Samsung Electronics is expressing its will to develop 'wearable healthcare devices' as its new business item for the future instead of robots that LG Electronics and other rivals are paying attention to. It is said that wearable devices which can utilize the strengths of AI software more effectively are more suited for the future health care market than the hardware roles of robots due to aging society.
According to related industries on January 11, Samsung Electronics is reportedly focusing on the wearable device business after judging that home robots for consumer use exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 were still premature.
"The roles of home robots recently introduced by home appliance companies can be realized by adding artificial intelligence (AI) to existing devices such as smartphones, TVs and IoT refrigerators,” said a senior representative of Samsung Electronics's Home Electronics Division. "Rather, we believe that health care based on wearable appliances has more future growth potential."
In this regard, "We are preparing robots for factory automation," said Yoon Boo-keun, head of the CE Division at Samsung Electronics in a recent meeting with reporters. "There are many inconveniences of living when people become older. I think the wearable device business is what we are interested in and can do well."
In fact, Samsung Electronics unveiled an application that can manage fitness information such as exercises, nutrition and sleeps via wearable devices in collaboration with Under Armor, a sports brand at the CES 2017. Samsung also unveiled three projects developed by C Lab, an in-house venture incubation system at the CES 2017, two of which are home skin care solutions. Welt, a spin-off company from C-Lab, launched a smart belt that automatically measures the consumption and intakes of calories by wearing only smart belts that help users manage their health. The spin-off firm successfully raised US$ 730,000 by means of cloud funding.
It seems that Samsung Electronics made this move after checking a possibility of the growth of the home healthcare market centered on the US in recent years. According to RBC Capital Markets and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), it is forecast that the home health care market will grow 10-plus percent annually on average from US$ 40 billion last year to US$ 54 billion by 2019.