Some of the largest tech companies are in Berlin for Internationale Funkausstellung, better known as IFA 2015, with brands including Samsung, Microsoft, Motorola, LG and IBM among those showcasing their latest interconnected innovations to advance the Internet of Things—and help make smart devices even smarter at home and work.
The IoT is everywhere at Europe’s biggest tech show, where UK mobile phone seller Carphone Warehouse released a video snapshot of what caught its eye so far: “We’ve been looking at the Internet of Things—connected devices that talk to your smartphone—and have found some real gems, from Bluetooth-enabled razors to (LG’s) Hombots—robot security guards that double as vacuum cleaners.”
IBM is talking up an extended partnership with ARM, which licenses billions of designs used in mobile device chips. Fortune calls the duo a dream team and an “idiot-proof” industrial internet pairing to connect intelligent devices in the cloud.
“Deploying IoT technology has to be easy, secure and scalable for it to feel like a natural extension of a company’s business,” stated Krisztian Flautner, general manager of ARM’s IoT business. “By collaborating with IBM, we will deliver the first unified chip-to-cloud, enterprise-class IoT platform. This will empower companies of any size with a productivity tool that can readily transform how they operate, and the services they can offer.”
Under the banner of “In Sync With life,” Samsung is signaling a shift from smartphones to the IoT (and challenging Wink and other rivals) by showcasing its SmartThings Hub. The South Korean mobile and electronics leader’s system works with iOS and Android and can operate for 10 hours, even if the power cuts out, thanks to a built-in battery.
Its IoT connection enables such events as triggering a message from a washing machine or oven to its owner’s mobile phone, or greeting a homeowner with a status report on what’s happening at home and beyond.
Samsung’s SmartThings homebase covers a range of smarthome devices, sensors and accessories from a range of brands including Bose, Philips, Honeywell, Yale, LIFX and Aeon. Its “swarm intelligence” connects “individually dumb devices” such as toasters, washing machines, refrigerators and lights.
Samsung also unveiled its SmartThings-compatible gadget called SleepSense, which slips under your mattress, tracks your sleep patterns and sends the data to your phone via Bluetooth.
“We believe a connected home will provide users [with] more information, more piece of mind and more control in their lives – but privacy is fundamental,” said Samsung UK and Ireland president Andy Griffiths to The Guardian.
As for security, Griffiths continued, “The whole thing is encrypted end-to-end – think bank-level security – while we have continuous security checks and third-party auditing. Only you will have access to any data stored in the cloud.”
Samsung is also showcasing its smart office innovations for businesses along with its virtual reality platform, while also pledging to make 100% of its devices interoperable and connected by 2020.
“We have a different philosophy for our IoT vision, not hidden behind a walled garden, but open and interoperable with many devices,” Griffiths commented. “We’re entering a whole IoT era, starting this year, and it will increasingly become the norm in the next three to five years. What we’re doing is appealing to the early adopters.”
LG is demonstrating a trio of new devices including the SmartThinQ Sensor that can be attached to other devices to make them smarter along with an oven and air conditioner that run on LG’s AllJoyn open platform for the internet of things.
Whirlpool is also at IFA 2015, which runs through Sept. 9th, with Bauknecht, its IoT sub-brand targeted at so-called “life balancers” — young millennial women living an active lifestyle with a family and a career.
The premium line of products, washer, dryers and refrigerators can all be controlled with smartphones or tablets running the BLive app for iOS and Android devices. The app also features a visual timeline on how long it will take clothes to dry and where the cycle is at any time.
The fascination with next-gen smart devices is also evident across the Atlantic and back in the US, where a new Internet of Tomorrow project in Denver taking IoT for a spin—literally.
— TiE Rockies (@TiE_Rockies) September 2, 2015
As noted by the Denver Post, the mobile tour features the #drivingIoT bus (sponsored by Arrow Electronics) featuring a Wi-Fi beer tap, Internet septic tank, health care products like a blood pressure monitor, SteadyServ’s Wi-Fi beer tap so bartenders never waste a drop, Solo drones built for GoPro cameras, a Lock your door app online and an invite to tweet #DrivingIoT for free candy. Sounds sweet to us.