Samsung CEO pledges the Internet of Things will be open, backs it with cash

6 January 2015 by Steve Blum
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“As president of Samsung I am making a promise: our IoT components and devices will be open”, declared BK Yoon, CEO and president of Samsung Electronics. “The Internet of Things needs an open ecosystem”.

He was speaking to a packed keynote audience at CES tonight. The head of the planet’s dominant consumer electronics company remarks put him squarely on the side of open standards and freedom of access on the Internet.

Samsung will need easy and open access if it’s going to meet the goals Yoon laid out tonight: by 2017, 90% of Samsung Electronics – and all of its phones and televisions – will be IoT enabled, and within 5 years all products, across all lines, will be.

Yoon said that he’s heard many people in the industry say that the IoT should run on a common operating system. The problem, though, is that when other companies put a standard forward, “it only works with only their technology”.

He highlighted Samsung’s role in developing SmartThings, one of the IoT OS contenders, saying that he got involved only on the condition that the result will be an open standard. Yoon also made a commitment to support the development community, saying Samsung was going to expand its developer outreach program and spend more on it, above even last year’s $100 million.

“The technology to make it happen is real, the Internet of Things is ready to go”, he said. The prime benefits will be “personal safety and consumer convenience”. But “the Internet of Things must be secure. Security must be baked into the hardware and software at every level.”

Yoon’s vision comes down to cooperation, not just between companies but across entire industries. “We all have to work together”.