Appliance and tech conglomerate Samsung is looking to expand its reach beyond smartphones and Internet of Things-connected fridges, ranges, and TVs into home building.
Samsung seeks to bring competing AI under one umbrella by building the smart home itself, rather than pitching smart home connectivity product by product. The company's construction business, C&T Corp., built the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and will supervise the smart home pilot project, Bloomberg reports. Jonathan Collins, an analyst at ABI Research, says, “Samsung has significant potential to leverage its existing reach ... [and] is certainly more ambitious in its partnerships, including competing AIs.” ABI Research predicts that there will be nearly 300 million smart homes globally by 2022.
Inside an airy, lavish model house in Seoul, Samsung’s virtual assistant, Bixby, can show visitors what’s inside the kitchen fridge while Amazon’s Alexa assistant controls the living-room lighting and A/C, and a speaker developed by Naver Corp. recommends music and TV shows. Samsung software overlays the in-house and competing products to create a unified control system, and so the company might someday be able to analyze the data created to refine its so-called internet of things.
“We are trying to combine various IoT technologies to create an environment where the house knows who you are,” said Kim Myung-suk, a vice president overseeing the project at Samsung’s construction unit.