LAS VEGAS— B.K. Yoon, who leads Samsung’s electronics business, took the stage this evening at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to talk about the future of connected devices.
Showing a slide of the hit movie Back to the Future, Yoon declared that the age of the Internet of Things has already started.
“It is not science fiction anymore. It is science fact,” said Yoon.
The pre-show CES keynote was, for many years, given by Microsoft’s Bill Gates, presenting a vision for the future of technology and rallying the industry around important issues. In that way, Yoon’s keynote tonight is filling a similar role, for the new wave of connected, intelligent devices.
Yoon said that the digital and physical worlds are coming together through the Internet of Things, a combination that “will revolutionize our lives, and unleash infinite possibilities.”
Yoon added that it is up to the tech industry to explain the value of these connected devices, showing how the devices will help “us lead more comfortable lives.”
That means individuals could have more time to spend time with family or participate in hobbies.
“It is these great benefits that we need to explain,” said Yoon, adding the the Internet of Things has the potential to transform our economy and our society and how we live our lives.”
Yoon later pledged that Samsung’s devices will work across different ecosystems, not just with its own products.
“We can deliver the future of IoT only if all sensors and all devices work with each other,” he said. “Our iOT components and devices will be open.”
By 2017, he said, 90 percent of Samsung devices will be Internet of Things devices.
Yoon brought out Alex Hawkinson, the CEO of the SmartThings sensor company that was acquired by Samsung last year. Hawkinson announced a new SmartThings Premium service that will extend the capabilities of the sensors to groups of people.
Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman then came out on stage, also stressing the importance of developers and industry collaboration.
Elmar Frickenstein, BMW senior vice president, was invited on stage to talk about BMW’s collaboration with Samsung, through devices including Samsung’s smartwatches and tablets. He spoke into the smartwatch on his wrist, “BMW, pick me up,” and a video showed an autonomous car driving through a parking garage to where he was standing. (Come on, no live demo on stage?)
Yoon stressed the importance of security for the Internet of Things, calling it a “test for which our whole industry has to work closely together.”
The music swelled behind him as he gave his big conclusion.
“The changes so far are nothing compared to what’s ahead. I know in my heart, to make the Internet of Things happen, it takes more than one company, more than one industry. To create this IoT universe, we all have to work together …”
“Ladies and gentlemen, the Internet of Things, this IoT for you, for us all, it’s coming, what we are holding in our hands are infinite possibilities, now it’s up to us to enact them! Thank you very much.”