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Collaboration is crucial for IoT innovation, tips Samsung CEO

08 Jan 2015  | Junko Yoshida

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Hawkinson added that SmartThings has a huge development community. The number of developers building devices that connect to SmartThings' open platform has doubled since the acquisition, he said.

Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman also joined Yoon on the stage at the Venetian Hotel's Palazzo Ballroom to hammer home the IoT message: "open ecosystem." Rahman talked about Jawbone's UP, a smart wristband and app that helps users understand how they sleep, move and eat, now working on the open SmartThings Platform.

Calling SmartThings "one of my favourite developers," Rahman said, "So, as the integrations come together, more and more technologies are working for you." In conclusion, he said, "This feels like a path to make the connected world centre around the user."

Obviously, if you have the money and market share that Samsung now commands, partnerships and collaborations in an open ecosystem are easy to come by. Yoon said Samsung will be committing $100 million toward bolstering its IoT programs with developers and startups.

Thin and superficial

Setting aside the idiosyncrasies of defining an "open ecosystem," according to Samsung's own universe the infinite possibilities of IoT the industry is about to unlock, illustrated by Yoon, turned out to be rather thin and superficial.

An IoT scenario Yoon unveiled at the end of his keynote speech in a short illustrative presentation began by using the example of a "connected wine cellar" (presumably Samsung's) at home.

An IoT wine cellar identifies user consumption patterns, the video presentation said, and recommends wine, "making the ordering process much easier." For restaurant owners, data shared through the wine cellar will make it possible to customise marketing and effectively manage inventory.

Using the wine sales data from restaurants, wineries will then presumably improve production, refine their grape choices, and develop new products that meet consumers' needs.

The video presentation went on to describe a "brain hat" or a pair of "glasses" embedded with tiny brain wave sensors that monitor the user's brain health and detect life-threatening illnesses. It also explained a connected car scenario that makes it easier for users to drive their cars, while creating the opportunity for various businesses to sell related services to drivers.

Then, armed with the promise of interactive wine storage and brain-probing fedoras, Yoon came back onstage and concluded his keynote. "What we are holding in our hands are infinite possibilities. Now it's up to us to enact them." In short, Yoon cheerfully implied, the rest of the world is going to work with Samsung, or else.

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