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  • Kyle Chua

CES 2024: Samsung Announces Return of Ballie, Transparent TV

Samsung is back at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), bringing with it some new hardware, including an updated version of a product it launched a few years ago.

Credit: Samsung

The South Korean electronics giant held its annual CES conference in Las Vegas on 8 January, a day before the exhibition kicked off.

Here are some of the highlights from the conference and announcements from the show:

Return of Ballie

Samsung's spherical robot, Ballie, made a surprise return at this year's CES after a version of it was first unveiled in 2020.

The artificial intelligence (AI) companion benefits from a number of upgrades since it's last showing, including a larger frame and a built-in projector. Those upgrades help Ballie perform its functions as sort of a smart home manager. The demo video above, for instance, shows how the robot can monitor your pet and activate the smart dispenser that feeds it food. The robot can also display events on your calendar, show video from the inside of your Samsung smart fridge, or notify you when someone ringing your doorbell, among other functions.

Samsung is looking to release Ballie by the end of 2024.

TVs with AI-powered features

Credit: Samsung

What would Samsung's CES conference be without some new TV models.

Samsung showed off new 8K, quantum dot sets that boast AI-powered upscaling tech, which can convert 4K content into 8K. Given the current lack of native 8K content, the company hopes that such a feature could help push more consumers to buy 8K TVs. The upscaling feature, which Samsung calls AI Upscaling Pro, is available on the 65- to 85-inch models of the QN900D.

The QN900D is also the “slimmest, most premium 8K TV to ever hit the market," touts Samsung.

Later this year, Samsung is also launching the QN85D, which is an 8K QLED model without the AI features. The QN90D and QN85D join it as part of the 4K NEO LED lineup.

For OLED, the company has the S90D and S95D, the latter of which features the new "OLED Glare Free" tech. This new feature can supposedly enhance your viewing experience across bright and dark rooms, without compromising the panel's viewing angles and contrast.

Transparent MicroLED

Speaking of TVs, Samsung, like LG, unveiled its own transparent display, specifically a transparent MicroLED panel, at CES this year. It's important to highlight that this is a MicroLED panel, meaning it's brighter and has sharper images when compared to OLED and LCD panels. The transparent glass and the frameless design gives the impression that the panel is sort of floating in mid air.

While it's definitely an exciting announcement, Samsung has yet to announce pricing or release details for the panel. When it does make it to market, it'll likely cost a lot, considering the company's MicroLED TVs are some of its most premium offerings.

Refreshed Smart Monitor

Credit: Samsung

Samsung is also refreshing last year's Smart Monitor M8 to include more software-based features. The refreshed version retains many of the same internal specs and sport the same detachable camera, but it can now function as a standalone smart monitor, with it being able to run various services out of the box. You can, for instance, view content from providers like Netflix and Prime Video or stream games from the cloud via Samsung's Gaming Hub without needing to connect a game console or PC.

The new Smart Monitor is expected to launch sometime this year, though pricing and release details have yet to be disclosed.

  • Samsung held its annual CES conference in Las Vegas on 8 January, a day before the exhibition kicked off.

  • Ballie, the company's spherical robot made a surprise return, boasting upgrades like a larger frame and a built-in projector.

  • Samsung, like LG, also unveiled its own transparent display, specifically a transparent MicroLED panel that features a frameless design.

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