Samsung touts open 'Internet of things' push, says all products to be connected in 5 years

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During Samsung's keynote presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, co-CEO B.K. Yoon advocated for an open, industry-wide "Internet of things" push, revealing plans to build in connected device capabilities across its entire product line within five years.

Samsung appears to betting big on the so-called "Internet of things," a broad industry-wide initiative that looks to create a virtual web between electronic devices, allowing for user control and monitoring of everything from washing machines and refrigerators to home security systems.

"Samsung is prepared to play a leading role here," Yoon said.

Instead of a closed platform limited to one operating system or brand, Samsung wants an open development environment that plays no favorites, reports The Wall Street Journal. In his presentation, Yoon advocated against a "walled garden" model, a reference often used to describe Apple's iOS and Mac ecosystem, saying, "We need an open ecosystem so that IoT devices work together, and we need to collaborate across industries."

After purchasing smart home startup SmartThings last August for $200 million, Samsung has moved aggressively toward fulfilling its IoT ambitions. The strategy makes sense for a company with fingers not only in mobile computing technology, but home appliances like laundry machines and air conditioners.

"On behalf of Samsung, I'm making a promise: our IoT components and devices will be open," Yoon said, adding that without open development, "there won't be an Internet of things, because the 'things' will not fit together."

Earlier in the day, Samsung trotted out a fleet of new HDTVs powered by its own Tizen operating system, an OS designed in part to connect the company's broad range of devices. Also debuted at CES were new refrigerator, dish washer, laundry machine and vacuuming products, though the appliances lacked IoT capabilities.

Yoon estimates that 90 percent of his company's products will be connected by 2017 and that "five years from now, every single piece of Samsung hardware will be an IoT device, whether it is an air purifier or an oven."

Apple is also working on a connected device ecosystem in iOS 8's HomeKit framework. A recent initiative for the iPhone maker, HomeKit is only now seeing support from smart home hardware manufacturers, with companies like Elgato and iDevices exhibiting their wares at CES.


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