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Samsung reboots its smart home, IoT strategy with the Galaxy S8

Agam Shah | March 31, 2017
With the S8 smartphones and other new products, Samsung launches a grand plan to build smart homes of the future

"But careful assessment of what Samsung demonstrated shows a service that has very little intelligence at all," Windsor said. It also works with few apps, limiting its utility.

Bixby also lacks advanced analytics that could help with home automation. For some reason, Samsung has chosen a limited implementation of SmartThings, which is already capable of home automation. For example, SmartThings can analyze data gathered over time to automatically switch air conditioners on or off, or turn on a light or heating when a car is close to home. The service can also provide diet recommendations based on health data gathered over time. Advanced features of SmartThings will be available in the future, a Samsung spokesman said.

Advanced features of SmartThings will be available in the future, a Samsung spokesman said.

At an analyst event on Thursday, Samsung showed Gartner's Goertz a pyramid-like graphic which showed IoT and intelligence as a middleware foundation for a group of products.

"Going forward, we should expect the currently siloed groups and technologies to leverage this common platform and maybe that way, bridge the silos and create much-needed synergies," Goertz said.

But the IoT data platform is still nascent, and Bixby lacks advanced AI features. Viv could bring advanced analytics to Bixby over time, but Samsung hasn't rolled the service out.

Samsung also has a full-blown cloud service called Artik, but it is offered by the company's semiconductor unit, which operates almost like a separate company. SmartThings can work with the Artik Cloud and open up to a wider range of smart home devices. However, Artik is more of a cloud-based analytics play, much like Microsoft's Azure.


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