LAS VEGAS—Here at CES, Samsung's biggest announcements revolved around its massive modular TV and integration with iTunes, but the company also rolled out some new smart home appliances, all with Bixby, its voice assistant embedded inside.
Samsung's smart front-load washer and dryer (both equipped with Bixby) can recommend the best wash and drying cycles for your load, taking into account its size, colors, and amount of dirt. You can use Bixby to start and stop the cycles, and can also schedule for a preferred time. You'll get notifications when the cycles are done, and you can set the dryer to automatically start when the washer finishes. Plus, Bixby can monitor the devices' energy usage to help you track your environmental impact. However, LG's lineup of smart washers and dryers (opens in new tab) that work with the more popular (and capable) Alexa and Google Assistant might hold a greater appeal to consumers.
Pricing and availability have not yet been announced.
Samsung also announced the "family board," an update for its Family Hub Refrigerator. It's a communal screen upon which everyone in your family can place photos, stickers, and virtual post-it notes. You can even doodle right on the screen, if you happen to be bored and near your fridge. There's also a screensaver that can display more photos, or information such as the day's weather. It's just like your mom's magnet-laden refrigerator but, you know, digital.
Bixby is also built into the Family Hub refrigerator, as well as Samsung's smart TVs. At CES, the company stressed that its voice assistant would make using smart appliances even easier, as its AI could be used to automate more tasks. However, given the lead that Alexa and Google Assistant have both in terms of smarts and devices, it's hard to see Bixby catching up in the near future.