Thursday, January 8, 2015

CES 2015: "Samsung's Smart-Home Master Plan: Leave the Door Open for Others"

Following up on yesterday's "Izabella Kaminska and This Year's Consumer Electronics Show: 'What Comes After the Smartphone"'.
From Bloomberg:
The most important product at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show may not actually be a product at all. It’s a policy. Samsung Electronics has pledged that 90 percent of all devices it creates, including televisions and mobile devices, will be Internet-enabled by 2017—just two short years away. The remaining 10 percent will come on board by 2020. Considering that in 2014 Samsung delivered more than 665 million products to consumers around the world, it’s hard to understate how important this is to the overall move to turn the Internet of Things—the everything-is-connected tech Valhalla—from a plaything for early adopters into the mainstream of moms and microwaves.
There's more: In addition to building this functionality into its own products, Samsung's platform will be entirely open, rolling out the red carpet for developers and other software and hardware manufacturers to, basically, have at it. Samsung's smart-home push has been anticipated for a long time, particularly since it acquired smart-home sensation SmartThings in August 2014, but few expected this level of openness. Samsung could have just as easily created a walled garden, forcing users to choose from Samsung or a specific partner devices to assemble a networked life of automatic temperature adjustments and TV-based alerts.

“The Internet of Things is not about things, it is about people,” said Samsung Chief Executive Yoon Boo Keun early in a keynote address on Monday, hitting on a sentiment he would repeat over and over again. Creating an Internet of Things that did not place improving people’s lives at the core of its mission would be “like a bedtime story for robots.”

Not everyone allows so many types of interactions. On Monday, Google's Nest announced its own smart-home ecosystem, but its Works with Nest protocol places restrictions on the types of data that can be shared, how long those data can be stored, and how they can be used. For Samsung, Yoon said, an opposite approach has its benefits: It hopes an “open ecosystem” will lead consumer needs and desires to optimize Samsung products in ways that might not have been thought of in Seoul. Samsung has also committed $100 million dollars to invest in development of a connected ecosystem, meaning everything from creating infrastructure, to funding startups, to facilitating conversations between existing players....MORE