Samsung’s Bespoke Flex refrigerators, seen here in white glass finish, feature changeable panels and compartment functions.
By Alan Wolf, YSN
Samsung teased some of its home appliance plans for 2021 at a virtual CES media event this morning under the tagline “A Better Normal.”
Topping the list of innovations is an updated Bespoke Flex refrigerator. First introduced one year ago at CES 2020, the fridge features swappable panels in a choice of colors and finishes that allow consumers to change and customize the product’s look. And, taking a page from Samsung’s Flex line of ranges, users can also employ the company’s Flex Zone technology to convert a compartment from a fridge to a freezer and back again.
Available in four-door, column and bottom-mount configurations, the refrigerators have a contemporary, flat-panel design with recessed handles, and their glass and stainless-steel panels will be offered in grey glass, navy glass, sky blue glass, white glass and rose-pink glass, and navy steel, champagne steel and matte black steel.
Slated to make its U.S. debut this spring, the four-door Bespoke Flex fridge will also feature a newly designed “Beverage Center” that provides quick access to a water dispenser and an automatically filled water pitcher. The four-door model also comes equipped with a dual auto ice maker that produces both traditional cubed and smaller “ice bites” to suit different preferences for cold beverages, the company said.
Elsewhere during the presentation, Samsung expanded what it described as one of the most popular features of its Family Hub smart refrigerator. Leveraging its SmartThings connected-home network, the company introduced SmartThings Cooking, a new automatic meal planner service that recommends a week’s worth of meals, compiles shopping lists with the needed ingredients, and connects to grocery retailers for one-stop shopping straight from a Family Hub fridge or mobile device. Powered by Whisk, a “smart-food platform” acquired by Samsung Next, the company’s tech incubator unit, SmartThings Cooking can send personalized recipe instructions directly to synced cooking devices to “minimize hassles and mistakes,” the vendor said.
“Families around the world embraced smarter cooking and streamlined meal planning with Samsung’s Family Hub,” noted John Herrington, Senior Vice President, General Manager of Home Appliances. “We are proud to bring these features to more than 33 million people who use the SmartThings app — and we hope to inspire those who are cooking, and experimenting, more than ever.”
Continuing the high-tech theme, Samsung also introduced the JetBot 90 AI+ robot vacuum. Coming to the U.S. in the first half of the year, its newest robotic vacuum uses object recognition technology to identify and classify objects to determine the best cleaning path. LiDAR and 3D sensors allow the JetBot 90 AI+ to avoid cables and small objects while still cleaning hard-to-reach corners of the home, and an onboard camera integrated with the SmartThings5 app allows users to keep an eye on their residences remotely.
“Our world looks different, and many of you have been faced with a new reality — one where, among other things, your home has taken on a greater significance,” acknowledged Sebastian Seung, President and Head of Samsung Research. “Our innovations are designed to provide more personal and more intuitive experiences that express your personality. We’re hard at work to bring you next-generation innovation, with AI as the core enabler, for your better tomorrow.”
Samsung is set to share more details on the 2021 appliance line at its virtual booth tomorrow, when the world’s largest tech show formally opens to attendees. Beyond product introductions, other CES highlights this week will include keynote addresses by Walmart president/CEO Doug McMillon, Corie Barry, CEO of Best Buy, and an iHeartMedia session hosted by Ryan Seacrest and featuring Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa.