CES 2015: Samsung calls for openness on net of things

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Samsung said all its products will be IoT ready within five years

The push to create an "internet of things" (IoT) will fail unless electronics firms collaborate more, Samsung has warned.

The potential of the technology will go unrealised unless gadgets and appliances from different manufacturers can easily share data, it said.

This openness will also help people manage the smart gadgets they own, said the boss of the South Korean firm.

Within five years, all Samsung hardware will be IoT enabled, he added.

Open net

"The internet of things has the potential to transform our society, economy and how we live our lives," said Boo Keun Yoon, chief executive of Samsung, during a keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The Samsung boss said sensors were getting increasingly accurate and soon would be able to adapt and change as people move around the world.

"It is our job to pull together - as an industry, and across different sectors - to make true on the promise of the internet of things," he said, adding that the IoT was now a "science fact".

The internet of things refers to efforts to turn formerly dumb devices such as fridges, thermostats and the like into smarter gadgets that can report on their status or be controlled remotely.

Many hardware firms are working on appliances that can be interrogated via tablets and smartphones or seeking ways to control older devices via smart switches.

In its press conference at CES, LG talked about a system it is developing that will let people talk to gadgets to control them rather than use text messages or apps.

However, the different control systems are often made by different firms and few are currently collaborating on a common way to interrogate and control devices.

Mr Yoon said this had to change for the true promise of IoT technology to become a reality and to avoid gadgets being caught in conflicting silos. He pledged that Samsung's devices would now be open and interoperable.

The Samsung boss was joined on stage by Alex Hawkinson from SmartThings, which makes a hub that can control and co-ordinate devices from many different firms.

"For the internet of things to be a success, it has to be open," said Mr Hawkinson. "Any device, from any platform, must be able to connect and communicate with one another."

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