Companies can learn a thing or two from Samsung when designing their newest cutting-edge devices.
Speaking at CES last week in a massive ballroom with every other chair left empty for social distancing (thanks, Omicron), Samsung CEO Jong-Hee Han delivered a keynote in which he introduced new products and spoke about the company's vision for the future.
Here are three ways Han said the maker of everything from phones to smart refrigerators is ensuring that its technology keeps customers happy for years to come.
1. Prioritizing easy-to-use tech
One of Samsung's guiding principles, Han said, is that even the most high-tech devices should be intuitive for the user. Han unveiled a new, user-friendly portable projector, the Freestyle, which--unlike many of its competitors--can mirror a phone's screen with a single tap. "We want to find a way to redefine your relationship with the technologies you use every day," said Han.
The CEO also noted that Samsung puts an emphasis on making sure its products are highly customizable by the user, whether it's Galaxy watches with changeable faces or smart refrigerators that come in a variety of colors. During the keynote, the company introduced a new flatscreen TV that can be curved to fit the customer's vantage point, as well as a smart washing machine that uses artificial intelligence to tailor wash cycles to the user's preferences. "We're always working toward a future where the technology works seamlessly with you in the center," said Han.
2. Manufacturing with sustainability in mind
Samsung has been following the lead of other corporations around the world by leaning into sustainability in recent years. In 2021, Han said, the company made changes to its manufacturing processes that decreased the carbon footprints of products like device screens and semiconductors. It also cut back on the amount of packaging it uses for many products and began incorporating more recycled materials. In the process, the company was able to reduce its carbon emissions by 700,000 tons. For a large company like Samsung, which sells hundreds of millions of products per year, "even the smallest changes can make a big difference," Han said.
The changes will keep coming. Beginning this year, Han said, Samsung's TVs will use 30 times more recycled plastics than last year. And by 2025, every mobile device and appliance the company makes will be made at least partially from reused materials.
3. Making energy-efficient devices
Han announced that the company is expanding its SmartThings Energy service, which lets users monitor their energy usage on smart devices from air purifiers to dishwashers. The system incorporates A.I. to make recommendations on how users can reduce their energy usage--a win for their wallets and the environment. Going forward, all new Samsung TVs, monitors, and refrigerators will include the service.
Han also revealed that Samsung's TV remotes will now be powered by radio waves from products like Wi-Fi routers, eliminating the need for batteries. And by 2025, the company's televisions and phone chargers will operate with near zero standby power, thereby consuming almost no energy when idle. "Millions of everyday changes," said Han, "can make a meaningful impact for our planet."