Samsung CEO: The Internet of Things ‘Isn’t Science Fiction Anymore — It’s Science Fact’

Samsung Electronics CEO and President BK Yoon in Las Vegas on Jan. 4. (Photo: Tim Loehrke, USA Today)
Samsung Electronics CEO and President BK Yoon in Las Vegas on Jan. 4. (Photo: Tim Loehrke, USA Today)

Samsung Electronics CEO BK Yoon put it simply: The Internet of Things is “ready to go.”

As head of the $211 billion global giant, Yoon is betting the Internet of Things is The Next Big Thing, to pilfer the company’s marketing slogan. Yoon envisions the market, which has grown into hundreds of billions of dollars, as no less than the next act in tech’s evolution.

“It’s not science fiction anymore — it is science fact,” Yoon said in remarks prepared for an hour-long keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show here late Monday. “I would argue that the age of the Internet of Things has already started,” he said.

Samsung’s calculus is IoT – after years of considerable hype – is poised to touch every facet of consumers’ lives, reducing their time, cost and resources on most daily tasks. Although nearly one-third of consumers are interested in IoT, only 2% have such devices, according to Samsung.

“It has the potential to to transform our economy, our society, and how we live our lives,” Yoon said.

The concept has prompted changes in Samsung’s business model, and helped forged collaborations with the likes of BMW and Jawbone. Samsung also intends to help the industry establish a new standard and ecosystem.

By 2017, he said, 90% of Samsung products will be IoT devices. Within five years, every piece of Samsung hardware — from air purifier to oven — will be an IoT device.

In August, Samsung snapped up SmartThings, a U.S.-based start-up specializing in smartphone-operated, home-device controllers, for a reported $200 million.

“The SmartThings ecosystem is now compatible with more devices than any other platform,” SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson said in an interview, adding that SmartThings developers have doubled the past four months, to 10,000. He was expected to announce the launch of SmartThings Premium, a subscription service.

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SOURCE: Jon Swartz
USA TODAY

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