Julia Kim, Samsung Romania: We build sustainability features into the product experience

Miruna Macsim 31/05/2024 | 15:27

In an insightful interview with Julia Kim, CEO of Samsung Romania, we delve into the company’s vision about the new AI era. We explore Samsung’s sustainability strategy and discuss how their technologies are shaping a more connected and eco-conscious future.

 

Artificial Intelligence is the most important trend today, and Samsung is increasingly integrating AI into its products. How will AI and integration in all electronic products evolve further?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is indeed a critical trend, and Samsung recognizes its significance. We have always been trying to innovate technology for the consumer’s experience to be more convenient, more comfortable and more entertaining. How a Device Experience should be. Then we have been actively integrating AI into our products, from smartphones to home appliances. Like at CES® 2024, we shared our vision for how artificial intelligence (AI) technology will enable people to experience their devices more intuitively and conveniently than ever before. Our vision, AI for All, means a new era of technology translated into our commitment to extend AI integration across our entire product ecosystem:

  • Smartphones: Our 2024 flagship smartphones, like the Galaxy S24 series, leverage AI for features such as Circle to Search, Photo Assist, Chat Assist and Note Assist. In our mission to increasing accessibility and usability of artificial intelligence tools for a wider range of users, with the recent One UI 6.1 update, we have reached out to more Galaxy users, from Galaxy S23 series, S23 FE, S22 series, Z Fold5, Z Flip5, Z Fold4, Z Flip4 to Tab S9 series.
  • Home Appliances: With built-in Wi-Fi, internal cameras, AI chips and compatibility with the SmartThings application, Samsung’s latest Bespoke AI appliances come with enhanced features and connectivity to lay the foundation for a truly smart home. Our smart home appliances (refrigerators, washing machines, etc.) not only perform well with the usual tasks but can do more than previously imagined with AI appliedenergy efficiency, predictive maintenance and user convenience. Please imagine how comfortable and efficient it would be to control and operate Air-conditioning and Robot cleaner in remote before arriving at home. Furthermore, SmartThings can trace the energy consuming pattern to save energy.
  • TVs: A great TV it’s no longer just about delivering quality visual experiences. AI for TV means that the TV can maximize our experience with optimal viewing and listening experiences. With the introduction of the 2024 Samsung Neo QLED and OLED TVs, powered by on-device AI technology, in addition to unprecedented performance upgrades in picture and sound quality, we now provide consumers with AI-powered features secured by Samsung Knox. Our TVs are designed to be the centerpiece of users’ homes, connecting all compatible devices to offer users a more flexible and diverse lifestyle.

Users can also create a personalized ecosystem through SmartThings, where all the devices can easily be connected and controlled.

Looking ahead, Samsung aims to further enhance AI capabilities across its entire product portfolio, offering improved personalized experiences for all types of lifestyles.

How important will AI become for technology in general in the future?

AI will play an increasingly pivotal role in shaping the future of technology. It’s not just about individual products; it’s about creating an interconnected ecosystem.

Samsung envisions a “hyper-connected world” where AI seamlessly interacts with users, anticipates their needs, and enhances daily life, making technology more intuitive and adaptive. This extends beyond gadgets to smart cities, healthcare and transportation.

Sustainability is another important trend for technology. How do you integrate ESG principles into Samsung’s business?

ESG principles are integral to our business strategy. Our commitment to the everyday sustainability involves sustained efforts across various levels, from production to the final product. We invest in innovative technologies to reduce carbon emissions in production lines, aiming for net-zero direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2050. A key example is theGalaxy S24 series that maintains our use of recycled plastics sourced from discarded fishing nets, water barrels and PET bottles. With this series, our goal by end of 2024 is to recover about 110 metric tons of recycled aluminum, the equivalent of 9 million soda cans.

Another example of this is the AI Energy Mode, an option available through the SmartThings app on the majority of Samsung’s washing machines and refrigeration products, which can help users to reduce their energy consumption. AI Energy Mode keeps track of the household usage patterns and offers recommendations on how to use less energy without compromising the quality of the results.

Our sustainability strategy, just like our entire business model is customer-centric. We build sustainability features into the product experience so that people around the world who use it can contribute to a healthier planet. So, it’s a team effort let us say, brand-consumer, that can make a real change.

What technologies have you developed to transform cities into smart cities?

We have been actively participating in the construction of smart cities around the world. Our aim is to take the SmartThings Energy to the next level by having it be at the core of the Net Zero Home, meaning that a household’s energy consumption is managed with energy generated within the home itself. We work closely with our partners to lead the new era of the Net Zero Home in countries including the U.S., South Korea and Europe. By using SmartThings, the owners of a Net Zero Home can seamlessly control their home appliances and smart home devices. Just to give an example, since summer is on its way, SmartThings will automatically turn on the air conditioner and lower the blinds to keep indoor temperatures cool and prevent strong sunlight from entering the house. Moreover, users can manage their devices even when they’re not at home.

Having worked in several countries in Europe, including Central and Eastern Europe, how do you see Romania as a market and as a company in general?

Before embarking on the role as the CEO for Samsung Romania, I have had the privilege of working across various European markets, and my experience has given me a comprehensive view of the unique opportunities and challenges each region presents. Romania, in particular, stands out as a vibrant market with a robust growth trajectory.

From a market perspective, Romania showcases a dynamic and rapidly evolving landscape. The country’s increasing focus on innovation and technology has made it an attractive destination for investment and development. Samsung Romania has been at the forefront of harnessing this potential, driving growth through cutting-edge products and services tailored to meet the local demands.

5G Open RAN is a great example. Globally, Samsung is reshaping our lives with 5G technologies. Especially, Samsung’s Open RAN solution can help mobile operators to modernize their legacy networks to a more flexible and future-ready networks.

As a global #1 5G Open RAN provider, Samsung is making a significant progress in Europe, Romania being an important part of this journey.

With Orange and Vodafone, Romania was the world first to achieve 2G and 4G data connectivity over shared mobile network, powered by Samsung’s innovative Open RAN solutions. This illustrates Romania’s important market-leading leadership by working with trusted industry leaders like Samsung.

As a company, Samsung Romania is not just a business entity; it’s a part of the community. Our efforts extend beyond the marketplace, as we invest in local talent, and support educational initiatives such as Solve for Tomorrow – a competition dedicated to young people that challenges them to create innovations to help improve our society.

Locally, I see Samsung Romania playing a pivotal role in the region’s tech sector. Our focus will remain on delivering excellence, nurturing innovation, and contributing positively to the communities we serve, aligning with Samsung’s global mission to create a better future for all.

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