Samsung's success, in large part, has been due to the power of its partnerships that it forges with other players in the tech scene, and this could be no truer than in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT), a field that connects everything, including door knobs and remote controls, to the internet. While IoT promises to turn every home into a smart home where everything works well together, achieving that reality is more complex than it sounds.
For one thing, many devices are connected to the internet but run on different platforms. Your smartphone and tablet, if one is made by Samsung and the other isn't, means that your smartphone may run on Tizen (in the future, hopefully high-end "Galaxies" will) but your tablet may run Android or iOS. In a world full of connected devices and home automation, these devices may not work as well together as one would like. To make the smart home truly smart, Samsung has partnered with the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) with a sponsored open-source project called "IoTivity" that has one goal in mind: to make all connected devices work seamlessly together despite the platform.
How IoTivity Works
Samsung showcased its IoT partnership with OCF at CES 2017 by way of its own kiosk devoted to its newest innovations: among them, a robot vacuum cleaner and how it can be paired with the Gear S3 to control the robot remotely. Should the robot run into problems or get stuck, the vacuum cleaner sends notifications to the Gear S3, alerting the owner.
While using your Gear S3 as a remote control for a robot vacuum cleaner sounds pretty impressive in the present, the Korean giant is already planning for the future when smart homes will be as normal as smartphones. Samsung sees a day when your Gear S3 can control more than just a robot vacuum cleaner but can also control your car, air conditioner, TV, lights, refrigerator, and other appliances (even a home security system; enter Samsung's SmartThings platform).
The company showed how the Gear S3 could integrate within the smart home setup to control a "Leaving Home" mode and a "Coming Home" mode that would disable your lights, cut off your TV, turn off your AC, pull down your car's sunroof and roll down your car windows when leaving home but start your TV, modify temperature and control your AC, and lights while rolling up your car windows and car sunroof when you come home (video further down). These two modes would allow you to simply tap once or twice to do multiple tasks at once instead of tapping once for each individual action.
Samsung's partnership with OCF is beneficial for all because it shows that a world controlled by the Internet of Things is a world where all platforms work together. More importantly, Samsung's Tizen is already playing a role in IoTivity due to Gear S2 and Gear S3 compatibility with Android and now, iOS. For Samsung, the Galaxy of the future will involve more than just Samsung Galaxy devices - and that cross-platform "Galaxy" will uplift the industry while propelling Samsung to even greater heights.
The OCF’s theme for this year is ‘All Things Connected’.
The OCF brings together many of the industry’s major players, including Samsung.
The Samsung products presented at the OCF’s CES 2017 booth illustrated how a variety of devices can work together to create a convenient and connected ‘smart’ home.
The exhibit included ‘connected’ living room and garage setups, and provided specific examples of how a unified IoT platform can benefit users as they go about their day.
Both setups illustrated how connected devices could be set to conveniently automate everyday tasks. Here, Samsung’s Gear S3 is used to seamlessly adjust a thermostat and unlock and put the top down on a user’s convertible.
The Gear S3 was also used to control key functions on Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator, allowing the user to adjust the refrigeration mode and alerting them when its door was ajar.