Samsung's Creative Lab, an outlet for their talent to work on external projects, is starting to bear fruit. Three of those projects will be shown off at CES 2016 next week and they are interesting to say the least. Samsung is treating these as startup projects, with one being manufactured by a new and technically separate company, and the units at CES will not be production quality but rather are being used to assess their market potential.
WELT is what the smart belt is being called. It will be geared towards the health and fitness crowd, tracking activities and daily habits with instant and continuous feedback on waist size. The exact kinds of technologies are not very well laid out at this point, but a belt like this is well-positioned to measure activity levels and might be able to keep track of tension to get a finely-grained grasp on waist size fluctuations.
rink is a bit less ambitious and is just a companion piece of hardware for VR devices, like Samsung's own.
It adds a motion controller not unlike the familiar Nintendo Wii, which should really improve the experience when playing games. The question with rink isn't so much whether it's a good idea but whether the price and function will match up well.
Last but not least is TipTalk, a wristband that literally lets you hear smartphone or smart watch audio through your fingertip. The strap will send the sound through your body and up through your fingertip, as improbable as it sounds. You then just put your finger to your ear, which can naturally create a seal like a high-end earpiece would.
Much like the rink, execution is very important with this device. The quality of the idea is immaterial if the device can't do what it promises, which is far from straightforward. Unlike the rink, the TipTalk has to justify its place in the market, too. Do you want to have phone audio come through your fingertip?
Samsung Electronics announced that it will be demonstrating three Creative Lab (C-Lab) projects for the first time, at CES 2016. C-Lab is one of Samsung’s innovation programs, which helps its employees to nurture their own creative business ideas. The three projects are WELT – a healthcare belt that helps people manage their waist size by measuring their daily habits and behaviors, rink – a hand-motion controller for mobile VR devices, and TipTalk – a remarkable new user experience (UX) that enables users to hear sounds, transmitted through their own body.
These C-Lab projects will be showcased at Eureka Park, the flagship destination for startups at CES, in Hall G, Level One of the Sands Expo, from January 6 to January 9, 2016. As the projects are still in the development process, they are being showcased to assess their market potential and to gather hands-on feedback from CES attendees, enabling further improvements to be made.
WELT – A More Discreet Way to Track Personal Health
WELT is a smart wearable healthcare belt that looks like a normal belt, thus offering consumers a more discreet way of using smart sensor technology to monitor their health. WELT is capable of recording the user’s waist size, eating habitsand the number of steps taken, as well as time spent sitting down. It then sends this data to a specially-designed app for analysis, and the production of a range of personalized healthcare and weight management plans.
rink – Taking Mobile VR to the Next Level with Hand-Motion Control
rink is an advanced hand-motion controller for mobile VR devices which offers a more intuitive and nuanced way to interact with the virtual world. The ability to intuitively control the game or content just by using their hands provides consumers with a much deeper level of mobile VR immersion.
TipTalk – The Future of Wearable Communications Offer Greater Call Clarity
TipTalk is a remarkable new UX that enables people to listen to the sound from their smart devices, such as the Samsung Gear S2, without headsets or earphones, simply by touching their finger to their ear. This enhances the clarity of calls, enabling them to be taken in public, even in noise-sensitive or loud environments, such as a concert hall or building site – without the risk of being overheard.
Shaped like a watch strap, ‘TipTalk’ can be added to watches – analog or smart – and sync with smartphones, enabling Text-to-Speech (TTS) functionality.
C-Lab: Empowering Samsung Employees with a Culture of Innovation
Since being founded in 2012, Samsung’s C-Lab has fostered creative thinking throughout the company and supported more than 100 projects. Of these C-Lab projects, around 70 have already been completed, 40 of which are currently being further developed by Samsung’s business units.
This year, nine of these projects have been identified as having an especially high potential. As such Samsung has helped these project teams launch fully-fledged external startups – with one example being the inventor of Tip Talk, Innomdle Lab, which launched as a new, independent company in August 2015.