Performance Ignited

For Tech Makers, Collaboration Is Critical for Creating the Best 'Internet of Things'

LAS VEGAS -- If you were to ask Samsung Electronics president and CEO BK Yoon to describe the future of his company, and really the tech industry in general, he’d most likely answer with three words: Internet of Things. During his keynote presentation here at the Consumer Electronics Show, Yoon said approximately 90 percent of Samsung devices will be related to the Internet of Things by 2017.

Yoon also made a plea that industry giants, as well as aspiring tech entrepreneurs, work together to develop the best connected products and services. The key to the future of the Internet of Things is that all devices are compatible on open platforms, Yoon said. That will require deeper collaboration among the major tech companies.

“Our whole industry needs to pull together to really make Internet of Things a reality,” Yoon said. Anticipating this shift, Samsung in August snapped up smart-home startup SmartThings for about $200 million.

Samsung isn’t the only company getting behind the connectivity craze. By 2020, the global Internet of Things market is expected to grow to $7.1 trillion, according to data from Framingham, Mass.-based research firm IDC. That’s up from about $1.9 trillion in 2013.

Related: Our Smartphones Have Changed Everything

During his presentation, Yoon and SmartThings founder and CEO Alex Hawkinson announced the “next generation” version of the SmartThings hub, featuring a more powerful processor and local app engine, built-in backup battery power, and expanded connectivity options that provide customers with “the widest range of devices supported by any smart home platform.”

Samsung also highlighted a collaboration with German car maker BMW. The companies are developing solutions that allow car owners to use connected devices like smartphones and smartwatches to deliver voice and gesture-related commands to their cars.

"The Internet of Things has the power to change our economy, our society, and improve the way we live our lives," Yoon said. "The Internet of Things is no longer science fiction. It's science fact."

Related: Sony Is Bringing Back the Walkman (Again)