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Samsung Shows Off First Tizen-Powered Smart TV

Other Tizen gear includes cameras and the Samsung Z smartphone.

Samsung Electronics used the Tizen Worldwide Developer Conference keynote to show off a prototype of the first smart TV powered by the new operating system.

Jong-Deok Choi, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics, displayed the handful of devices currently powered by the Tizen open-source software, including a pair of cameras, the Gear 2 smartwatch and the just-announced Samsung Z smartphone.

Then, Choi offered what he called a “sneak peek” at “something big,” and unveiled a 65-inch smart TV running on the Tizen software.

“Read my lips, they will be on the market very soon,” Choi said of Samsung’s new breed of smart TVs.

Tizen’s Linux-based, open-source software is designed to power a new generation of Internet-connected devices — from wearable gadgets, to cars and home appliances, to consumer electronics. The software’s steering group, whose principal backers are Samsung and Intel, estimates there will be as many as 50 billion of these devices by 2020.

The operating system, backed by Samsung and Intel, aims to offer a more open alternative Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

“If you look at our industry today, you’ll see this very accelerated pace of change that is happening,” said Imad Sousou, vice president and general manager of the Intel Open Source Technology Center.

However, Tizen has struggled to gain traction, with Samsung only this week announcing its first Tizen-powered phone, the Samsung Z. Just how big Tizen will factor into even Samsung’s plans remains unclear. So far, the Z is due to arrive in Russia this fall.

As part of the effort to woo developers, Samsung and Intel are giving attendees of this week’s conference a mini computer and Gear 2 smartwatch. Choi also issued a developer challenge that will award prizes of $200,000 for the best smartphone and Gear 2 apps and pitched Tizen as a way to power connected appliances and all manner of smart devices.

Additional reporting by Ina Fried.

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