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Samsung lays out IoT vision at CES

Steve Rogerson
January 10, 2018



South Korean company Samsung spent $14bn on R&D in 2017 and has been working to make all Samsung products IoT ready by 2020, according to Hyunsuk Kim (pictured), president and head of Samsung Research, speaking at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
 
Samsung demonstrated its ability to deliver simplified, seamless connected consumer experiences across Samsung devices at home, at the office and on the go. The company has been working to make all its products IoT ready by 2020. In addition, it announced its plan to advance IoT adoption via an open, consistent and intelligent platform.
 
"At Samsung, we believe the IoT should be as easy as flipping a switch,” said Kim. “With the new products and services announced today, we're making IoT easy and seamless. We're committed to accelerating IoT adoption for everyone and making all Samsung connected devices intelligent by 2020. These advancements will help consumers realise the benefits of a seamless and simple connected life."
 
The Samsung IoT philosophy is built on the concept of open innovation, making it accessible to more people and, when infused with intelligence, enabling consumers to personalise their experience. It believes today's fragmented and complex IoT ecosystem is a barrier to adoption. For the IoT to be approachable and accessible, it requires scale and open innovation.
 
Samsung is working with partners such as the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) to set common industry standards. OCF claims to be the largest IoT standardisation body in the world and Samsung's Artik chip, air conditioner and Family Hub refrigerator have already been certified by the association for interoperability criteria needed for the IoT.
 
In spring 2018, Samsung will unite its IoT applications, including Samsung Connect, Smart Home and Smart View into the SmartThings app to connect and control any SmartThings-enabled device directly from a phone, TV or car from a single application. Additionally, Samsung announced plans to connect Harman Ignite to the SmartThings Cloud, moving the IoT experience beyond the smart home to the car.
 
An integral part of Samsung's vision is to connect devices and make them intelligent. With Bixby, Samsung is bringing its personalised intelligence service to more devices. In 2018, select Samsung smart TVs and Family Hub refrigerators will have voice control via Bixby to simplify everyday tasks. With devices and services working together and infused with intelligence, in-home activities become easier.
 
Because increased connectivity requires improved security, Samsung announced it had incorporated its Knox technology into its connected devices, including smart TVs and smart signage, additional mobile products and smart appliances. Knox technology includes a hardware security system and firmware updates to help ensure devices are protected.
 
In 2017, Samsung spent more than $14bn on R&D. The company also increased investments through Samsung Next, an initiative to accelerate its transformation into an integrated hardware and software company.
 
An AI centre has been set up as part of its consolidated Samsung Research unit. The centre, which includes four labs in Toronto, Montreal, Cambridge (UK) and Russia in 2018, will be coupled with Samsung's on-going work in Korea and Silicon Valley and the company's M&A activities to drive its AI ambitions forward.
 
Starting this year, Samsung smart TVs will create a connected fabric between devices to provide effortless log-in for users from the moment the TV is unboxed. The Family Hub refrigerators offer a wide range of smart features such as syncing food storage with meal preparation, and keeping family members better connected and organised.
 
The smart TVs and refrigerators featuring Bixby give access to applications, the ability to search movies by genre and actors, display personal photos and provide the refrigerators with the ability to recognise individual voices of family members and give personalised information such as news, weather and calendar updates. The TVs and refrigerators will also operate on a single connected cloud platform, the SmartThings Cloud, serving as a smart dashboard to monitor and control connected devices.
 
The 140cm Samsung Flip interactive digital flip chart simplifies office collaboration by connecting seamlessly with group members' smartphones and notebooks for faster content and idea sharing. Up to four participants can introduce content or annotate directly on screen at the same time using either their fingers or an embedded pen.
 
The company is also helping with the transition to 5G networks that will usher in more connected experiences. Samsung is partnering with wireless carriers and broadband providers to conduct the first customer trials of 5G connectivity with up to 100 times faster speeds than the 4G LTE available on phones today.
 
With 5G connectivity, Samsung demonstrated its vision for more comfortable driving experiences. The Samsung Digital Cockpit shows how cars will become seamlessly connected with other things as part of the IoT. The dashboard design, along with Bixby, allow drivers to control the in-car experience and connected devices at home through voice, touch, gesture and context-based triggers.
 
Passengers can also enjoy fast streaming movies on the go. The industry-first 5G-capable telematics control unit can download and upload data faster and enables vehicle-to-everything communications, laying the groundwork for better autonomous driving.