New Tech Innovations May Finally Make Your Monitor… More

Apple and Samsung models get smarter

  • New technologies are bringing smart TV features to computer monitors. 
  • Samsung's new M8 monitor has built-in apps and a removable webcam. 
  • Some new monitors are trying to give you a virtual reality experience without a bulky VR headset.
Samsung M8 Smart monitor.

Samsung

Your next monitor might be more than a display for content, thanks to a growing wave of innovation bringing smart features to your desktop. 

Samsung's new M8 monitor wants to replace your USB webcam and smart TV. The 32-inch 4K smart monitor has a webcam that you can remove and built-in apps. And Apple's recently launched Studio Display has an advanced camera with Center Stage, a machine learning system that adjusts the front-facing camera when using video apps. 

"Users are looking for technology that meets their new hybrid work, education, and personal lives, including smarter Wi-Fi to help improve connectivity, high-definition cameras to improve video calls, and better security/privacy and device manageability," Stefan Engel, the vice president, and general manager of tech manufacturer Lenovo's Visuals Business, told Lifewire in an email interview. "New tech in monitors helps meet the increasing demand for them to connect everyone together."

Smarter Displays

Samsung's new M8 monitor looks more like a lifestyle accessory than a computer display at first glance. It's slim and sculpted and comes in four new colors—Warm White, Sunset Pink, Daylight Blue, and Spring Green. 

The tech inside the M8 also makes it stand out from the crowd. You can use it without a PC by connecting to various IT devices through the upgraded Smart Hub. The Workspace User Interface helps users wirelessly connect to a Windows or Mac PC and efficiently use a range of useful features, including Samsung DeX, Apple AirPlay 2, and Microsoft 365 cloud service and mirroring content from a smartphone to the M8.

Another unusual feature is the magnetic and removable SlimFit Cam that can attach to the monitor while keeping desk space neat without too many wires. The SlimFit Cam also features Face Tracking and Auto Zoom functions, swiftly identifying a person's face when on screen and automatically focusing on the subject. It can follow and capture an individual speaker, a practical option for remote presentation or live streaming.

Equipped with a high-sensitivity microphone, the assistant controls devices such as Bixby and Amazon Alexa using voice commands. Also, the microphone uses an Always On Voice function, displaying conversation information on-screen when Bixby (Samsung's voice assistant) is activated, even if the monitor screen is turned off.

"The M8 series is designed to meet the needs of today's consumers now that the home has become the center of life, including work as well as leisure," said Mark Quiroz, VP of Marketing, Samsung Electronics America, in a news release. "Our goal is to ensure that people don't have to choose between technology devices. With our new Smart Monitor, they really can do it all from one single screen as we've equipped it with all the necessary tools and features needed to seamlessly transition between work, entertainment, and learning."

3D Monitors Show Virtual Reality

Some new monitors are trying to give you a virtual reality experience without a bulky VR headset. For example, the Brelyon Ultra Reality monitor projects virtual images with added depth. The monitor shows an image that appears to float 5 feet in the distance with a 101-degree field of view.

Apple's new Mac Studio desktop

Apple

"Brelyon is pioneering a new category of immersive displays to bring gaming, e-sports, metaverse experiences and beyond to the desktop," Barmak Heshmat, founder and CEO of Brelyon, said in a news release. "Control on monocular depth has long been the missing ingredient for AR/VR and 3D TVs—that's because most current 3D displays simulate depth using bulky stereoscopic headsets or glasses that tricks your eyes into believing they see a 3D image."

In the future, we'll likely see the emergence of rollable "pop-up" monitors that offer design benefits for different types of workspaces, Engel said. 

"As the 'return to office' takes many forms, an emergence of office trends like 'hot desking' reflects the mobility of workers and changes to how office spaces are designed and used," Engel added. "Rollable monitors will be part of this office of the future, with users pulling the display out when needed and rolling the device back into storage when it's not in use."

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