Last night I attended a Samsung pre-CES event at which the company showed off its new UHD TV lineup. The TVs themselves are screamingly beautiful, as you’d expect. As you might also expect, the event itself was truly bizarre. It simply does not get more CES than a Samsung TV event.
At the equivalent event two years ago, I saw Samsung imprison women in metal dresses that doubled as cocktail and cupcake stands. Last year, an acrobat dangled from the ceiling as she shakily served champagne. And this year? Well, this year Samsung floated some models in a swimming pool, covered them in blue lights, and instructed them to gracefully wave their arms in some sort of twisted Tron-meets-Swan-Lake fantasy.
It's almost as if some hot TVs aren’t enough to grab attention alone.
- Outside, this glowing installation was our only clue as to the delights contained within. "Shirring" in particular had us scratching our heads and checking our dictionary apps.
- The event got off to an inauspicious start — Samsung apparently thinks I work for About.com.
- This was the opulent scene that greeted us as we entered.
- Sometimes the models would float too close to the edge of the pool and someone had to push them back out.
- I do wonder if Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura, joint winners of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on inventing blue LEDs, had this in mind when achieving their world-changing breakthrough.
- Just in case you forget you're in Vegas, the Foxtail lets you see part of the city's subtle, inoffensive skyline.
- Samsung's HS Kim takes the makeshift stage and continues the Tron theme.
- Ladies in the water look on as the screen folds away to reveal another screen.
- Some companies simply tell you the names of their products. Samsung projects them onto giant buildings.
- At one point Kim proposed a toast to the existence of 4K itself. Some people joined in.
- Inside, another Samsung exec preaches the 4K gospel.
- Signposts direct attendees to demos designed to show off how the new TVs are describable by various adjectives beginning with S.
- It frankly would not be a TV event at CES without a DJ.
- Samsung's Tizen-powered smart TV interface.
- The Tizen platform allows for games like Just Dance — no console required. Attendees seemed reluctant to try it out, for some reason.
- If you insist on starting every description of your product with a single letter, I suppose there are worse choices than "S."