It’s now possible to ask your fridge to book a ride with Uber. Samsung on Sunday unveiled its latest home appliances at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas, including an upgrade to its 2-year-old line of internet-connected refrigerators. People talking to the “Family Hub 3.0” refrigerator from their kitchen can ask it to help plan meals, keep track of whether their produce is still fresh, control other home devices — or arrange for a ride. It recognizes different members of a household by the sounds of their voices.
It uses Samsung’s new Bixby voice assistant, the company’s attempt to compete with the likes of Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. Claudia Santos, who directs Samsung’s refrigerator marketing, says the fridge makes sense as a smart-home hub because people spend so much time near it. Manufacturers are expected to unveil new ways for consumers to control their products with voice commands over smart speakers such as Amazon Echo. More cars, lights, washing machines and other everyday items are getting internet connections.
CES is typically when Samsung, LG and other manufacturers announce their TV lineups for the year. In a bid to get consumers to upgrade sooner, higher-end models will come with fancy technologies going by such names as “4K,” ″HDR” and “OLED.” Some will have voice controls. They’ll sit alongside basic models that work just fine for regular viewing.
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