Samsung – better known for standard-bearing electronics like smartphones and television sets than innovative trendsetting – will show off its experimental side at the 2017 CES convention in January. It will unveil products from its Creative Lab (C-Lab) division, including a smart tag for boosting childrens' toys and two devices aimed at changing the landscape of at-home skincare.
Tag+ for kids' toys
C-Lab's Tag+ is a Bluetooth-enabled button that adds additional functions and social features to any children's toy. Stick it onto a doll or action figure and kids can tap, long press, shake or bump it, and its companion tablet app will respond accordingly. Through the app, kids can also connect with friends to see notes and pictures when their friend is at play.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Tag+ is not its inherent capabilities – it appears to operate like any Bluetooth-powered device with a companion mobile app – but to see how Tag+'s benefits are promoted. At this point, C-Lab claims that adding this kind of functionality holds kids' attention longer. On the other hand, Tag+ introduces the most controversial aspects of smart devices, like gratuitous screen time and social media oversaturation, to kids' toys, the most well-loved and sentimental type of "dumb" devices.
S-Skin and Lumini for consumer skincare
C-Lab's other headlining projects are two takes on delivering consumer skincare products. From product videos, it appears they are both intended for cosmetic use, and not to treat or prevent any serious health condition.
The first, S-Skin, is a three-part system consisting of a "microneedle patch", an LED light and a companion app. According to C-Lab, they work together to deep penetrate skin for better treatment delivery, analyze and treat skin conditions, and record and present skincare data over time.
The second product, Lumini, is said to function as a skin scanner. Its creators say that it can identify potential beauty problems below the surface of the skin, allowing you to treat them before they hit the surface. The Lumini scans your face and its accompanying app interprets data, identifies imbalances, and makes product suggestions for correcting them.
Of course, beauty products like these would need to be extensively vetted to test their claims, and Samsung has not mentioned if or how they've been evaluated. Still, these products don't seem to represent any earthshaking discoveries that immediately benefit the consumer. Instead, they seem more poised to impact the cosmetics industry by changing the way that skincare products are sold.
Samsung started is C-Lab in December 2012 with the intention of supporting a creative corporate culture and provide a jumping-off point for startups. Several C-Lab products were presented at the 2016 CES convention, two of which are now on Kickstarter. Several other products that originated at the C-Lab, including Mangoslab, a compact printer which prints Post-it notes from smartphone memos, and Welt, a smart fitness belt, will be showcased on the 2017 CES floor.
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