Samsung Introduces an “IoT for you” at IFA 2015 Press Conference​

on September 3, 2015
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IFA 2015 has finally arrived and to get things started off with a bang, Samsung held a press conference on September 3 to usher in the long-awaited event. Like last year’s trade show, hundreds gathered at the ultra-modern CityCube Berlin to find out what to expect from Samsung over the coming week. From improved IoT platforms to the latest in UHD TVs to some exciting new products and partnerships, the event was action-packed. Check out the highlights below.




In Sync with Life


Challenging the audience to imagine what the world would be like if all personal devices were connected, YH Eom set the tone for the event by illustrating the main theme for IFA 2015: the Internet of Things. For those that remember, this was also the focus of last year’s show, but as Samsung’s Chief Marketing Officer Dr. WP Hong conveyed in his speech about Samsung’s vision for IoT, this year is all about taking it even further to unlock the infinite possibilities by making IoT completely “in sync with life.”


According to Hong, IoT is not simply a trend, but is “at the heart of today’s Industrial Revolution.” With endless possibilities of how it can transform the world for the better across a variety of industries, Samsung is approaching it through a three-prong philosophy: openness, cross-industry collaboration and—most importantly—a human-centric approach.


“The most important principle of the Internet of Things for Samsung has to be that it’s not driven by technology, but by people’s expectations. It has to be an IoT for you. Only then can it naturally blend into other parts of our lives,” Hong noted.




SmartThings for a Smarter World


In order for IoT to reach its full potential, it requires an exceedingly efficient platform, and as Alex Hawkinson, the founder and CEO of SmartThings, took the stage, it quickly became evident that the latest version of the Samsung SmartThings Hub has what it takes to be that platform.


Considering the needs of consumers—peace of mind, flexibility and control—Hawkinson demonstrated to a captivated audience how the improved platforms’s powerful processor and intelligent video work together so users can monitor their homes from anywhere at anytime.


Balancing privacy with security, the video monitoring capability allows people to access a livestream at any time, yet only records video when an unexpected event, such as motion at the front door, is detected. Likewise, the platform’s Smart Home Monitor service provides alerts if its sensors detect an incident such as a fire or leak.


Along with the new Hub, Hawkinson explained, SmartThings is also launching a more intuitive SmartThings App to make it easy for consumers to make their homes (and cars) more connected. In fact, thanks to their collaboration with BMW, users will soon be able to be notified about any issues with their automobile, or lock it remotely.


“Together we will grow an open IoT ecosystem all around the world,” Hawkinson proclaimed. “That’s because the SmartThings platform is at the heart of Samsung’s drive to build the Internet of Things.”




SleepSense: Personalized Well-Being


Another way Samsung is growing the IoT ecosystem is through its IoT-enabled devices. Dr. Christo Mantzoros from Harvard Medical School was up next to discuss the importance of a good night’s sleep, as well as his role in the collaboration with Samsung Electronics.


Shaped like a flat disc and designed to be placed under a bed’s mattress, Samsung SleepSense* provides contactless monitoring of an individual’s vital sleep health data with up to 97% accuracy**. Providing daily sleep scores, reports and recommendations through the SleepSense smartphone app, users will be able to improve the quality of their sleep, and thus their overall health.


The app can also be connected to other Samsung smart devices to control lighting and room temperature to create an optimal sleeping environment. And, unlike most sleep studies, Mantzoros noted, there aren’t any complicated or stressful overnight tests.



Home, Sweet Smart Home


Talk of IoT in the home didn’t end there. Samsung’s latest addition to its home appliance collection, the Samsung WW8500 AddWash, was unveiled. Boasting an extra door, the washing machine allows users to add clothing items (hence the name) at any washing cycle.


Even better is that the eco-friendly AddWash is a connected washing machine, as Dan Harvie, Director of Samsung Electronics Europe, explained, so it can easily be controlled by a smartphone. Furthermore, the device utilizes Samsung’s ecobubble™ and SuperSpray technology, along with a slew of features such as the SuperSpeed cycle for a faster, better clean.


Harvie cited, “The Samsung AddWash is truly going to change the way you do your laundry.”


Moving along to televisions, Samsung announced some exciting partnerships with Amazon, Netflix, Wuaki, Chili, Strefa VoD, Videoland and Videoload, as well as regional broadcast partners across Europe, including Canal Plus, British Telecom (BT) and HD+, who are all vital for creating and delivering UHD content to a global consumer base.


Michael Zoeller, Vice President, European Head of Visual Display TV/AV/Display, also explained how Samsung’s line-up of Curved TVs now includes over 28 models, from 32-inch up to 105-inch in size—the biggest range of Curved Televisions on the market by far. He also announced the new Samsung Ultra HD Blu-Ray Player, which is capable of upscaling content to provide UHD resolution for any disc, as well as 4K streaming services.


Along with new content, Zoeller mentioned, Samsung’s new partnership with Gamefly will give gaming fanatics a chance to access the well-known and much loved streaming service from their UHD TVs, without the need for any extra equipment such as consoles, cables or discs.


Coming Together to Connect


These advancements are no doubt making houses smarter, but IoT, after all, isn’t all about the home. Jean-Daniel Ayme, Vice President of Mobile at Samsung Electronics Europe, the final speaker of the press conference, explored some of the ways Samsung is taking IoT beyond the walls of the home, into the office with cloud printing and on the road with connected cars.


Ayme announced the details of Samsung’s partnership with Volkswagen, which will offer drivers a seamlessly connected car experience through Car Mode for Galaxy, an app powered by MirrorLink™, an industry-leading standard for car connectivity. Controlled by touch, as well as voice powered by S-Voice, the app allows users to take calls easily and safely, and reads incoming text messages aloud for a more enhanced and safer driving experience.


The Volkswagen partnership also integrates the Volkswagen App for wearables, which launches in Europe next month. The app connects the new Samsung Gear S2 with a range of Volkswagen vehicles, enabling seamless interaction right from one’s wrist. Users can easily locate their car in a crowded parking lot, or turn on the air conditioning before getting in their vechicle on a hot day.


“It’s these kinds of collaborations that will take the Internet of Things beyond our homes,” Ayme exclaimed in his closing statement.


As the press conference wrapped up, YH Eom reiterated the importance of IoT and invited guests to explore the already-here technology at the Samsung IoT Zone, designed in collaboration with world-renowned architect and designer Ferrucio Lavini.


With so many things to look forward to, it’s clear that IFA 2015 will be the best yet, and Samsung Tomorrow will continue to bring you the latest in all the excitement and the technology that is truly in sync with life.


*Developed in partnership with medical device manufacturer EarlySense

**Based on Samsung internal testing data


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