Sebastian Seung, Executive VP and Chief Research Scientist at Samsung explained that Ballie's "On-Device AI capabilities enable it to be a fitness assistant and a mobile interface that seeks solutions for people's changing needs".
Samsung consumer electronics CEO H.S. Kim demonstrated how the ball-shaped bot is able to follow its owner around, traveling closely but also recognizing personal space and speed. Even the far-flung future of Blade Runner 2049 grappled with the limits of intangible companionship - and even a silly rolling robot looking like a headless BB-8 from Star Wars is more comforting than a hologram.
'I think he likes me, ' Kim said turning to the crowd. Combine that with the Bot Chef shown off in Samsung's booth that cooks with you, and the smart fridge that tells you what you what meals you can make with ingredients on hand, and the physically interactive home the company envisions is warm and active - "a living organism", as Samsung SVP Federico Casalegno described it at the Samsung CES 2020 keynote.
"How practical it is when it can't go up stairs, I'm not sure".
This cuteness makes it seem like a signature part of Samsung's new strategy: smart speakers already perform many of Ballie's suggested functionality, like taking notes or reminding users of calendar reminders. "On-device AI puts you in control of your information and protects your privacy, while still delivering the power of personalization".
The firm has not yet revealed when the device will be available to buy, or what it will cost. Ballie's introduction was a subsection of Samsung's overall electronics presentation, which it referred to as the "Age of Experience", and promoted "a decade of human-centric innovation".
"We're investing in mobility as a service, so you can get across the city in multiple modes of transportation with just one single dynamically priced transaction, easily processed by your smartphones", Emily Becher, Senior Vice President and Head of Samsung NEXT Global said, as she touched on Samsung's vision to lead the new era of vehicles, with 5G technology enabling "vehicle-to-everything communication" to seamlessly connect cars to the rest of the city.
Samsung also showcased an update to its GEMS (Gait Enhancing and Motivating System) health platform, which it demonstrated at CES a year ago. Samsung is also pitching GEMS for older people as an exercise tool. "Those are very much focus areas for Samsung in 2020".
Samsung has also been careful about the language it has used to describe Neon.