[THE INVESTOR] Desperate to find new future growth engines, Samsung Electronics
is betting big on the Internet of Things, a network technology which connects objects with humans.
The electronics giant has announced a package of plans to grow the business for the connected technology at the Internet of Things Policy Dialogue, an industry conference held at the head office of the US daily Washington Post in Washington on June 21.
In his speech at the event, Samsung’s vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun vowed to invest around $1.2 billion in the US over the next four years, aiming to nurture the IoT business.
“Samsung, together with its research and development centers in Silicon Valley, Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center, Global innovation Center, and Samsung Research America, will focus on developing IoT technologies and collaborate with start-ups in the sector,” vice chairman Kwon said.
He did not give details on the investment plan, but some market watchers expect Samsung to set aside a large portion of the money to take over emerging start-ups as the Korean tech giant has done in recent years.
The company has purchased a handful of Silicon Valley start-ups, most prominently mobile payment solution firm LoopPay in Feb. 2015, and home automation solution firm SmartThings in Aug. 2014.
The Korean tech firm also acquired cloud firm Joyent earlier this month, whose software development platform Node.js is one of the most-used programing tools in the world.
“The company will execute investments for various purposes, for example, to fund projects at its R&D centers and proceed with acquisition deals of start-ups,” said Chae Soo-yeon, a public relations representative from Samsung.
Concerted efforts among market players, academia and relevant organizations to foster IoT businesses are an integral factor to make a truly connected world, the Samsung vice chairman said.
“The IoT (technology) is already penetrating our daily lives, and collaborative works are highly necessary in order to find ways to enhance the potentials and value of IoT tech,” the Samsung vice chairman said.
In order to accelerate such collaboration, Samsung said the company and US chipmaker Intel have launched the National IoT Strategy Dialogue, an advisory group committed to growing the IoT technologies and businesses.
“The group has been formed at the right time as more attention is being paid to IoT at the moment,” said Douglas Davis, the senior vice president of Intel.
The IoT group will be led by the U.S. Information Technology Industry Council, a Washington-based trade association for the IT industry.
The IoT push by Samsung and Intel is expected to boost chip manufacturing businesses of the two semiconductor powerhouses as most digital devices need chips to be connected with each other.
Samsung said earlier this week it would ramp up its efforts to grow the ARTIK platform, an integrated Systems on Module that combines multiple chips, including application processor, memory, sensor, and communications module.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org