Samsung draws rosy picture of IoT in lackluster CES keynote

There was little in the way of new ideas to keep the evening moving along

Samsung's B.K. Yoon at CES on Monday
Samsung's B.K. Yoon at CES on Monday
  • Samsung's B.K. Yoon at CES on Monday
  • Samsung's B.K. Yoon at CES
View all images

Samsung officially opened the International CES on Monday evening with a keynote that painted a rosy picture of the Internet of Things but offered little substance except that vendors must be "open" and work together to make it all happen.

B.K. Yoon, head of Samsung's consumer electronics division, offered an optimistic view of the future, in which all devices from TVs to heating systems and automobiles will be connected to the Internet and sharing data for the betterment of humankind.

"Each of us will be at the center of our own, adapting IoT universe," said Yoon, predicting that chairs will automatically detect when we've been out in the cold and heat themselves up so they can warm us when we sit down.

Except the world he described didn't sound that wonderful at times. Imagine your insurance company can monitor everything happening with your car and use that information to provide you with better services, he said.

It might be a dream for an insurance agent, but it's a level of sharing that people less trusting of big businesses might rather do without.

Past CES keynotes have drawn on star power to keep them rolling along. Last year, Yahoo's Marissa Mayer was joined by cast members from the TV show Saturday Night Live, while Qualcomm's Paul Jacobs called on Big Bird, Steve Ballmer and even Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

There was none of that from Samsung. Yoon's first guest was the president of a group called the Foundation on Economic Trends, who proclaimed rather dryly that the Internet of Things marks a "paradigm shift" that will transform the global economy.

"The Internet of Things brings the human race together as a single, extended human family for the very first time in history, allowing us to share our social and commercial lives in a way that's never been possible before," he gushed.

It was a lot of happy talk, but it largely ignored the challenges to privacy and security that might come with it.

Yoon made a good case that the Internet of Things is gathering steam. By 2017, he said, 90 percent of the electronics products Samsung sells will be IoT devices, including all its TVs, smartphones and tablets.

But the scenarios that tech vendors offer for the connected home are becoming tired, and there's little evidence that they'll be implemented seamlessly for consumers any time soon, particularly with competing software platforms from Apple, Google and other players.

The Internet of Things needs standards to reach its potential, Yoon said. He pledged that Samsung will create "an open IoT ecosystem," one that works with all OSes and devices.

But there are other obstacles he addressed only briefly.

"Security needs to be baked into the hardware and software at every level," Yoon said, but it was the briefest of mentions, and seemed out of step with the magnitude of the challenges that malicious hackers could present.

"It takes more than one company, more than one industry, to create this IoT universe," he concluded. "We all have to work together."

Now he just has to convince the industry to make that happen.

The whole keynote can now be viewed on the web here.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Un-complicating multi-channel marketing: 5 actionable steps

There’s so much choice available that customers can pick and choose who they buy from and where, when, and how it happens. They want to discover, research, evaluate, and purchase on their preferred channel. Give them that option, and they’re more likely to choose you. That’s the whole point behind the multi-channel approach.

Aaron Agius

Co-founder and managing director, Louder Online

People in vegan houses shouldn't throw bacon

Picture this. You’re at a Gourmerican burger joint chomping a cheeseburger, when an outspoken vegan friend starts preaching that you’re killing the planet. Last week, that same vegan downed a pricey glass of pinot before their flight to a far-flung destination, armed with their strongest mossie repellant and first aid kit. Anything amiss?

Abbie Love

Strategist, Ikon Communications

The role of the CMO is evolving: Are you keeping up?

My (amazing) vacation in the Galapagos Islands earlier in the year got me thinking about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. What does this have to do with the role of today’s CMO, you ask? Plenty.

Sheryl Pattek

Vice-president, executive partner

It’s excellent aiming to resurrect the complete within the hearts and minds of connected customers, moreover because the terribly relevan...

CMO Interview: How Kodak’s global CMO is bringing the brand back from the brink

Read more

Great to see ActiveCampaign's growth funded with some serious money.As a platform, it's up there with the usual suspects in terms of feat...

Lawrence Ladomery

CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 13 October

Read more


Kerry Edwards

Open Colleges taps into social for better student interaction

Read more

Or just go to sites like www.shopsthatshiptoaustralia.c... and others and be sure that the stores will send to where you live :-)


Why online shopping is like dating – RedBalloon CEO

Read more

Personalisation is the key. Customers demand a very relatable and well defined CX where the sincerity and understanding of their disposit...

Hitesh Parekh

In pictures: Improving cutomer experiences through smart personalisation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in