Samsung CEO: Smart Home Will Die Without Open System

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LAS VEGAS — When Samsung Chief Executive B.K. Yoon looks at a smart fridge, he sees the future of consumer technology. But he knows no single company can make that connected-home dream happen alone. So Samsung is "prepared to play a leading role" in promoting a system that lets Internet-connected devices from any manufacturer work together.

Yoon repeatedly used the words "open" and "openness" during his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday. As is typical for CES keynotes, Yoon generally spoke at a high level about the future of consumer technology — in this case, the ecosystem of connected devices called the "Internet of Things" (known as IoT). Consumers will be stuck, he said, as tech and home companies continue making their own walled-off smart fridges, cabinets and watches: "There won't be an Internet of Things because the 'things' will not fit together."

Samsung is "making a promise: Our IoT components and devices will be open," Yoon said. During the keynote, Samsung announced an updated version of its SmartThings Hub that works with various connected devices — and the new version rolling out in April will work even if power or Internet connection is lost. By 2017, 90 percent of Samsung's products will be IoT devices, Yoon said. "I know in my heart that to make the Internet of Things to happen, it takes more than one company," Yoon said. "We all have to work together."

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— Julianne Pepitone