Samsung has now announced the latest version of its Family Hub experience. This is the company's home-based platform that's designed to make refrigerators smarter and capable of doing more things than just storing your food.
The new version is understood to be even smarter than all previous versions that have come before, and by the same token, equally more capable.
Samsung argues the kitchen is the family hub of the home and its Family Hub is designed to specifically reflect that sentiment. The new version comes with a redesigned UI which includes a more personalized, but at the same time, family-oriented experience.
One of the newest features to be announced is the new "Family Board" and this is designed to relate to family members on an individual level through the option for each family member to personalize the experience in their own way. However, the same board can also be used by family members to interact with each other.
With the new Family Board family members will be able to leave notes for each other or post photos and even add messages or emoji to the photos and then have them visible by the rest of the family.
As with most Family Hub features, Family Board is also compatible with the corresponding Family Hub Android app so users will be able to interact with the board when away from home using their smartphones.
Samsung had already added Bixby support to the Family Hub and it now seems as though this is one of the other areas that is now smarter with the new version. This is mainly seen by the greater contextual awareness that's now in use by the on board version of Bixby,
With the new Family Hub, users will not only be able to get feedback to questions asked, but the overall conversational tone between the user and the AI assistant should be more natural. Whether looking for a recipe, ordering an Uber, or anything else, Bixby via Family Hub will now be better able to understand the current conversation and continue it.
As part of the support improvements, Family Hub is also now understood to be even more deeply compatible with the company's smart home ecosystem, SmartThings. Resulting in the ability for users to control even more smart home products directly from the Family Hub refrigerator display, or by issuing voice commands to Bixby through the Family Hub platform.
Samsung's Family Hub has become a common feature with CES after having first been announced at the event back in 2016.
Since its initial debut, Samsung has used the event to announce further upgrades to the system including the launch of a new version of the OS in 2017, followed by Bixby support. All of which saw even more more improvements during CES 2018.
Samsung has now continued that trend with CES 2019 seeing another new version of the Family Hub coming through along with improvement to nearly every area related to the experience. This is Family Hub 4.0.
Samsung has also confirmed the Family Hub platform is expanding in general as it will become available on more models going forward. A move the company states is designed to ensure more families can take advantage of some of the more fundamental benefits the platform was initially designed in mind with – such as food management.
This was only one of the announcement Samsung made at the electronics-based event, with Samsung also detailing improvements to Bixby in general, as well as updates on some of its other popular product lines – including its TVs.
On the topic of Samsung TVs, and even though they too are powered at the AI assistant level by the company's Bixby solution, the 2019 lineup of Samsung TVs have ceded some of that power to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. A semi-confirmation that its own solution is still not quite up to par and/or not as popular as its Amazon and Google counterparts.