Most brands with their heads on straight can recognize that the Internet of Things is going to be paradigm-changing when it finally kicks into gear, but rather than get caught off guard by some upstart competitor, Samsung wants to have its finger in the IoT pot from the get-go.
Samsung has pledged $1.2 billion over the next four years in investments into U.S.-based startups and IoT think tanks. In a statement, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and CEO Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon explained that the bulk of the funding will be spent on groups that develop products with an eye toward enhancing the human experience in a new age of consumer electronics.
“At Samsung, putting people at the center of everything we do is our highest value,” Kwon said. “The same must be true for IoT if we want to realize its full transformative power. Today, IoT is changing individual lives, helping people to age in their own homes. But tomorrow, using IoT, we can give the same independence to millions of Americans. We can keep people out of hospitals and nursing homes. As our populations live longer, these benefits and cost savings for society cannot be ignored.”
The announcement was part of Samsung’s first-ever “Internet of Things — Transforming the Future” event, hosted on Tuesday (June 21) in Washington, D.C. — hence the U.S.-based investments. Rather than a foreign cash drop, though, Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn told Forbes that the U.S. government has an equally important role to play alongside Samsung as a driver of change.
“The government shouldn’t be a late adopter,” Sohn said.