Samsung Wants to Smarten Homes Through Innovation in IoT

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Samsung is betting big on IoT and AI to connect homes of the future. An exclusive interview for EFY-ACE, with Rajeev Bhutani, Senior Vice- President, Consumer Electronics Business, Samsung India

Rajeev Bhutani, Samsung India’s SVP, Consumer Electronic Business is joined by actress Pranitha Subhash at the launch of the company’s QLED TVs in India

According to NASSCOM, the IoT market in India is expected to reach $15 Billion by 2020. Samsung, as per Rajeev Bhutani, is looking at developing IoT products and features to suit the needs of its consumers. Samsung’s majority IoT work happens at its two manufacturing units, five R&D centres (including 2 of Harman) and one design centre located in India.

Here are some more interesting excerpts from a quick chat with Rajeev Bhutani, SVP, Consumer Electronics Business, Samsung India.

Que 1 – What is the level of awareness about IoT in India? How easy or difficult is it to promote the idea of a connected home to Indian consumers?

Samsung strongly feels that there is a lot of potential for IoT oriented products. Advanced technologies such as IoT combined with artificial intelligence and voice assistants are creating a new future for the consumers.

The Indian consumer is open to the idea of connected homes, according to NASSCOM, the IoT market in India is expected to reach $15 Billion by 2020. Recent studies suggest that using connected devices in a home environment could reduce domestic energy consumption by at least 10 per cent.

In India, most millennials view IoT as an enabler for connected living. According to the research, domestic automation appears to be an essential for today’s consumer, since bulk of consumers believe that IoT is all about, smart homes having connected devices and smartphones. The Indian market is constantly growing in terms of wearable technology, with IoT applied in fitness, healthcare, lifestyle and infotainment sectors.

Majority of millennials today are tempted and are more inclined to buy technology that can contribute to making their lives easier given their hectic lifestyle. Having said that, popular opinion of what constitutes IoT needs to advance through education and awareness, for society to build a sustainable IoT ecosystem.

Que 2 – What is the nature of R&D undertaken by Samsung in the area of IoT with specific reference to India? Besides individual product development, is Samsung also spending R&D budgets and strategies on connecting them?

Samsung is committed to develop ground-breaking products and services that will shape the next era of connected living. With two manufacturing units, five R&D centres (including 2 of Harman) and one design centre in India, we are always looking at developing IoT products and features to suit the needs of our consumers.

We offer a diverse range of connected home appliances that demonstrate the exciting ways in which the company’s advancements in AI and IoT technologies simplify the lives of consumers. Samsung spent more than $14 billion on R&D globally last year and has more than 65,000 engineers and designers working to innovate and, bring the best products and solutions for our consumers. Our customer-centric approach helps us in delivering the best-in-class and most suited technology to our consumers. At present, Samsung provides half a billion connected devices every year.

Globally, we have been the pioneer in introducing IoT to its customers. Our 2020 aim is to make all the devices IoT enabled and we have already achieved 90 per cent of it. In India, unlocking the true potential of IoT through interoperability will unveil new possibilities for the technology to transform consumers’ lives. As the adoption of IoT increases, Samsung R&D India will continue its mission to provide interoperability for consumers, businesses and developers both in India and around the world.

Que – 3 Samsung already has a range of home appliances that have made their way into Indian homes. Which of these are ideal to be brought under the IoT umbrella?

Samsung with its vast portfolio of premium home appliances products believes in open innovation and making technology accessible to the masses.

Providing a personalised experience, Samsung’s smart innovation spans across the range of products including Smart TVs, Air Conditioners, Kitchen Appliances, and more offer a level of convenience and seamless-ness that only Samsung, with its deep know-how of technology among product categories, including chipsets and smartphones, can deliver. Each product offers a level of personalization that can help users streamline everything from managing household chores to enjoying their favourite entertainment.

Que 4 – When a consumer in India walks into a store to choose and buy a standalone Samsung device, how does a Samsung salesperson convince him/her to look at a broader IoT scheme of things?

Samsung, supported by a strong network of retail outlets and 3,000 customer service points is the largest by any company in the country. Since its entry into India in 1995, Samsung has set new benchmarks in innovation led manufacturing and consumer marketing, and established itself as a truly national brand. Samsung has trained sales person in their outlets who understand the requirements of the consumers and help them make informed purchase decision.

Informed about the various features of the products, the Samsung representative is able to educate the consumers on the benefits of adopting and actively using smart home technology. Which could be in the form of using smart technology to monitor the house at all times, helping save money on energy bills thanks to lower energy consumption to planning meals, coordinating family schedules, make shopping lists and even entertaining by playing your favourite songs and movies on your refrigerator.

This story is written by Anand Parthasarathy. His rich experience, reporting ACE (Appliances and Consumer Electronics) stories encompasses working 15 years with The Hindu as its IT Consulting Editor. He is a qualified instrumentation systems engineer who has worked for 20 years as a scientist on numerous defence R&D projects, and as a project manager for surface-to-air missiles at DRDO.

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