Samsung electronics kicked off their CES 2020 presentation emphasizing a focus on human-centric tech. Samsung CEO and president H.S. Kim described Samsung’s vision of robots as “life companions,” and introduced “Ballie,” a small, rolling robot which understands, supports, and reacts to the needs of its owner, especially around the house.

Ballie, unlike many of its human counterparts, is extremely discreet, and “maintains stringent data protection and privacy standards,” said Sebastian Seung, executive vice president and chief research scientist at Samsung electronics. Ballie’s on-device artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities enable it to be a fitness assistant and mobile interface that seeks solutions for its owner’s changing needs.

Ballie, Samsung’s robot
Photo: Samsung

Rather than a straight product rollout, Samsung called the next decade “the age of experience” with the development and promotion of products that create meaningful, personalized experiences. Ballie, said the Samsung execs, represents the next evolution of the Internet of Things (IOT).

“This is our longterm vision for AI-enabled products,” Seung said. “Of course we want Ballie to be fun, smart and helpful. We also want Ballie to keep our secrets.”

Here are some of the key topics covered:


Seung discussed a collaboration with healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente in which they will develop a home-based virtual cardiac rehab solution that pairs a Samsung smartwatch with a smartphone via Bluetooth, and HeartWise, a monitoring application.

SEE: TechRepublic’s CES 2020 (TechRepublic)


Samsung showcased and pledged to continue with its commitment to technologies like Relúmĭno, which helps the visually-impaired see; IGNIS, a tool for firefighter safety, and GEMS to help the elderly and disabled move.

Smart home

Immersive experiences, AI innovations, sensors, and data analysis are part of Samsung’s home plans, said Federico Casalegno, chief design innovation officer of Samsung design innovation center. He demonstrated Samsung’s GEMS (Gait Enhancing & Motivating System) tech, which showed how (augmented reality) AR glasses enable users to work out with a virtual personal trainer, climb a mountain or walk underwater, all from home. GEMS also gives personalized recommendations.

Through a convergence of software, AI, IoT and hardware, a room can be transformed into a screen with its MicroLED display, for an immersive experience using face-to-face apps or the internet.

Casalegno also discussed tech customized to kitchen appliances, a growing station for at home garden produce, and Bot Chef, a robotic food prep assistant.

“The goal isn’t to add more devices and products,” he said. It’s to “live better with more intuitive and simplified technologies.”

SEE: CES 2020 preview (CNET)

Smart cities

Global urbanization incentivized Samsung in its smart cities vision, said CES 2020 guest Emily Becher, senior vice president and head of Samsung NEXT global, who added that smart devices, platforms, and data make city life easier and safer. Samsung’s core vision is saving energy, cutting emissions, and sustainability.

Residents of smart buildings can call elevators, turn lights on or off, manage deliveries or check for available parking spots with a swipe or voice command. Smart building appliances can request repairs and address problems before noticed by residents.


Samsung is in partnerships with builder and property managers like the US-based real estate developers Greystar Real Estate, to devise smart building solutions, Becher added.


The urban transportation experience will be transformed combining 5G, edge computing, and AI, with 5G tech enabling vehicle-to-everything to connect cars to the city.

SEE: Special report: How 5G will transform business (free PDF) (TechRepublic)


Samsung will continue to utilize Samsung Knox, a defense-grade security platform for its mobile, television, home appliances, and other devices.

Samsung’s Innovation Campus grows

In 2020, Samsung will expand the Samsung Innovation Campus program, which trains students on the latest AI, IoT, and cloud technologies. The campus has educated more than 20,000 students from 13 countries, since its launch in 2019 and will double in size this year.

Samsung’s top 3

Kim concluded his keynote by saying the three most important areas for Samsung: Security and privacy, technology for good, and citizenship. He promised “Samsung will never share your data with third parties without prior and direct consent from you.”