SEOUL, March 21 (Korea Bizwire) — Samsung Electronics Co. on Tuesday unveiled more energy efficient and AI-powered high-end household appliances for this year, seeking to boost sales and take its standard for smart home life to another level.
The South Korean tech giant showcased the latest line of luxury home devices, Bespoke Life, which is an upgraded version of Bespoke Home, with better personalized and customizable appliances powered by the home automation SmartThings application.
“While the global economy is in bad shape, we are trying to ride out the challenges with new energy saving technologies,” Han Jong-hee, vice chair and co-CEO at Samsung, said during a media event in Myeongdong, central Seoul.
“Home appliances are a necessity for everyday life, and I don’t think economic activities are as frozen as the market thinks,” he said, adding he expects the situation “to improve in the latter half.”
The Bespoke concept, first introduced in 2019, is Samsung’s attempt to introduce an era of customizable home appliances to incorporate customers’ personal needs and tastes.
Samsung said its existing Bespoke lineup will be expanded to 27 products in total by the second half and all of them will be wifi-enabled. It also added a new color option of sage green.
Samsung, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of electronic devices, said it is now offering 57 models of household products that can save extra energy, compared with products with the highest energy rating.
When used on SmartThing’s AI Energy Mode, the new Bespoke appliances can save an additional 70 percent of energy, it said.
Samsung also launched a washer fitted with the specialized washing cycle that reduces microplastic pollution in South Korea.
The South Korean tech giant has been collaborating with American outdoor clothing and gear brand Patagonia for years to make less of an environmental footprint on Earth by reducing the release of microplastics from clothing.
Microplastics are blamed for polluting oceans and endangering marine life and natural habitats.
Samsung’s fourth-quarter operating profit plunged nearly 70 percent from a year ago, as the global economic slowdown hurt the sales of electronic devices and semiconductors that power them.
The release of the new products came as persistently high inflation caused consumers around the world to cut back on nonessential items, like personal devices and household products.
For all the unfriendly business environment, Samsung pins its hopes on consumer demand for high-end products that have relatively fared better.
Samsung said it hoped to increase the sale of Bespoke products by 50 percent compared with last year.
During the press event, Han also said Samsung has been working to create a robot platform.
“We believe robots are one pillar of our (future) growth engines. And we are taking steps toward that goal,” Han said.
“Our robot team is preparing for the launch of a robot called EX1,” he said, adding, “Many jobs are being replaced by robots, and we are focusing on finding new business opportunities and launching a new product.”
EX1 is said to be the name of Samsung’s walking assistant robot.
Last week, Samsung acquired additional shares of Rainbow Robotics, in a move to enhance its robotics business.
Samsung bought 913,936 shares of the South Korean robot company for around 27.8 billion won (US$21.2 million), raising its stake in the company to 14.99 percent, from the previous 10.22 percent that Samsung purchased in January.
Rainbow Robotics is a robot platform company, developing and producing industrial robots and other robots, including the bipedal robot HUBO and quadruped walking robots.
It was founded in 2011 by a group of experienced researchers from KAIST Humanoid Robot Research Center.
Separately, Samsung also invested 3 billion won in the South Korean startup Neubility, a pioneer in developing self-driving delivery robots in the country.
Founded in November 2017, it has teamed up with Samsung Welstory, a Samsung catering subsidiary, to launch food delivery by robotic couriers in golf clubs.
Its autonomous robots, called Neubie, equipped with a camera system that enables them to perceive their environment and detect obstacles, are in service around the country.