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CES 2015 – Samsung CEO Calls For Industry Collaboration On IoT

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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BK Yoon outlines Samsung’s plans for the future of the Internet of Things

The CEO of Samsung has emphasised the need for collaboration and openness within the technology industry if it is going to unlock the possibilities the Internet of Things (IoT) can offer.

Speaking during the opening keynote at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, BK Yoon said that by 2017, all Samsung televisions will be IoT devices and within five years, all Samsung hardware will be IoT-ready.

“The Internet of Things has the potential to transform our society, economy and how we live our lives,” said Mr. Yoon. “It is our job to pull together — as an industry, and across different sectors — to make true on the promise of the Internet of Things.”

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Yoon revealed that Samsung sold more than 665 million products last year, many of which already have internet connectivity, and this number is set to increase. By 2017, Yoon promised that 90 percent of those devices will plug into the IoT ecosystem, which will rise to 100 percent in five years.

“The Internet of Things is not about ‘things.’ Instead, it is about people,” he added. “Each person is at the centre of their own technology universe, and the IoT universe will constantly adapt and change shape as people move through their world.”

The company also announced plans to invest more than $100 million to support its developer community in 2015. The investment will go towards strengthening its accelerator programs and further expanding its international developer events.

“We at Samsung are committed to supporting the developer community,” continued the Samsung chief. “Only together can we shape this better future.

“IoT is about delivering experiences that change our lives for the better, and it’s developers that come up with the ideas that change our lives. Samsung is committed to supporting them, and will invest more than $100bn into developer community through funding for startups and our incubators, which we are taking global.

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“The IoT is not a pipe dream any more, it’s ready to go. That’s because there are many consumer devices already out there, ready to connect to IoT. The opportunities and benefits of IoT are huge, but so are the challenges. We need an open system and to collaborate across industries, not just within technology.”

Samsung bought home automation firm SmartThings in August 2014, and plans to leverage this relationship by connecting a range of IoT-enabled devices via the firm’s $99 SmartThings hub.

SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson joined Yoon on stage, and underscored Samsung’s vision for an open infrastructure.

“For the Internet of Things to be a success, it has to be open,” he said. “Any device, from any platform, must be able to connect and communicate with one another. We’ve worked hard to accomplish this, and are committed to putting users first, giving them the most choice and freedom possible. The SmartThings ecosystem is now compatible with more devices than any other platform.”

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