LIVE FROM IFA 2015: Following the earlier smartphone and wearables frenzy, Samsung switched its focus to the Internet of Things (IoT) space, stating that “the potential for European customers is absolutely amazing”.
YH Eom, the company’s European president, acknowledged that “like everyone in the market, we have experienced some pain”, but that “over the past five years, we have sold over 530 million products in Europe, and these hundreds of millions of devices are now deeply integrated into European lives”.
“We will use our strength to enable us to move into new areas, to continue our growth, to open up new horizons for our business and for our partners. One way we will do that is through the huge potential of the Internet of Things,” the executive said.
Jean-Daniel Ayme, VP of mobile for Samsung Europe, added: “We believe that mobility will play a central role in helping to realise this new, interconnected world”.
“And our combination of mobile leadership and a broad range of products and solutions for home and work life puts us in a unique position to deliver on the true potential of IoT,” he continued.
IoT has become a familiar theme for Samsung at big trade events; in January at CES the company’s president and CEO claimed that 90 per cent of all Samsung’s products will be IoT devices by 2017, with the firm targeting 100 per cent connectivity by 2020.
Last year it acquired SmartThings – a US-based developer of a home automation platform – for a reported $200 million.
As with other IoT initiatives, automotive is a key sector for Samsung. The company today announced that its SmartThings unit will integrate with BMW cars, to display notifications from the SmartThings Hub on the dashboard and to enable car status monitoring and remote locking from the SmartThings App.
And Samsung is working with Volkswagen, through its Car Mode for Galaxy app, which enables users to access some smartphone functions when on the move. It is also integrating with the Volkswagen Car-Net e-Romote app, which connects the Gear S2 wearable with a range of Volkswagen vehicles to locate parked cars, turn on air conditioning remotely, and monitor battery levels of electric cars.
The company’s SmartThings unit took to the stage to launch a set of “more powerful and easier to use IoT devices”, and will take them to global markets.
Products include a new SmartThings Hub, which has a more powerful processor that enables video monitoring (livestreaming at any time, but only recording unexpected events); and a new smart home monitor, which addresses a number of “common household issues” including intrusion, smoke and fire detection.
New SmartThings products launch in the US today, the UK next week, and will roll out across Europe in 2016.
And Samsung also unveiled its SleepSense personal helpcare device, which helps people improve the quality of their sleep.