Leading the Conversation Around the Internet of Things
About 70 percent of hospital visits among the elderly involve falls at home, in the dark, according to Jeh Kazimi, founder and CEO of Breezie. Imagine what happens to that statistic when the story involves a smart home connected through Internet of Things (IoT) devices and applications. A home in which your room lights automatically turn on when a sensor feels your foot on the floor. Not only would IoT help decrease the number of people admitted to hospitals, it would enable seniors to stay independent longer, more safely and securely, in their homes.
This scenario is just one of many that illustrate the amazing things that can be accomplished through IoT. And while real-world instances of its transformative effects on peoples’ lives are growing, further dialogue is needed to realize its full potential. To help kick start that conversation, Samsung held its inaugural Internet of Things: Transforming the Future policy discussion in Washington, D.C. on June 21.
The event brought hundreds of tech visionaries, government officials, D.C. influencers and media members together for a robust discussion on the future of IoT that encompassed its immense potential as well as some of its potential challenges in the era ahead.
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and CEO Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon opened the dialogue with an overview of the company’s approach to making IoT an integral part of the human experience.
“IoT means bringing the physical and digital worlds together to improve our quality of life,” he said, sharing everyday use cases of IoT.
One example was how a family used it to help their father adjust to life with dementia. The daughter configured his home with IoT sensors and an IoT SmartThings hub that alerted her through her cell phone every time her father left the house without telling anyone, a symptom of his illness. This simple action not only kept the father safer and gave his family better peace of mind, but also allowed him to stay in the family home instead of an assisted-living facility.
According to a recent survey by Deakin University, the U.S. government saves between $75,000 and $225,000 for each year that a person stays in their own home. As of 2016, 5.4 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s disease—one of the many forms of dementia. If families in these cases used IoT as the family Dr. Kwon referenced in the example above, aside from the tremendous cost savings, think of how families would potentially stay intact longer.
If approached properly, innovators can adapt IoT technology to be scaled to address a wide range of societal needs.
Vice Chairman Kwon also unveiled Samsung’s plans to spend $1.2 billion over the next four years for U.S.-based IoT research and development, led by the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center, Global Innovation Center and Samsung Research America.
During the event’s two panel sessions, moderated by Samsung Vice President of Ecosystems and IoT General Manager Curtis Sasaki, and President and CEO at the Information Technology Industry Council, Dean Garfield, the panelists stressed the important role that cross-industry and government collaboration will play in the continued prosperity of the Internet of Things.
“No single organization can invent an end-to-end IoT solution alone,” said Doug Davis, senior vice president and general manager of the Internet of Things group at Intel Corporation. “There has to be collaboration.”
The event didn’t just touch on the theoretical high points of IoT. Much of the conversation revolved around areas of concrete concern, such as privacy and security.
“There needs to be some level of personalization around what’s considered private and what isn’t,” said Mrinalini Ingram, vice president of Smart Cities for Verizon’s Product and New Business division. “It’s important that government communities are thinking about protecting data as new technologies emerge.”
As IoT begins to fully take shape in the coming months and years, Samsung will play a pivotal role in keeping people connected in meaningful ways that transcend mere novelty. We’re crafting the framework of new interactions within our surrounding environments, one connection at a time.
And while questions remain in some areas of the evolving technological landscape, our continued investment in IoT is a testament to our belief that a connected world will lead to a better world for everyone.