At last year’s CES, Samsung spoke of an upgrade kit that would essentially replace some of the guts in its TVs to keep them on the bleeding edge of Smart TV technology. Until very recently, the kit was just a smart idea, but Samsung has announced that it’s now a tangible product , and that it intends to show off that product next week at International CES 2013.
The Evolution Kit – as Samsung calls it – is the first of its kind and, for now, serves as a way to bring its 2012 TVs into 2013. Plug the pack into the back of your 2012 Samsung television and presto – it’s a 2013 Samsung television … sort of. The bezel, stand, and picture quality may differ a bit, but the Smart Hub will be identical to the newer version. We’re also told that this product can be updated and used for years to come, as it effectively replaces the CPU and GPU of the model you plug it into.
We’ve seen plug-in products (like Favi’s Smartstick) that upgrade dumb televisions, but this is the first time we’ve seen smart televisions made both smarter and faster.
Success in the TV market has been a tricky proposition of late, as even giants have fallen from grace; evolution is the buzz-word these days and – though it’s still in its nascent stages – this looks like a smart move for Sammy. Allowing your customers to take advantage of an upgrade while creating a new, retail-able product, seems like a win-win. No word yet on pricing or release date, but check back during Digital Trends’ CES coverage, when we’ll likely know more.