered quickly, apologetically remarking, "This is Vegas. It's live, folks."
The TV tech
Other than a bumble by Bay, the rest of the press event progressed smoothly as Samsung introduced its various headlining tech.
The company started by rolling out a trio of curved UHD TVs, including a 105-inch curved Ultra HD 4K behemoth. Samsung called it the world's first curved UHD, and Stinziano noted that the tech is expected to grow from two million models sold in 2012 to 60 million sold in 2017.
At an event on January 5, Samsung's HS Kim noted that UHD "[Is] not just a growing trend, but UHD is the technology of the future," and clearly Samsung is throwing it's what it can at the high-res (and high-price) TV tech.
After discussing the three models onstage, Stinziano held the audience in awe as he manipulated the company's "transforming" bendable TV. It essentially folds in from the sides, turning a flat screen into a curved UHD TV. Whether this TV ever comes to market is still unknown, but it's certainly a gripping technology.
"Depending on how consumers are using their TV, wherever their on-screen desire takes them," Stinziano said. "Viewers can decide how they watch TV - on flat screen panel or a curved screen. It's all about giving the customer control over their viewing experience."
"Samsung takes pride in connecting consumers with things that make their heart beat faster, and in 2014, we'll be taking their passion for entertainment to new heights," he concluded.
More 4K content coming to Samsung
The Samsung gang also talked 4K content, a major hurdle for the TVs to make it into living rooms. The company announced that its UHD TVs will stream 4K content from the likes of Amazon, Comcast, DirecTV, M-Go and Netflix.
Netflix had already announced plans to stream in 4K, while Comcast revealed in a press release after Samsung's press conference that it will deliver 4K content to Samsung's UHD TVs through an Xfinity app later this year.
Amazon Instant Video, meanwhile, announced that it's working with Samsung, Warner Brothers, Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox, Discovery and others to bring 4K UHD to the small screen. The company said last month that it will start producing 2014 full original series in 4K UHD.
Following some obligatory (though mercifully brief) trips through kitchen gear and washing machines, Nanda Ramachandran, vice president, Samsung Telecommunications America, showed off four tablets.
The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 and three sizes of the Galaxy Tab Pro.
Size matters with these machines, Ramachandran explained. The 12.2-inch screen allows users to "do more with one device."
A full-sized keyboard, four windows for working, premium enterprise-level apps and an S Pen all help boost the tablets' productivity prowess. We didn't get a chance to go hands on after the presser, but the devices looked thin and light (the Note Pro 12.2 measures 7.95mm and the Tabs measure 7.2mm - 7.3mm thin).
Stay tuned for our hands on review of the new tablets!