LAS VEGAS – Samsung announced its new high-def TVs, hard drives, entertainment services and smart appliances earlier Monday.
So Boo-Keun Yoon, president and chief executive of the Korean conglomerate’s consumer electronics group, used his opening keynote at CES to talk about the Internet of Things.
Yoon said the Internet of Things is no longer something coming off in the future and is now reality, with all sorts of devices connected online and sharing information gathered by their sensors. They include consumer electronics such as connected cameras.
“It’s not science fiction anymore – it’s science fact,” he said.
As an example, he talked about a “smart” chair that detects when he enters a room and whether he’s cold when he sits down.
That example shows that the technology is not about things but people, he said.
“In other words we are bringing the physical and digital worlds together … this will revolutionize our lives.”
With smart objects, we no longer have to push buttons to activate them. Instead they detect us and automatically help us live more comfortable lives.
“What will you do with this freedom?” he said, adding that he’d personally like to spend more time on the putting green.
To continue the discussion, Yoon passed the microphone to author and consultant Jeremy Rifkin, president of The Foundation on Economic Trends.
Rifkin said that every great economic paradigm shift in history brings together three new technologies: New communications technologies to more efficiently manage activity, new sources of energy and new modes of transportation.
Now, the communications internet is merging with a nascent renewable internet and a fledgling transportation and logistics internet to create a super internet of things.
Rifkin said the rise of the Internet of Things will improve the life of billions but standards need to be formed to share all this data in an open fashion.
Meanwhile Samsung is working on things like sensors that detect smells and electronics that can be left on at all times with better power management.
Yoon called out Samsung’s “Bio” processors that are designed for wearables and other mobile devices.
A video demo showed a phone alarm going off, triggering lights to come on and a TV set to display weather information. The TV senses when the viewer leaves the room and dims. It jumped ahead into the evening, when an app can be used to peruse wines in Samsung’s connected wine refrigerator.
Five years from now, every piece of Samsung hardware will be an Internet of Things device, Yoon said.
Last year it delivered more than 665 million products – around 20 devices per second – to consumers around the world and this should increase, he said. A giant screen filled with images of devices flashed and 20 more were added again and again behind him.
“Just try to picture what this means for the size of the IoT ecosystem,” he said.