Samsung Set to Invest $1.2bn in Internet of Things Startups

Vice chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics, Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon, announces the new initiative

South Korean electronics giant Samsung has announced it plans to invest $1.2bn (£815m) in Internet of Things startups and research in the US over the next four years, as it aims to accelerate the progress of IoT and improve quality of life for consumers globally.

Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon, vice chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics, unveiled the companys vision for “human-centred IoT”, which will split funds equally between internal research projects and investment in third-party companies. The initiative will be led by the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center, the Global Innovation Center and Samsung Research America.

The ambitious plans were announced at a Samsung-hosted event in Washington, D.C. called Internet of Things: Transforming the Future, where Kwon called on both industry leaders and government policymakers to lead the way when it came to finding ways for IoT to benefit society.

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

Addressing the government representatives present, he also warned that sector-specific regulations would lead to fragmented development in the IoT industry, impeding devices and platforms from connecting to each other and working to their full potential.

Samsungs existing IoT range, SmartThings, includes connected outlets, multipurpose sensors and a smart hub to connect and integrate devices, and works with a variety of third-party devices including Phillips Hue connected lights, Yale smart locks and Honeywell thermostats.