Samsung and LG Electronics introduced the limitless possibilities of the Internet of Things (IoT), showing their specialized technology and vision prior to CES 2015.
Samsung is planning to make a US$100 million investment in supporting IoT developers this year, and to build the foundation of services that connect its TVs and all kinds of its products to IoT platforms by 2017 and 2020, respectively.
“The IoT can protect people according to their needs and conditions, and enrich their lives. Furthermore, it is the source of boundless possibilities that can change the society and economy of countries,” said Yoon Boo-keun, head of the consumer electronics (CE) division at Samsung, at a press conference in Las Vegas on Jan. 5 (local time).
Yoon introduced gesture recognition sensors, micro olfactory sensors that can detect 20 types of smell, and embedded Package On Package that integrates mobile application processors, DRAM, and NAND flash.
“The IoT has unbounded possibilities, but it is not compatible with all kinds of platforms. Moreover, it cannot help industries cooperate with each other, either. These are big barriers to the arrival of the IoT era,” stressed Jeremy Rifkin at the event.
Related to this issue, Yoon remarked, “To realize the true value of the IoT, there should be no barriers between different devices and platforms.” He added, “Samsung's IoT technology and products are based on openness, and our acquisition of open-source platform provider SmartThings last year is part of this strategy.”
SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson said, “After we started to cooperate with Samsung Electronics in August of last year, the number of developers in collaboration with SmartThings has doubled just in four months.” He added, “We are actively seeking open business partnerships, as shown by our efforts to develop new IoT services through our partnership with Philips and Netgear.”
LG, on the other hand, showcased the WebOS 2.0 platform and Wellness platform at the same day.
“LG will lead the IoT market through open strategies, including our efforts to differentiate IoT platforms, strengthen connectivity between devices, and expand the IoT ecosystem,” said Ahn Seung-kwon, chief technology officer at LG.
The WebOS 2.0 platform, an upgraded version of WebOS, is designed for smart TVs. In consideration of consumers' use patterns, the new platform provides more intuitive and convenient user experiences. In addition, half as much time is needed than existing ones to load the home screen and change into the app screen.
The Korean tech giant is planning to use the WebOS 2.0 platform for B2B products like TVs for hotels and digital signage, and expand to IoT platforms in the future.
The Wellness platform can manage people's health and living environments by syncing with smartphones, wearable devices, and household appliances equipped with LG's bio-signal analysis technologies. It can control surrounding devices such as air purifiers and air conditioners by analyzing various types of information on about a user's body, including their sleep habits and the number of their heartbeats.
LG also unveiled automotive infotainment systems and solutions that connect smartphones or wearable devices in real time.
On top of that, the company is going to strengthen its cooperation with oneM2M, a consultative body for IoT standards, and AllSeen Alliance's IoT platform AllJoyn to make its products more compatible with devices produced by other companies.
Ahn also revealed the company's plan to expand the IoT ecosystem. He said, “LG will cooperate with major smart home service providers and Icontrol Networks, which specializes in certifying remote control technologies. And we will continue to expand services that connect HomeChat.”