Samsung unveils new products, partnerships, and an IoT strategy
Samsung Electronics today demonstrated how it is taking the Internet of Things (IoT) from vision to reality, using its IFA 2015 press conference in Berlin to showcase a range of new connected devices and IoT services.
The company’s latest contributions to the rapidly growing IoT ecosystem include the SmartThings Hub for the connected home and car, a new partnership with Volkswagen, and Samsung Sleepsense for mobile health.
Samsung SmartThings launched a new line up of more powerful and easier to use IoT devices for the management and security of the connected home. The new Samsung SmartThings Hub has a more powerful processor that enables video monitoring, and includes a battery backup that lasts up to 10 hours in case of a power outage. Balancing privacy with security, the video monitoring capability allows people to access a livestream at any time, yet only records video when an unexpected event, such as motion by the front door, is detected.
SmartThings is also introducing a new solution called ‘Smart Home Monitor’ which provides unified access and control against intrusion, smoke and fire, leaks and floods, and other common household issues by delivering real time notifications and video clips from multiple cameras via the SmartThings app.
Alex Hawkinson, the founder and CEO of SmartThings, said that for the IoT to succeed, IoT devices must be extremely user friendly, while also giving consumers the ability to customise and seamlessly access tools that offer peace of mind when they’re away from home.
The new Samsung SmartThings Hub, sensors and updated mobile app launch in the US today, in the UK next week, and will roll out across Europe in 2016.
Samsung is additionally working with several leading car makers to innovate in the automotive space. Samsung SmartThings will soon integrate with BMW cars by displaying notifications from the SmartThings Hub directly on the dashboard. In turn, the SmartThings app makes it possible to check the technical status of your BMW, and even lock and unlock it remotely.
Samsung also announced details of its partnership with Volkswagen, which will offer drivers a seamlessly connected car experience, through Car Mode for Galaxy, an app that adds value to the driving experience powered by MirrorLink, an standard for car connectivity.
Car Mode for Galaxy, controlled by both touch and voice powered by S-Voice, lets users take calls easily and safely, listen to favourite playlists, or get directions to a destination; it even reads incoming text messages out loud. Users can enjoy all the features through Car Mode for Galaxy mobile app even in a car without mirroring functionality.
The Volkswagen partnership also integrates the Volkswagen Car-Net e-Remote app. The app connects the new Samsung Gear S2 with a range of Volkswagen vehicles, enabling seamless interaction right from the wrist. This includes locating where a car is parked, turning on the air conditioning before returning to the car on a hot day, and managing the battery levels of an electric Volkswagen car.
Also, a sensor to aid sleep, called Samsung SleepSense, has been designed to help consumers to better understand and manage their sleep. The sensor is a flat disk, and by simply by placing it under a bed’s mattress it provides contactless monitoring of a person’s heart and respiratory rate including movements during sleep.
SleepSense is a connected device that helps create the best environment for falling and staying asleep. It connects to Samsung appliances as well as third party IoT devices; for example, when the user falls asleep, the application will automatically turn off the television, and adjust the heating or air conditioning for a perfect sleep environment.
Based on SleepSense’s daily sleep scores and reports, which can be seen on the user’s smartphone, the application provides expert advice and recommendations, taking into account each individual’s metabolism, the result of a collaboration with Dr. Christos Mantzoros from Harvard Medical School. SleepSense delivers an accuracy of up to 97% in the comfort of your own home, claimed Samsung.
“For Samsung, IFA 2015 is all about the IoT. We are certain that IoT will revolutionise the world of consumer electronics, and this is our opportunity to update you on how far we have come in just a year,” said Dr W.P. Hong, chief marketing officer for Samsung Electronics. “Every year, Samsung sells more than 300 million products to European consumers. Today, our products are used by 85 million Europeans, at home, and increasingly at work. No organisation is better placed to ensure that the latest industrial revolution is driven not by technology, but by people’s expectations.”