By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The International Consumer Electronics Show is one of the largest consumer technology trade shows in the world and it’s happening right now in Las Vegas. The biggest draws are always the televisions, but as 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan tells us, the big buzz this year involves a company that isn’t even showcasing TV’s.
It’s a television you can talk to. Samsung’s new TVs are controlled by voice, physical gestures and facial recognition.
Ethan Rasiel of Samsung says, “What we’ve done is we’ve built a camera right into the TV. You can surf the web by moving your hand around. You can point to click.”
Now, the tech industry is buzzing that Apple will finally release a television. Brian Cooley of CNET says, “When Apple gets in the game, you know they are going to be the most serious competitor in terms of making stuff that consumers get attached to and spend top dollar for. That’s a competitor you don’t welcome.”
With Apple’s possible entry, TV makers are trying to stay ahead of the game, packing plenty of new features into the sets. LG, for instance, has an internet-connected app that features high quality video games without the need for a game console.
Samsung says that Apple’s possible entry hasn’t affected their strategy. According to Rasiel, “We do what we think is best for our customers. We’ve got a product here right now. Once Apple comes out with something, we’ll take a look and decide what we think of it. But right now, our focus is doing what we think is best for delivering value to our customers.”
So what started the Apple buzz in the first place? Shortly before he died, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told his biographer that he’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use and would have the simplest user interface imaginable. And if Jobs was hinting at something, only time will tell.