"All Samsung products will be Wi-Fi enabled by 2024"
Speaking from the Samsung business lounge at Messe Berlin's CityCube, Mr Braun gave examples of how the pioneering technology will change our lives for the better.
Samsung introduced SmartThings at its IFA press conference. Can you tell us more about it?
We asked people in Europe what they want next, and 67% of respondents said that they want their next device to be connected. This means when people are looking for appliances, they are now proactively looking for the ones that are Wi-Fi enabled. So last Thursday, we announced that all Samsung products will be Wi-Fi enabled by 2024 as part of our SmartThings strategy - allowing all our devices to speak to each other.
For example, at home when my washing machine is finished, I get a notification on my watch, my phone, my TV, and even on my Samsung refrigerator, to take out the laundry and hang it up. When one of my children forgets to close the refrigerator door, I get a notification too.
We can take this another step further with our open ecosystem which allows other devices to connect to our SmartThings platform. For instance, if I'm waiting for pizza during a family film night and someone rings my Ring Video Doorbell, the video feed will appear on my Samsung TV and I can use my Samsung remote control like a microphone to tell the delivery person "I'm coming".
We have 283 million registered users already with SmartThings and the number is growing rapidly.
How was your stand designed to interact with visitors?
We took IFA visitors on a journey through different parts of their lives, through our kitchen, entertainment, office, and travelling areas. They could see how all the devices from each zone can connect through SmartThings, with demos.
For instance if you're shopping and unsure what is in your refrigerator, you can use your phone to see what's inside. We have also put cameras inside our ovens that can notify you if you're about to burn dinner.
What are Samsung's top strategic priorities for maintaining a competitive edge on the global market?
Something that's really important for us is sustainability. We are putting solar cells on our TV remote controls, which will prevent 200 million batteries from ending up in landfills, and some of our product components are made from discarded fishing nets pulled from the ocean. Also, our AI washing machine technology measures the amount of water, detergent, and time needed for each load, lowering energy usage by up to 70%.
Samsung's key innovations at IFA 2023
Samsung CMO for Europe Benjamin Braun highlighted some must-sees among the 200+ product innovations on display this year:
– Samsung Neo QLED 8K 98-inch TV: "It's breathtaking,' Mr Braun said, adding: "If that's not big enough for you, we have the MicroLED modular TV with an even bigger 146-inch screen."
– The Frame Disney100 Edition: This exclusive edition of The Frame was launched to celebrate Disney's 100th anniversary, featuring 100 pieces of art from some of Disney's greatest stories plus a commemorative platinum bezel with the Disney100 logo.
– The Freestyle 2nd Gen: Live at its IFA press conference, Samsung launched its latest portable projector 2nd Gen. "It's ultra-portable. You can point it up at the ceiling and you can even take it camping," Mr Braun said.
– Samsung Gaming Hub: "We've built our Gaming Hub into our TVs and into our computer monitors," Mr Braun said. "You just need your wireless Bluetooth gaming controller to play all Xbox titles, including the new Starfield."
– Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 Curved Gaming Monitor: This curved screen has a built-in Gaming Hub so all users need is a wireless Bluetooth gaming controller to play.
– EHS Mono R290 heat pump: Samsung is presenting its latest heat pumps which Mr Braun says are "much better for the environment" than gas alternatives.
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Listen to the full interview with Benjamin Braun, Chief Marketing Officer for Europe in the latest episode of the IFA Tech Talk podcast