Apple was nowhere at CES. But Samsung was everywhere ... with a vengeance.
Samsung is in an unstoppable phase right now -- selling more TVs than anyone; leading the way in Smart TV innovation; and more.
The coolest thing for me? Samsung's OLED ultra-thin flat-screen TVs. Amazing color/picture -- amazingly thin. They aren't in production yet, but soon will be. Here's a pic (upper right) I took at CES from the side of the OLED. Can't get much thinner than that! Beautiful.
So, where do Smart TVs go when they essentially can't get any thinner? Well, Samsung showed the way again. How? Facial recognition and remote-less gesture control (in this regard, think of changing your channels in a very Kinect-like with a wave of your hand). Voice activation isn't far behind.
What else? Samsung's "Family Story" (check out the above photo on the left of the prominence of the "Family Story" app on the home screen.) This is secure personal media sharing (photos now, but videos later). Now you can take your still photos from your Galaxy smart phone, upload them with a click of a button, and immediately share them (or view them) on your and your family's smart TV -- all from the convenience of your couch. And, you can share that sharing experience together remotely via play-by-play chat as you watch the same images -- and you can bet that video chat sharing is just around the corner.
Anything else? Of course.
One fascinating thing was Samsung's "Full HD Dual Experience" -- you can share the couch with a loved one and watch the same smart TV but see two entirely different TV shows/channels. I ain't talking picture-in-picture -- I am talking literally watching two different shows full-screen on the same TV at the same time. Wild, absolutely wild. Am not sure how practical that is -- or how interactive it is. I mean, is it really that meaningful to plant yourself next to someone bodily if the two of you are engaged in entirely different experiences (especially when you each need to wear special glasses to take advantage of this functionality)? Nonetheless, it is cool -- and it demonstrates the level of innovation taking place at Samsung.
Listen. Apple's iTV is inevitable. It is coming later in 2012.
But, Samsung isn't standing still. And, they won't be reacting. They are innovating in hardware -- and they have taken the lead on the Smart TV side.
Smart. Very smart ....