Recently, as part of an ongoing effort to introduce more inclusive products to consumers’ homes, Samsung Electronics invited individuals living with various disabilities to its Seoul R&D Campus to try out a selection of home appliances designed for optimal accessibility.
The goal of the ongoing research initiative is to identify common difficulties that the elderly and people with disabilities face when using household appliances. Each time Samsung invites these consumers to provide their valuable insight, they reveal new ways to improve its appliances’ accessibility, ultimately helping Samsung design innovations that make it easy for all users to experience seamless convenience at home.
Innovating for Ease of Use
Participants sampled a wide range of Samsung appliances, including its latest refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, vacuums and ovens, in the Campus’s Home Experience Lab, commenting afterward on the impact that enhancements such as voice support and ergonomic designs had on ease of use.
As one participant explained, “[For me], analog products have always been relatively easy to use, but digital appliances can be more difficult, due to features like touchscreens that change the way they work. But when I tried using the appliances that had voice support, I thought I could use them easily, even by myself.”
A Lineup of Inclusive Offerings
Some of Samsung’s latest home appliances, including its flagship Family Hub refrigerator line, as well as select vacuum cleaners and air conditioners available in Korea, feature advanced voice-recognition or voice-guidance technology that makes them easy for anyone, including those with various visual impairments, to use.
Voice guidance and recognition are deeply rooted into the Family Hub refrigerator’s intuitive interface, allowing the visually impaired to easily access the wide range of useful information that the smart appliances were designed to provide. This includes auditory updates on their refrigerator’s contents, as well as voice readouts of Family Hub’s morning briefs, which inform users of the day’s weather, and recipes in the refrigerator’s built-in cooking apps.
In addition, the built-in displays of Family Hub refrigerators in the U.S. market allow users with color blindness to convert their displays to black and white for easier reading, and allow short-statured users to lower their display to an optimal height.
The Virtual Flame™ that lights up Samsung’s Induction Range also makes it easier for users with visual impairments to comfortably manage meals. Built-in LED lights shine onto pots and pans to create the impression of flames on a gas cooktop, allowing users to check, with a simple glance, whether the range is off or on and even at what strength.
Lastly, the Samsung Connect app, which offers users a control center for a wide variety of smart home appliances, has also been optimized with voice guidance, making it easier for visually impaired users to control their devices.
Samsung’s efforts to identify new ways to deliver convenient and inclusive products to consumers’ homes underline its ongoing commitment to developing user-friendly products and services that offer anyone access to cutting-edge innovation.