Samsung smart TVs will all be IoT compatible from 2016

All of Samsung's smart TVs will be used for controlling IoT devices in the home from 2016, including connected lights, sound, and security.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Samsung has announced that all smart TVs from 2016 will be Internet of Things (IoT) compatible, with the company focusing on its smart home offerings.

By connecting to Samsung's home-automation IoT platform, called SmartThings, the company's 2016 SUHD TVs will enable users to manage and control all smart devices in the home, including lights, locks, thermostats, surround sound systems, front door cameras, and motion censors.

"The 2016 line-up of smart TVs will offer consumers new possibilities and cement Samsung's market-leading position as the first company to launch IoT-ready TVs," said Hyun Suk Kim, president of Samsung Electronics' Visual Display Business.

Samsung is slated to demonstrate the use cases of its IoT-enabled smart TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next week.

"With Samsung smart TVs working with the SmartThings technology, we have an opportunity to reach millions of households," said Alex Hawkinson, CEO and co-founder of SmartThings, which was acquired by Samsung in 2014.

"Applying this technology into current household devices is a major step forwards that will make it much easier for everyone to experience the benefits of a smart home."

In May, Samsung Electronics president and chief strategy officer Young Sohn unveiled a new series of chips designed expressly for IoT mechanisms.

The smallest chip, Artik One -- designed to be used with location-based activity trackers such as smart bands -- features a 250MHz dual-core processor, a nine-axis motion sensor, Bluetooth Low Energy support, and 4MB of flash memory.

The mid-range chip, Artik Five -- to be used for smart home hubs -- comes with a 1GHz dual-core processor, a video decoder and encoder, 512MB DRAM, and 4GB of flash memory.

The top-tier chip, Artik 10, is designed to be used as a system for home servers and personal clouds, and is fitted out with a 1.3GHz Octacore processor, an HD encoder and decoder, 5.1 audio, local intelligence, 2GB of DRAM, and 16GB of flash memory.

"We want you to leverage the same technology in our phones in the IoT market," Sohn said. "Technology can do something about how we live."

Samsung in September used the IFA consumer electronics conference in Berlin to unveil a series of devices for its IoT suite and smart home offering, including its refreshed SmartThings hub, a censor named SleepSense to track sleep quality with 97 percent accuracy, and a smart washing machine with accompanying Android and iOS apps for alerts.

(Image: Samsung)

"We have to show consumers what's in it for them and what IoT can achieve," Boo-Keun Yoon, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics, said at CES 2015.

He added that IoT has the potential to "transform our economy, society, and how we live our lives".

Yoon had promised that by 2017, 90 percent of all Samsung devices would be IoT enabled, with all Samsung hardware to be IoT ready within five years.

"It's obvious the Internet of Things will change much more than our industry," Yoon said. "That's because it will touch every aspect of our lives and revolutionize every industry."

Samsung also plans to make its smart TVs the next-gen ecosystem for gaming, with the consumer tech giant developing its own gaming controller to be used with its TVs.

"The gaming ecosystem was formed by the changes in platform, from wired PCs to online to mobile. The questions is: What's next? In our generation, I believe the last platform will be smart TVs," said YC Kim, vice president of Samsung's Visual Display business, at the Max Summit 2015 in Seoul in October.

"We plan to bring in IPs that succeeded in online, PC, console, and mobile to the smart TV."

Despite criticisms in February that its smart TVs are eavesdropping on users and delivering information to third parties such cloud service providers, Samsung saw an overall growth in shipments of TVs, particularly in North America and Europe, which it said contributed to its net profit of 5.46 trillion won ($4.8 billion) for Q3.

Samsung also announced plans on Tuesday to bring its Samsung Pay feature to lower-end smartphones.

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