CES 2012: Samsung inTouch system turns any TV into a smart TV

We're still a few hours off the big thunder of the major press conferences here in Las Vegas, but already CES 2012 is revealing a few gems.

For example, we're still waiting to see what Samsung will do in terms of flatter, thinner and better TVs, but its Samsung Techwin division, which specialises in consumer video monitoring and security products – everything from CCTV to baby monitors –, has launched an add-on device to turn any HDTV into a smart TV.

The inTouch camera system, which will hit US shops in March at $200 (£130), combines camera, internet connection and app platform, enabling users to communicate, browse and watch streamed content.

Skype is built-in, making use of the camera's built-in microphone, speakers and Wi-Fi connection to enable it to be hooked up to a home network. Connection to the TV is via an HDMI cable, and the camera is designed for use on top of the TV, or on a shelf or table.

The system supports 720p video for HD calling, and is also pre-loaded with a range of apps including YouTube and Google News and Weather, and there's also a web browser.

It comes complete with a palm-sized QWERTY keyboard, and can also function as a picture frame device, either taking shots with its built-in 3MP camera or allowing images to be viewed from USB devices.

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.