Samsung at CES 2020 in Las Vegas on Monday showcased its advancements in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). Demonstrating the company’s growth in the world of personal care, the South Korean company unveiled Ballie, a rolling robot that is designed as a personal fitness assistant. The tiny robot is touted to understand and support users and react to their needs. Samsung also highlighted its partnership with Kaiser Permanente to build a home-based, virtual cardiac rehabilitation solution that helps provide reminders to cardiac patients to exercise.
Designed as a small ball, Ballie uses on-device AI capabilities to offer a fitness assistant-like experience along with a mobile interface. The device patrols homes and acts as a remote control for smart devices. At the same time, it uses the built-in sensors and AI algorithms to understand fitness activity of users.
A video showcased by Samsung during its CES presentation showed Ballie communicating with smart curtains, switching on the TV, and recognising users. It was also shown to work with other connected devices and even allowing users to see what their pets are doing at home.
Samsung claims that Ballie performs all its functions while maintaining “stringent data protection and privacy standards” — thanks to its on-device AI capabilities.
“We see on-device AI as central to truly personalised experiences,” said Sebastian Seung, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Scientist at Samsung Electronics, in a statement. “On-device AI puts you in control of your information and protects your privacy, while still delivering the power of personalisation.”
A trademark application was filed with European Union (EUIPO) last month containing “Ballie” as the name of robots that are meant for personal use, cleaning, and household purposes. However, it is unclear whether Ballie will be limited to select markets or go on sale in major global markets.
In 2016, LG also unveiled its robot ball called Rolling Bot that was designed to keep an eye on pets by capturing their photos and videos while their owners aren’t home.
Alongside Ballie, Samsung during its opening keynote presentation at CES revealed its partnership with Kaiser Permanente to build virtual cardiac rehabilitation solution that works with the HeartWise app to send reminders to cardiac patients to exercise, collects activity data, and continuously displays the patient’s heart rate during workouts. The company noted that the patient data is automatically uploaded through the smartphone to let clinicians, case managers, and physical therapists track the patient’s progress and engage with them accordingly.
Samsung also demonstrated how augmented reality (AR) based glasses can be used to work out with a virtual personal trainer, climb a mountain or walk underwater — all from a living room. The company showcased that it is building new AR experiences and allowing one-on-one training through an exoskeleton that is based on proprietary technology called GEMS (Gait Enhancing & Motivating System). This would help you improve your posture and receive professional feedback on your fitness activities.
Samsung’s GEMS works with a proprietary software that pairs with AR glasses, smartwatches, and smartphones to fulfil your fitness-related requirements. However, the company didn’t provide any clarity on when and at which price the technology will be provided to the masses.
To deliver a smart cooking experience, Samsung at its CES presentation showed a concept of a modern culinary journey where a personal chef, nutritionist, and shopping assistant is provided in a single package to customise the entire food experience. A robotic food preparation assistant called Bot Chef was also showed off to help users prepare food as per their taste and preferences.
Additionally, Samsung highlighted the concept of smart buildings where residents would be able to call elevators, turn the lights off, manage deliveries, or check of parking spots using a voice command or by swiping on the smartphones. It also showed how repair requests could be made using intelligent applications installed in smart buildings.
Samsung also announced that it will continue to its Knox security platform from mobile and TVs to home appliances to protect user data. The company also mentioned technologies like Relúmĭno that can help the visually-impaired see. It also showcased IGNIS, the tool that helps firefighters. Notably, Relúmĭno, and IGNIS are amongst the developments that were built under Samsung’s C-Lab programme.
Will OnePlus Concept One be the most exciting announcement from CES 2020? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.