Samsung pledges to boost French tech
The company who recently launched the Artik open IoT platform, consolidated its partnership with IoT network provider Sigfox by becoming a share holder of the French company. Sohn made the announcement shaking hands with Sigfox’ CEO Ludovic Le Moan and Anne Lauvergeon, chairwoman of the board.
This was in recognition of Sigfox pioneering the IoT network infrastructure at a time when connected objects only had short range power-hungry options, and clearly a sign that Samsung wants to be part of the data mining rush.
Sohn also announced the opening of a Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center in Paris and said the company was committed to a long term collaboration with the French Tech community for innovation in IoT, encouraging startups and mature industrial partners alike to leverage Samsung’s SmartThings Open Cloud together with the Artik IoT modules (which happen to be Sigfox-ready).
Although no specific figures were disclosed, French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry Emmanuel Macron joined Sohn on stage to thank him personally.
Left, Samsung Electronics’ President and Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn is praised by French Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry Emmanuel Macron.
"Thanks for believing in France and for investing in our country", Macron said, "French tech is getting there and Samsung Ventures’ investments in the French ecosystem is exactly what France needs", he added, insisting that IoT is one of the country’s top priorities to accelerate industrial and tech development.
Sohn was particularly keen to highlight the engineering talents available in France and emphasized the fact that as a large corporation, Samsung’s role wasn’t to swallow smaller companies or kill startups before they became competitors, but rather to help them grow within the open IoT ecosystem it was building.
In 2015, Samsung is committed to spending over 100 million US dollars in developer investment (read dev kits and tool support for Artik within the SmartThings Open Cloud), and by 2020, Sohn said 100% of Samsung’s digital appliances would be connected.
Prior to introducing the three Artik modules as the equivalent of Sigfox-enabled bare bone smartphone computer platforms, Sohn gave us a view of how IoT looked like on the world map, browsing through https://thingful.net, a search engine dedicated to indexing IoT devices and their data streams across the globe.
Sohn browsing on IoT search engine Thingful.net
Then he zoomed in on the California coast where he admitted, one of his favorite past-times is to go kite-surfing in the waves.
As an example of an innovative way to use IoT in a completely autonomous manner, Sohn described how (video footage of him launching wild aerials over furious seas, my respect for that) he had used a drone that automatically tracked his position half a mile out thanks to an arm-band tracker he was wearing, to constantly focus its camera on the kite-surfer while flying autonomously above the sea as a video-recording companion.
All had been setup from existing technology, but the point Sohn wanted to make was that with the Artik boards, the supercomputers that Samsung smartphones had become where now shrunk to the tiny Artik wirelessly-connected boards ready to enable more wearable and IoT innovation.
An open cloud infrastructure and a reliable IoT network will become increasingly important to make sense of all the singular data points that eventually billions of smart connected devices will generate across the globe, he emphasized.
"How do you make all the data come together and make sense of it?" He asked the audience, when potentially hundreds of millions of wearable healthcare devices could generate each about 1 Gbyte of data per day, or when billions of sensor nodes will be disseminated for micro-farming.
Sohn was joined on stage by several French companies and startups whose products required both Sigfox’ low power network connectivity, and with which he said Samsung had collaborated (BodyCap who demonstrated an ingestible pill that wirelessly transmits accurate body temperature measurements and Weenat who developed a number of temperature and humidity sensors for real-time micro-farming).
He also delivered what he said where the first Artik development kits in France, to startup FlyLab for the development of open source autonomous drones, to well established kitchen ware company SEB, and to a French electronics engineering school (École supérieure d’ingénieurs en électrotechnique et électronique) based in Amiens for the promotion of IoT in education.
More information about the Artik platform at www.artik.io.
Visit Samsung Electronics at www.samsung.com
Visit SIGFOX at www.sigfox.com