Samsung's C-Lab (Creative Lab) program launched in December 2012 to encourage the conglomerate's employees to indulge their creativity by working on outside-the-box projects. At CES 2019, which will take place January 8th-11th, 2019 in Las Vegas, the C-Lab will show off eight of its new AI-related projects. They run the gamut from zany (a smartphone case to record ASMR content, anyone?) to mundane (a monitor stand that tries to sneakily improve your posture at work).
While some of the new C-Lab projects may seem borderline kooky, they're being touted as "deeply related to our daily lives," according to Inkuk Hahn (no relation), Vice President and Head of the Creativity & Innovation Center at Samsung Electronics. That's a stretch, but here's a quick rundown of Samsung's unconventional innovations set to debut at CES 2019:
- Tisplay aims to help live streamers monetize their videos with nifty in-video virtual ads – think real-time ads that look like they're printed right onto the creator's T-shirt in real time, for example. Samsung says this sort of thing is possible using computer vision and graphics technology.
- aiMo is a smartphone cover case equipped with faux human ears to record ASMR content, for those who do that sort of thing (ahem). While the case itself is supposed to help these content creators produce "spatially more enhanced sounds in terms of sound directivity," Samsung adds that there's AI software to help sound quality as well.
- MEDEO uses scene recognition to automatically inject fitting background music and effects into a video in real time. The AI technology here will also pull up previously recorded videos related to keywords it hears so the creator can easily drop it into the video as it's being recorded.
- PRISMIT is an AI news analyzer that generates timelines to help readers get a better grasp of issue-related timelines. Rather than displaying the most "popular" article related to the topic or issue at hand, this service would show the top five articles according to its clustering technology.
- Perfume Blender enables users to create their own custom scents by simply uploading photos of their preferred perfumes to an app, which analyzes the ingredients in each of those fragrances to recommend a personalized "recipe."
- Girin Monitor Stand automatically adjusts itself based on the user's current posture. By moving the monitor in response to the user's head, neck, and shoulder positioning, the smart stand aims to inconspicuously improve the posture of its users.
- alight is another work- or study-focused C-Lab project. AI technology directs the desk light to adjust the lighting based on what it observes via its embedded camera. The accompanying app will also generate study history reports and time lapse videos.
- SnailSound comprises an earpiece and an app to help the hearing-impaired user hear better. The result is meant to be an effective and more affordable alternative to traditional hearing aids. (A previous C-Lab project called Relúmĭno aided visually impaired users.)
On top of all this, Samsung will also bring eight of its C-Lab spin-off startups to give them a chance to show off their commercial wares: MOPIC (smartphone cases that enable 3D content viewing and capture), LINKFLOW (wearable 360 camera that goes around your neck), lululab (AI skincare assistant), WELT (activity-tracking belt), Cooljamm company (automated music producer for uploaded videos), MONIT (smart baby care hub), BLUEFEEL (handheld air purifier and fan), and analogue plus (tab that connects helmets to smartphones).
Samsung supports employees who successfully take a C-Lab project to startup status by providing seed money and business consulting. That kind of help and a stage like CES are certainly nice gifts to extend to these "graduates."