Funny thing happened at the Las Vegas Convention Center tonight: Some banners outside of North Hall were unwrapped a little early, and one of them hints at a possible Kinect competitor in Samsung. Looks like Sammy is adding voice control, along with gesture control and facial recognition, to its Smart TV line for 2012. While it’s a little hard to know exactly what Samsung plans to do with facial recognition judging from the icon alone, the dotted lines framing the smiley face would seem to indicate facial recognition technology – and not something so mundane as mere video conferencing – as one of the three parts of the new “Smart Interaction” feature set.
Also advertised on the banner are “Smart Content” and “Smart Evolution.” Smart Content might just make use of those voice and gesture controls, since it seems to feature some sort of fitness-related something or other (see the center icon in the blue row). Add it all up and you’ve got a Kinect-style UX layer atop Samsung’s already robust apps and content Smart TV offerings. Or you’ve got an entirely misleading banner planted solely to Punk hapless bloggers wandering around where they shouldn’t be on the eve of Press Day. Or maybe what’s their names in Cupertino planted this to hype up that mythical beast everyone keeps talking about.
Either way, tomorrow’s Samsung press conference just got a whole lot more interesting.