Internet of Things? Samsung Is the One to Watch

Although Q1 smartphone sales apparently were strong, Samsung is struggling to find business growth in the maturing mobile market. But here's the ironic twist: Samsung's installed base of appliances and devices could be the company's greatest asset -- especially if Samsung's Internet of Things (IoT) strategy catches on with customers.

Samsung's IoT strategy hinges on ARTIK -- a hardware and software development platform for IoT-enabled sensors and devices. ARTIK isn't a single tool. Instead, it's a "family of modules" -- each of which is "scaled for specific types of applications -- from wearables to smart appliances and media hubs," Samsung says.

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Samsung's latest move involves SIGFOX -- which develops an IoT network protocol. Samsung Ventures has invested in SIGFOX, and the result could be "cost-effective" and "energy-efficient" network connections, the companies say.

The proof? SIGFOX claims its Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) technology provides scalable, long-range, two-way connectivity and very high scale capability in more than a dozen countries and major cities. That's not exactly worldwide coverage -- but it is "real" at a time when so many IoT technologies are vaporware.

SIGFOX's technology involves global cellular connectivity, but I'm not sure if or how SIGFOX's network connections interact with WiFi, Ethernet and other existing infrastructure. Plus, Samsung and SIGFOX face intense competition from consumer companies (Apple HomeKit), Internet giants (Google NEST) and IT giants (Cisco Systems IoT).

Still, Samsung has a rare mix of expertise heading into the IoT market -- including experience across chips, software, home appliances, mobile devices and vertical market solutions -- including new smart hotel room and hospitality offerings

For those reasons, I'm intrigued by Samsung ARTIK... though I'm still waiting for a single dashboard to monitor and manage all of that IoT infrastructure -- and the data it produces.

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