Boo-Keun Yoon, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics, used his IFA keynote speech to call on the consumer electronics sector to embrace open industry standards and lay foundations for smart home innovation.
Yoon said the home of the future would be tailored to the needs of people living there. There would be no single solution or approach but a “billion” homes of the future.
That said, he argued the smart home would have three common key attributes: it will make complex data visible and useful to allow better choices; it will learn consumer needs and recognise lifestyle patterns; and it will proactively adjust to their needs and provide suggestions without being asked.
Samsung predicts there will be about 45 million installed smart home services globally by 2018, with the smart home market worth about $100 billion by that period.
And anticipating enormous growth in big data and the Internet of Things (IoT), the Samsung CEO said IoT connectivity would trigger a quantum leap of innovation. “The biggest change, the biggest transformation, it will happen in our homes, at a speed we can barely imagine,” said Yoon.
Samsung cites IDC figures saying the big data market will grow to $32.4 billion by 2020 (with an astonishing 212 billion devices connected up to the Internet of Things).
Yoon’s remarks come only weeks after Samsung purchased SmartThings – a US-based developer of a home automation platform – for a reported $200 million.
Using a single Android/iOS app, the company’s $99 smart home controller allows users to monitor, control and customise their connected devices.
The purchase looks a nice fit for the South Korean firm since it already makes a variety of home appliances like TVs, refrigerators, microwaves, washers and dryers. However, these have limited connectivity with each other and the SmartThings acquisition should enable it to strengthen its home automation capabilities.
Samsung can also tap into SmartThings’ extensive ecosystem. In just over two years the US company has supported more than 1,000 devices and 8,000 apps created from its community of device makers, inventors, and developers.
“The opportunities ahead are enormous,” Yoon said at IFA. “The ‘Home of the Future’ will not just boost the tech industry, but will create more jobs and a ripple effect across society – from energy efficiency to safety, and independence for our increasingly aging population. By collaborating with industry partners, Samsung is well positioned to lead and drive this transformation.”