According to industry sources on September 18, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have a different approach for smart home market expansion. However, the two companies have the same goal of using artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Thins (IoT) technologies in all home appliances.
Samsung Electronics is applying Bixby to its all smart home appliances. The company will use its self-developed AI service as a universal voice recognition platform that can manage smart home appliances, including refrigerators, as well as smartphones. It will also use its embedded and IoT Tizen operating system (OS) that can control and manage smart home appliance applications and contents in smart televisions, refrigerators and small home electronics appliances. An official from Samsung Electronics said, “We will use the Tizen OS in all smart home appliances in the future.”
LG Electronics flatly said it wouldn’t develop a universal AI service like Bixby. Instead, the company will actively use other AI services from Google and Amazon. It is connecting Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa with its home appliances. LG Electronics has connected the services with seven to eight products so far but it will keep extending the application. The company has also selected an open source strategy for smart home appliances. It will use not only the web OS led by the company but also Microsoft Window 10 and Linux-based Ubuntu depending on products. The web OS system can be applied to smart televisions and refrigerators, while Window 10 and Ubuntu can be used to refrigerators and robots, respectively.
The two companies’ strategies have clear pros and cons. Samsung Electronics, which emphasizes its own ecosystem, is well positioned to secure the leadership when making a soft landing in the market. Not only consumers but also competitors that have entered the smart home ecosystem will have a heavier reliance on Samsung Electronics. For instance, Samsung Electronics can take the lead in creating the smart home ecosystem that can link home appliances made by other manufacturers with its voice recognition platform dubbed Bixby. To this end, the company has opened an application programming interface (API) so that any developer can easily apply Bixby and Tizen.
LG Electronics has chosen the cooperation ecosystem, though the company has its own AI and OS. It is trying to establish partnerships with many players in the market. It is good to spread the “alliance” ecosystem, including LG Electronics, Google and Amazon, in a short period of time. An official from LG Electronics said, “We will make use of our own technologies in areas we are good at and create (the smart home ecosystem) through cooperation in areas we lack of. We are planning to take the AI and IoT strategy that is specialized by areas.”
The industry thinks that the strategic difference of Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics will determine the outcome of the smart home market in the future. The two companies’ smart home appliance strategy will become the watershed that sets the direction of the smart home market which has just opened. An official from the industry said, “The question is which ecosystem not only Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics but also European home appliance producers, such as Siemens and Miele, and Chinese ones will join. Beginning with this year, the strategic gap to take the leadership will be widened.”