Samsung make some seriously weird stuff. They have a hospital, a theme park. They make digital toilet seats and ultrasound machines. Helicopters and cars. There's nothing they don't touch! They also have some pretty cool new tech out, like the Welt smart belt (it's like a fashion belt that monitors your fitness) and also some weird but awesome digital beauty products that were announced at CES. Check out Lumina and S-Skin if you're interested. Or just...y'know...expand and read the article.
When you think of electronics, Samsung is just one of those brands that always seems to pop into conversation. It’s not hard to see why – they basically make everything.
Washing machines, TVs, printers, vacuum cleaners and USB sticks are among the hundreds of products within Samsung’s remit, along with Samsung mobiles of course, we even have a list of Samsung apps (some of which are, you guessed it, made by Samsung). But we found out that the South Korean stalwart actually makes some pretty weird stuff that you would just… well, you just wouldn’t think it.
With the imminent launch of the Samsung S8 creeping around, it’s only fair that we give some airtime to some of their *ahem* other ventures. We wouldn’t want them to feel left out.
1. Helicopter engines
Let’s start straight off with a bit of a weird one. Look at the incredible camera on the S8, Oh you thought the Samsung S8 was technically advanced? Ha. Samsung have been making legit helicopters for yeaaaars. Ok well, actually, they stopped in 1999 but they still make lots of the parts – including engines and turbines. Occasionally you might see a casual Samsung ‘copter flying around thanks to their Samsung Techwin company, which still schedules flights. Tech win, indeed.
2. A theme park
Yep. South Korea’s largest theme park belongs to Samsung and it looks insane. It’s called Everland for starters, and contains loads of cool rides and four amazing sounding areas: Global Fair, Zoo-Topia, European Adventure, Magic Land – with rides inspired by Aesop’s Fables and American Adventure, where you can discover the Wild West. With 7.3 million annual visitors, this is a pretty serious leisure park. We wonder if all Samsung employees get to go for free…?
3. Smart Belts
Pretty cool, and pretty new, one of Samsung’s smaller and more recent investments is the company Welt. These fashion-first smart belts track everything from fitness to food – measuring your waist, counting your steps and analysing your performance throughout the day, without any clunky wrist action. Also, you can pick from about a gazillion colours, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice form over function.
So, Samsung doesn’t make cars anymore per se… but it sold its car-design and manufacturing company, Samsung Motors, to Renault back in 2000. Their most successful car, the Samsung SM5 Sedan was first built in 1998 and since then they’ve sold over 680,000 of them. The Samsung SM5 Sedan is pretty popular in Korea, their homeland, because it uses LPG rather than regular gas, which is much cheaper.
5. A South Korean hospital
Samsung Medical Centre can be found in southern Seoul and is basically a fully functioning hospital that people can go to and be treated for stuff. Not only is it actively helping / curing people, it’s also the perfect place for them to test new technology that could be used by the medical industry before rolling out. We wonder if there was a board meeting where they decided that just making a hospital would be more cost efficient than traditional testing? Either way, it’s cool that they did it because it has become Korea’s leading speciality cancer centre.
6. Ultrasound machines
Speaking of medical equipment – turns out Samsung makes a ton of it, including ultrasound machines. If you have or are expecting any little ones, we doubt you’ll have been looking at what brand of ultrasound machine the doctor was using, but who knew that Samsung was a major player in the medical equipment market!? They also do CT scanners, radiology scanners and…erm…pretty much everything you’d see in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Alternatively you could rub your Galaxy S8 over your stomach, it won’t tell you much about your baby and you’ll look really weird but it’s an option.
7. Electronic beauty products
At CES, Samsung unveiled some pretty revolutionary new technologies in the beauty industry that might change the way we groom. We weren’t that surprised that a tech giant like Samsung would want to start thinking about digital beauty as they have already conquered home appliances and the world of mobile (The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a serious game-changer). Although these products are in their infancy, the concepts are cool. The Lumini detects issues like oncoming spots and blemishes by taking high res pictures and sending them off to analysis via a complex algorithmic skincare database, while the S-Skin measures hydration and redness and then recommends personalised skincare products, which it can administer using a microneedle. These products come off the back of C-Lab, a company set up so that Samsung employees can explore their technical creativity and invent new products.
8. Toilet seats
This is one of our favs, ngl. Samsung have a whole range of digital toilet seats. We’re talking all the trimmings – a cheeky bidet, a deodorising function, heated toilet seat, a dryer for your nethers! The full works. Thank you Samsung for making personal hygiene cool again. I’m not sure this one will link up to your new S8. And don’t fret we know what to do if you drop your new S8 down the loo.
9. Presence Sensors
It might sound creepy, but Samsung this comes as part of Samsung’s nifty and genuinely useful SmartHome offering. You can pop this tiny device around pet’s collars or store in child’s bag to monitor their comings and goings. Sure, this could definitely get out of hand if you’re a littttle too attached to your other half, but just, you know, make sure you get consent before you start tracking people’s movements. You can also get all kinds of other sensors to hook up to the Samsung hub – moisture, temperature, electronic sensors all exist and you can even track whether doors have been opened or closed in your home.