Samsung on the Internet of Things; data, VR, development, privacy and the importance of startups
Think of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the players within it, and Samsung are more than likely to come up, both on the frontline with its ARTIK developer platform, and behind the scenes, leading the recent $20 million investment in Los Altos-based startup Afero.
The Korean tech giant’s presence at the IoT Tech Expo, in Berlin on 13-14 June, is considerable, both showing off the ARTIK platform as well as its Gear VR headsets. VR as a part of the IoT ecosystem leads down an interesting path, but as Curtis Sasaki, VP ecosystems and IoT general manager at Samsung Electronics notes, it benefits both sides.
“For many IoT projects, the amounts of data being created, and a need for a mobile application to control or visualise, enable new technologies like the Gear VR as a viewer to the robust data that is collected,” Sasaki explains. “It can enable new user experiences that were not possible before, including integration into many IoT scenarios.
“IoT and VR actually enable each market to address new business opportunities,” he adds.
Even though the consumer element of the Internet of Things is the one which gets the most eyeballs – virtual reality headsets and gaming being a great example – the smart money continues to be on the enterprise side. Sasaki argues, noting Samsung’s discussions with large enterprises, that being able to leverage an end to end solution with a growing ecosystem was critical for them.
Yet his prognosis is big. “We think many industries and markets will be reinvented,” Sasaki explains. “The ability to easily connect different devices and services into a common user experience is very exciting – we think this will further simplify the user experience while at the same time the number of devices and services continue to explode.”
Samsung ARTIK has been on the market for just over a year, with Samsung ARTIK Cloud following it in April this year. The vision from the company at the time was that it completes the jigsaw of services, and this is something Sasaki endorses after discussions with developers. “We heard that development to deployment could be a whole lot easier – trying to figure out all the technology components to build your hardware, the end to end security, connectivity to the cloud and managing the lifecycle of the products and services are actually quite daunting and has led to many fantastic ideas to fizzle.
“As Samsung looked at what we could do to make the development to deployment process more straightforward and easier, providing a rich set of building blocks that included a cloud service was critically needed,” he adds.
The security and privacy question around IoT is one that refuses to go away; partly because journalists keep asking about it, but also partly because of the increasingly regular stories around data breaches. The latest victims are Netflix and Facebook, and in particular the latter’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and logic dictates that with more devices, more connections and more data, comes more chance of getting whacked. Sasaki explains that pushing to do more around security was key even when ARTIK was just a blueprint, including end to end encryption and partnerships with Trustronic and Thales.
Yet if there is one overriding theme Samsung evokes, it is that they can only do so much to create the secure, connected platform; the next step is from you. “From smart lighting, smart buildings, smart cities, to new connected consumer devices, it’s really in the hands of startups and developers to create the next big things,” says Sasaki.
Find out more about Samsung and see their live demos at stand 78 at theIoT Tech Expo in Berlin. The exhibition is free to attend.
Written by: James Bourne, Editor, TechForge
Image credit: istockphoto/ipopba