Samsung's Creative Lab program lets employees explore new projects and spin off startup ideas, making devices that come out of the program intriguing. At CES next week, C-Lab will show off a few new projects, including Samsung's Relúmĭno smart glasses, which focus on helping those with vision impairments see more clearly.
The spectacles are the first device to build on Samsung's Relúmĭno mobile app that debuted during last year's Mobile World Congress. The smart glasses work in conjunction with the mobile app (so your smartphone does most of the work) to improve different visual situations that pose problems for those with eyesight issues.
The glasses' "regular mode" makes blurry images clearer by deciphering the outlines of objects in the person's view and making them more prominent. Another mode dubbed "color invert mode" makes it easier for users to read text on a page or on a screen from normal distances, so they don't have to bring the page or screen closer to their face. It also displays text with high contrast to further improve the reading experience.
While the demo video shows the technology used with a Samsung Gear VR, the company is developing Relúmĭno sunglasses as a lighter, more convenient alternative that can be used in outdoor settings.
C-Lab will also show off two more projects at CES, one of which is the S-Ray portable directional speaker. Samsung claims this type of speaker broadcasts sound so only one person can hear it. Two of the speakers, the Mini and the Handy, are small rectangular modules that can attach to computer monitors, a handbag strap, and other items, or simply be used to fill your personal space with sound. The other speaker, called the Neckband, is a C-shaped speaker that sits around your neck, projecting sound upward close to your ears.
Neck-laying speakers aren't new, as Bose and LG have both made similar devices in the past. Samsung doesn't go into detail about how the directional speaker actually works, and it seems like it would be hard to guarantee other people around you wouldn't be able to hear the emitted sound, even softly.
The final experiment is GoBreath, a breathalyzer-like device and companion app designed to help those with lung damage or those who have undergone lung surgery. Users learn how to breathe properly and learn new breathing techniques that can help them recover more quickly. GoBreathe will offer a Web and cloud service that doctors can use with their patients to monitor lung recovery over time. There's no word on when these devices will be available to purchase, but Samsung's C-Lab will show all of them off at CES 2018.