The event organized by Samsung was a unique one, taking guests on a virtual journey of a house equipped with the latest appliances from the manufacturer. These could then be examined, while various Samsung experts appeared on the screens of the room talking about them.
We managed to “catch” Ankush for a long-distance interview after the launch event, in which we talked more about the new smart appliances launched by Samsung, how important the Internet of Things has become for the company, but also how it looks press conferences and launches in the new context created by the pandemic.
Truth: First of all, are we curious to find out how the idea of holding this “interactive virtual experience” came about, instead of a traditional press conference?
Ankush Garg: We wanted to adapt to the new reality and not compromise our ability to talk to our customers, so we tried to think and find out what is the best way to offer an experience as close as possible to the real one. We decided to present the experience from the point of view of a person who spends a lot more time at home during this period and to present all the innovations that Samsung offers in this field.
The truth: All smart appliances presented at the event have an integration with the Smart Things ecosystem. In what direction is this ecosystem heading, do you think it could be a kind of main control hub for a smart home soon?
A.G.: Every time we launch a new product in this category, we make sure that it has the best possible integration in Smart Things and that it can be easily used by people, in the most useful and simple ways. I think the ecosystem will become bigger and more important for Samsung users in the future.
The IoT sector, a future for Samsung
The truth: How important is the security of these smart devices and what does Samsung do to ensure it?
A.G.: Security, but also privacy, are a priority for us. Every time we try to create a new product, we make sure that we comply with the strictest international security standards and that user data is kept safe. In this regard, we also have our Knox security system, (no – the same implemented on phones), which ensures that we keep our promises and offer the best security to our customers.
Truth: How important is the IoT (Internet of Things) sector to Samsung?
A.G.: I think Samsung is one of the pioneers of the IoT industry, and this sector will grow as people start investing more in their homes and buying smart devices – which will happen quite soon, given that we spend a lot of time in our homes. The number of different smart products we offer has increased a lot in recent years and we see this technology as a future, which is also reflected in our product line and the business strategy we apply.
The truth: How is the smart home market evolving in Europe, especially now, in the context of the pandemic? How many people buy this type of product and what is the customer profile?
A.G.: Buying smart appliances is not a matter of age, but rather of people’s thinking. We see that the adoption of this technology is increasing in all age groups – of course, but for young people it is more natural. The investment in smart appliances comes at certain times: if the old equipment has broken down, if you move to a new house, etc.
At the moment, the market is constantly evolving, although people expect a smart device to last 10-15 years, which cannot happen. However, we are also encouraged by the fact that demand has increased, and people expect a company like Samsung to offer them solutions in this sector, to innovate.
In terms of recent sales, obviously no company was immune to the effects of the pandemic, especially during the quarantine period, when no one bought anything and the shops were closed. Overall though, I think we managed to get through this storm well, we had big plans to completely change our line of refrigerators and washing machines this year and we are glad to see a trend of people to invest more in their homes – and here we are referring not only to smart appliances, but also to things like bicycles, furniture or others. We believe this is a great time to launch new products, as people are looking for solutions to make their home life easier and more efficient.
The role of AI in smart appliances
Truth: During the event, I noticed a focus on the presence of artificial intelligence (AI) in these smart appliances. Why is this an important element, which customers need to know, what does AI integration help?
A.G.: We have a pre-launch period in which we test the washing machines, I will use them for example. During that time, I noticed the way people washed their clothes and noticed a few things.
A washing machine has 10-12 different cycles, but most people use very few of them. Many are confused about the right cycles for certain clothes, and this can sometimes lead to performance issues, so we tried to simplify this whole process and automate it, and here comes the AI.
Every person is different, and the way we wash our clothes is also different, so we wanted to have a personalized solution for everyone. First of all, it is important to choose the right cycle, and for this you can choose in the Smart Things application the type of laundry you wash and you will automatically be recommended the right cycle and the amount of detergent needed.
As you wash more and more clothes, the AI in the car will know your habits and will always be able to recommend the best solutions. There are other smart features – for example, because hygiene is more important than ever in the current context, we’ve introduced a steam cleaning feature, and you’ll also be able to receive notifications about the car’s maintenance process if you need to replace it. certain components and what you need to do.
Finally, the car also has the ability to talk to you, so it can tell you exactly what’s wrong, how long a cycle lasts, or other information. AI offers a lot of new features to smart appliances and helps people get the best out of them.