Samsung Invests Heavily In IoT For US Market

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Pledges £820m IoT investment in the United States and challenges rivals to develop “human centred” IoT applications

Samsung has pledged to invest a significant sum of money to help develop Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in North America.

The South Korean electronics giant announced that it would spend $1.2 billion (£817m) over 4 years for US-based IoT R&D and investments.

Human-Centred

The announcement comes after Samsung Electronics CEO Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon pledged a ‘human-centred’ IoT vision for the company.

The money will be channeled though the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Centre, Global Innovation Centre and Samsung Research America. The funds will also reportedly be used to help IoT startup firms.

And Samsung’s Dr Kwon also challenged rival tech firms to “start talking and thinking differently about IoT”. He wants all tech firms to adopt a human-centred approach for IoT.

“I am excited to show how we are moving IoT to the centre of our strategy and am delighted to announce that Samsung is planning to spend $1.2 billion in US-centred IoT investments and R&D over the next 4 years,” said Dr Kwon.

“At Samsung, putting people at the centre of everything we do is our highest value,” said Dr Kwon.

“The same must be true for IoT if we want to realise its full transformative power. Today, IoT is changing individual lives – helping people to age in their own homes. But tomorrow, using IoT, we can give the same independence to millions of Americans. We can keep people out of hospitals and nursing homes. As our populations live longer, these benefits and cost savings for society cannot be ignored.”

Samsung is certainly betting heavily on IoT. Last week for example it purchased Joyent, a San Francisco-based public and private cloud provider. Samsung said the deal would support its growing range of IoT, mobile, and cloud software and services products.

Samsung also announced separately the formation of the National IoT Strategy Dialogue with chip giant Intel.

The initiative is designed to help firms to collaboratively develop strategic recommendations for US policy makers on the Internet of Things. It will be managed by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), will involve ITI’s member companies as well as other industry stakeholders.

“We look forward to working with Intel, ITI and other stakeholders in Washington to find the collaborative path forward in bringing the transformative benefits and solutions of IoT to scale,” said Dr Kwon.

Samsung PaySamsung Pay

Samsung meanwhile has also opened up about it Samsung Pay, which is in the process of being launched in Europe. Spain is to be the first European market, but others including the UK will quickly follow.

Samsung Pay has already launched in South Korea, the United States and China, where it has witnessed strong adoption for the service.

Samsung Pay differs notably from that of Apple Pay. Unlike Apple, Samsung is not seeking fees from financial partners. Essentially, it just wants Samsung Pay to help it sell more smartphones.

“We’re a hardware company, and at the end of the day I think what we’re trying to do is get people who hold (one of) our phones and use it … to just love it more,” Elle Kim, Global VP of Samsung Pay, told Reuters.

Samsung hopes that its more flexible approach will prove attractive for financial partners and banks, and drive its uptake. Samsung Pay also uses different technology Apple Pay in order to authorise its payments.

Apple Pay only works with sales terminals equipped with Near Field Communications (NFC) technology. But the fact that Samsung Pay compatible phones can utilise both NFC and the older Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology (which mimics the magnetic strip on traditional payment cards), means that it will work at over 90 percent of the top 250 retailers and the vast majority of small, local businesses.

The company beleives that its ability to utilise MST gives Samsung Pay a notable advantage in countries such as the United States, where NFC terminals have yet to see widespread adoption.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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