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Samsung's newest experiments include hands-free typing and a scalp scanner

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Samsung

It wouldn't be CES without Samsung unveiling projects from C-Lab, and the latest batch is once more trying to solve common problems through unusual methods. For some, the most practical may be SelfieType. As the name suggests, it uses your device's selfie camera and AI to translate finger movements into keyboard input. You wouldn't need to grab your phone to reply to a text when your hands are grubby.

The company might also come to the rescue of anyone grappling with hair loss. Its Becom project uses a handheld device, AI and a mobile app to scan your scalp for dead skin, hair follicle density and other traits, and then suggests the best solution. You can even study trends to see if you're bouncing back from hair loss.

Other highlights? Hyler is a smart highlighter that turns print into searchable digital text. The "window-shaped" SunnySide produces artificial sunlight that changes over time to help you produce vitamin D without the harmful effects you might experience from natural sunshine, while Ultra V blends a sensor and service to track UV rays and help you deal with skin conditions.

Samsung is also showcasting work from C-Lab's external startups. You'll see a PiBo humanoid robot from Circulus that provides info and "simple conversation" based on dialog and facial expressions. FITT produces customized exercise routines and predicts diseases based on fitness tests for cardio, muscle strength and posture. Vtouch uses eye and finger tracking to control devices like cars and smart homes, while Smoothy is a group video chat app that starts in silent mode to let you answer on your own terms.

As in the past, there's a good chance that some in-house projects will graduate to full-fledged products. Whether or not they're successful is another matter, but it's reassuring if you're worried that C-Lab's work will remain experimental.