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Consumer Electronics Show

At CES, Samsung Addresses Setbacks Before Previewing New Products

By Published on .

Samsung's Tim Baxter said the company was committed to innovation and moving beyond last year's faulty phones.
Samsung's Tim Baxter said the company was committed to innovation and moving beyond last year's faulty phones. Credit: Samsung
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Samsung addressed its exploding Note phones at its first big keynote of the year.

On Wednesday, Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, opened the company's presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with a nod to its tumultuous 2016 before quickly turning to its upcoming innovations.

"We continue our intensive efforts, internally and with third-party experts, to understand what happened and to make sure it does not happen again," Mr. Baxter said before a packed audience at the electronics gathering. "Despite our setbacks we have not, nor will we, stop innovating."

Of course, Mr. Baxter was referring to the disastrous Galaxy Note 7 phones that had a problem exploding and were completely recalled last year.

The tech conference was an opportunity for Samsung to start off the year on better footing, and it had plenty of competition from rival electronics makers also at the event.

Samsung showed off a new line of TVs with what it called QLED picture technology, yet another acronym meant to spark consumer interest in television upgrades.

Perhaps its most impressive gadget was a simple cable wire it called the "Invisible Connection," which plugs the flatscreen almost undetectably into the media hub, reducing cluttering wires.

The wire received the most applause out of all the gadgets being shown, including washer-dryers and smart refrigerators.

Samsung showed off QLED TVs, new Chromebook laptops, and smart appliances.
Samsung showed off QLED TVs, new Chromebook laptops, and smart appliances. Credit: Samsung

Samsung also revealed new Google-powered Chromebook laptops, wearables, digital video services and Internet of Things connectivity.

Connected Carnival

Carnival tried to break the mold of gadget makers dominating the electronics expo. The cruise-line operator claimed to be the first travel industry company to host a CES event with CEO Arnold Donald scheduled to speak on Thursday. Carnival is getting into wearable gadgets with a device it calls the "Ocean Medallion," which wirelessly connects services on cruises. Passengers use the medallion to open their cabin doors, make payments, and locate family and friends, among other features. It's Internet of Things meets the open seas.

Carnival was a rare travel company showing off a wearable medallion at CES.
Carnival was a rare travel company showing off a wearable medallion at CES. Credit: Carnival Corporation & plc

Hug a robot

On Wednesday, LG also hosted a highly anticipated keynote address, and afterward its robot was among the most talked about. The "Hug Robot" is Internet of Things meets "WALL-E." LG took a basic home device, backed with Amazon's Alexa assistant technology, and put it in an actual robot. The robot connects and controls home appliances and interacts with the family. LG said it can show a range of emotions through digital facial expressions.

Auto-emotive

Toyota perhaps led the class of automakers at CES with this concept car, which it unveiled on Wednesday. Toyota called it the Concept-I car, just a concept so far, and it holds the promise of integrating artificial intelligence into the car. The AI-assistant is named Yui, and it adapts to the driver's habits, creating a kind of bond. It can take over for self-driving, too.

Toyota revealed this concept car with AI capabilities.
Toyota revealed this concept car with AI capabilities. Credit: Toyota