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Samsung shows off remote-free TV

24 Apr 2012

Samsung is offering consumers the chance to throw away their TV remote control with its new top-of-the-line Smart TVs, incorporating voice activation and motion recognition inputs as well as keyboard & mouse and the Smart View smartphone app.

Available on the LED ES7500, LED ES8000 and Plasma E8000 models, the voice control requires no pre-programming for unique users and is pre-configured for regional accents, including Australia/New Zealand. As well as functions like turning the TV on and off, changing the channel and raising and lowering the volume, users can open the TV’s web browser, and set key words for more specific tasks.

The same models will also include motion recognition, which can be used to move a cursor around the browser as well as Samsung’s Smart Hub home screen. The user simply holds an open hand up in front of the camera, then closes their fingers to ‘click’.

The camera can be adjusted to where the user is most likely to be while watching TV, and also recognises faces, allowing automatic login to sites like Facebook.

Some rooms will still be too large or noisy for the technology to work, so Samsung has also introduced a Smart Touch remote, which includes a microphone for voice access as well as a touchpad for cursor movement.

Owners of the Galaxy SII smartphone can also download an app that will turn their device into a remote control, and all of Samsung’s Smart TVs will also include Plug and Play support for USB keyboards and mice, making it easier to input text in the browser.

Samsung New Zealand television and audio-visual product manager Glen Chean says in 40 years of TV technology advances, ‘what has not changed is the consumer’s dependence on the remote control’.

"2012 marks the year where the internet TV experience undergoes a complete transformation,” Chean says, "with Samsung offering consumers different ways to control, connect and access content from their TV without having to rely on the traditional TV remote control.”

All models will feature narrow bezel design, and most will also include a built-in recorder. 

Pricing for the TVs with voice and motion control ranges from $2499.95 for the 51-inch plasma E8000 to $6999.95 for the 60-inch LED ES8000.