IoT update: Samsung targets B2B, FTC expands oversight

While the Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigative arm for consumer privacy protection in the Internet of Things, Samsung Electronics is focusing more on business applications.

During a keynote speech at CeBIT 2015, Samsung President Won-Pyo Hong said the company is restructuring its IoT services to cater to B2B needs, creating a Samsung Business unit, according to Pymnts.com.

Hong said Samsung is creating an innovative, open and collaborative IoT ecosystem. "As more and more businesses adopt the Internet of Things, we have a great opportunity to enhance customer value with increased productivity and profit," Hong said, as reported in a company press release. "Significant advancements can be made in the business process through the application of IoT in inventory management, energy efficiency and more. However, we first have to overcome the challenges of platform compatibility, data analysis and security in order to accelerate IoT adoption."

Samsung Business is expanding and bringing together Samsung's business solutions, including Samsung KNOX for security and enterprise mobility management, its Samsung SMART Signage solution, Samsung printing solution and other enterprise-ready offerings.

For retailers, Samsung said it will help them create seamless, engaging, and unique shopping and dining experiences as it offers an extensive selection of integrated solutions including digital signage and mobile devices. For example, a digital mirror using Samsung Smart Signage can be configured into VideoWalls, enabling shoppers to view all angles of the clothing they have selected.

Samsung Business also is addressing education, hospitality, financial services and transportation.

Meanwhile the FTC has created a new unit to regulate the IoT for consumer products, according to the International Business Times. The FTC will broaden the scope of an existing entity that focuses on smartphones to include smart watches and connected appliances.

The new Office of Technology Research and Investigation (OTRI) will focus on this "next generation in consumer technology," FTC said. The new unit will help make sure companies protect consumer privacy, along with the security of their personal data. The OTRI also is charged with watching over every facet of technology, including connected cars, smart homes, big data and "emerging payment methods" like Apple Pay.

There is good reason for this concern, according to a Gartner report. The research company estimates that 1.1 billion connected things will be used in smart cities this year, and that number will rise to 9.7 billion by 2020, said a report in ZDNet.

Most of the IoT spending will come from the private sector, Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research VP at Gartner told ZDNet. "We expect that by 2020, many IoT TSPs (technology and service providers) will have grown their hardware revenues through services and software by more than 50 percent," she said. Smart home security and safety will represent the second-largest service market by revenue in 2017. By 2020, the smart healthcare and fitness market will increase to nearly $38 billion, she added.

For more:
-See this Pymnts.com article
-See this Samsung press release
-See this International Business Times article
-See this ZDNet article

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