President and chief executive of Samsung Electronics, Boo-Keun Yoon, has called on industries to work together to make the Internet of Things (IoT) a reality.
Delivering the opening keynote speech at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Monday, Mr Yoon emphasised the limitless possibilities of a "smart" life.
"The IoT has the potential to transform our society, economy and how we live our lives," he said. "It is our job to pull together - as an industry, and across different sectors - to make true on the promise of the IoT."
Mr Yoon announced a timetable for making Samsung technology IoT-enabled. By 2017, all Samsung televisions will be IoT devices, and in five years all Samsung hardware will be IoT-ready.
He also emphasised the importance of developers in building IoT and announced that Samsung will invest more than $100 million in its developer community in 2015.
But he added that people were key to the success of the venture. "The IoT is not about 'things'," he said. "Instead, it is about people. Each person is at the centre of their own technology universe, and the IoT universe will constantly adapt and change shape as people move through their world."
During the four-day show this week, manufacturers will promote concepts intended for the ultimate smart home, in which cars, appliances and other devices all have sensors and internet connectivity to think and act for themselves.
For example, Mercedes-Benz is inviting people to imagine their luxury car of the future pulling in all by itself, without a driver behind the wheel, to bring its passengers home.
The carmaker unveiled the sleek concept car that it is calling F 015 on Monday night at The Cosmopolitan hotel.
"Mankind has been dreaming of autonomous cars since the 1950s," said the company’s head, Dieter Zetsche. He said Mercedes-Benz has been working to make it a reality, albeit still a concept and not in production yet, since the 1990s.
"It's basically a revolution," he said of the car.
Lucis Technologies is set to ship a smart-lighting device called NuBryte that can learn human behaviour in the home. Sensors can turn on the night light if an individual wakes up to use the bathroom but switch on brighter lights during the day.
And a coffeemaker from Smarter will soon use data from fitness trackers such as Fitbit. If the user had a bad night’s sleep, the device would know to serve up a stronger brew the next morning.
In terms of people smartening up their homes in earnest, though, it will probably be another two years before devices are cheap and widespread enough for the typical consumer, said Eduardo Pinheiro, chief executive of Muzzley, which makes a hub that allows devices to talk to each other.
For now, the smart home is more about possibilities than practice. Many companies exhibiting at CES are laying the foundation for what a smart-home system will eventually do, hoping to entice consumers to start thinking about upgrading to smart gadgets.
"I know in my heart that neither one single company nor one industry alone can deliver the benefits of the IoT," said Mr. Yoon.
"To create this IoT universe, we have to see the potential of the IoT across all kinds of industries. Only if we work together can we improve people’s lives."
Additional reporting by Associated Press
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