The investment, revealed last week at a forum in Washington, D.C., will move IoT to the center of Samsung's strategy, and will focus on using connected devices for benefits to society, said Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and CEO Oh- Hyun Kwon.
"At Samsung, putting people at the center of everything we do is our highest value. … The same must be true for IoT if we want to realize its full transformative power," said Kwon at the forum. "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."
Samsung’s investment will target IoT applications with social benefits, such as digital health, smart machines and autonomous vehicles, according to the company.
Lee Drake, CEO of OS-Cubed, a Rochester, N.Y.-based solution provider, said the term "Internet of Things" is still vague – but predicts that more connected devices will lead to opportunities in the future.
"The 'Internet of Things,' like 'cloud computing,' is a pretty generic term, and could easily be construed as pretty much everything Samsung makes these days," said Drake. "Nonetheless, it seems likely that as time goes on, more and more of the things we use every day will be internet-connected."
While IoT may be a vague term now, according to research firm IDC, the global Internet of Things market will be worth $1.7 trillion in 2020.
Drake said his reseller business will see both challenges and opportunities in the next few years in integrating these devices, coordinating their use and crafting unique solutions using the device capabilities.
This is not Samsung's first move into IoT – just last week, Samsung said it will acquire U.S. cloud firm Joyent to bolster its IoT-related software and services. Last year, Samsung also launched Artik, a System on a Chip (SoC) that connects objects and the computing power behind those objects.