A new report claims that Samsung has abandoned a plan internally known as “Perfect Experience” or PX and laid off dozens of employees that were associated with it, many of those employees had joined Samsung after its acquisition of smart TV startup Boxee two years ago. Multiple sources cited in the report claim that ex-Boxee CEO Avner Ronen, who later became the VP of product for Samsung, has also departed the company. The PX project was in development for over two years with an aim to revolutionize the smart TV remote, it was being built by the Boxee team which initially got a lot of resources from Samsung that it was able to increase its headcount from 40 to almost 100 employees.
PX revolved around a dedicated media tablet that would have replaced the traditional remote for smart TVs, this tablet would have provided users with a unified guide of live TV listings as well as streaming content through a custom UI that would not have looked similar to conventional tablet UIs, according to Variety. Samsung was reportedly looking to partner with streaming services and pay-TV service operators in the United States to bring their content and apps to this tablet but apparently they weren’t willing to play ball. The company would have bundled the tablet with its high-end TVs in the US, it was actually expected to do this with the 2015 smart TV lineup unveiled at CES 2015 in January but the project was reportedly not completed at that time and Samsung was forced to delay it to late 2015 before it was further postponed to 2016.
Samsung was not only planning to replace traditional remote controls, it also wanted to revolutionize the way consumers watch and discover content using smart TVs. The report claims that PX had significant internal pressure as well since the project was “highly controversial” and faced a lot resistance from the company’s Korean executives who were apparently not happy about a product being developed out of their reach in the United States. The tension between Samsung’s US and Korean executives has been chronicled in detail before, it has not always been a smooth relationship. While the real reason behind PX’s death might never been officially confirmed one can only imagine how Samsung’s vision for smart TV remotes of the future might have been perceived by the public. Guess we’ll never know.