Samsung unveils IoT tech for pop-up retail spaces

Samsung unveils IoT technology for pop-up retail spaces

Samsung aims to help retailers deliver a connected experience to customers, even in temporary ‘pop-up’ stores.

Pop-up stores enable retailers to test out new markets and take advantage of short-term availability of retail space, often in the run-up to busy periods or as a way to maximize exposure around a new product launch.

But what remains, once the pop-up store has been packed up and put away? For smart retailers, the answer is data – and electronics giant Samsung is aiming to help them collect as much of it as possible with its Connected Spaces solution.

Launched National Retail Federation’s BIG Show 2018, taking place this week in New York, Samsung Connected Spaces focuses on kitting out pop-up stores with connected technologies and providing bricks-and-mortar retailers with data collection and analysis capabilities. In this way, according to Samsung executives, retailers can deliver “an enhanced, more intelligent customer experience.”

Read more: Alibaba showcases vision of ‘retail store of the future’

What makes a pop-up ‘connected’?

Samsung Connected Spaces should help retailers better understand the customer journey in a pop-up, from the time a customer enters to the purchases that they make before leaving. This comes from collecting data on customer traffic, dwell times and demographics (such as age and gender).

By analysing this for specific times of day or for specific areas in a store, says Samsung, retailers could gain valuable insights that help inform store layouts, product placement, staff scheduling and inventory management.

The company cited research from analyst company Forrester Research that shows that in 2017, almost half (47 percent) of retail decision-makers invested in in-store analytics.

The solution uses Samsung Nexshop software – the company’s cloud-based digital store platform with real-time behavioural sensing – along with IP (Internet Protocol) cameras and Samsung mobile devices. In addition to analysis capabilities, the solution allows shop assistants to interact with shoppers using organized cloud-based content via Samsung tablets or interactive displays.

Read more: Shoppermotion uses “previously unavailable” IoT data to transform retail

Shedding light on darkness

According to Ian Son, senior vice president of the Mobile B2B division oat Samsung Electronics America, it’s about getting “real-time insight” into shoppers’ needs. “Bringing digital best practices to in-store environments enables retailers to shed light on data darkness and create a model for smarter business decisions,” he claimed.

Samsung Connected Spaces is available in collaboration with shopper conversion specialist Barrows, and includes pop-up elements such as ideation, location scouting, logistics and fulfilment.

A ‘retail-as-a-service” approach is said to allow rentals of the technology for set timeframes, organised into small, medium or large configurations, depending on the size of the pop-up space. 

Read more: Online-only retailers win on tech adoption, says ASOS/Wiggle chairman

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Samsung to infuse intelligence in all IoT devices by 2020 as it outlines vision

At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Samsung Electronics America presented an outline of IoT vision and strategy by revealing the fact that by 2020 all its connected devices will be infused with intelligence.

Also at the event, Samsung announced plans to advance adoption of IoT via an open, consistent and intelligent platform. In the spring of 2018, the company will merge all its IoT applications into the SmartThings app allowing users to manage and connect any SmartThings-enabled device right from their cell phone, car, or television from a single application. Samsung is also planning to connect HARMAN Ignite to the SmartThings Cloud to give consumers the liberty to control their connected home from the vehicle and vice versa.

Hyunsuk Kim, President, Head of Samsung’s Consumer Electronics Division and Samsung Research, said: “At Samsung, we believe IoT should be as easy as flipping a switch. With the new products and services announced today, we’re making IoT easier and more seamless. We’re committed to accelerating IoT adoption for everyone and making all Samsung connected devices intelligent by 2020. These advancements will help consumers realize the benefits of a seamless and simple connected life.”

As part of Samsung’s intelligence infusion initiative, voice control function will be enabled in a select range of Smart TVs and Family Hub refrigerators via Bixby in 2018. Operating on the SmartThings Cloud, the Smart TVs and Family Hub refrigerators will act as a smart dashboard to monitor and manage connected devices.

The products and services highlighted at CES show how Samsung is moving forward in its mission to create seamless IoT experiences at office, home and vehicles.

Picture credit: Samsung

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Samsung pledges to make all products ‘IoT ready’ by 2020

Samsung pledges to make all products IoT ready by 2020

Samsung aims to drive IoT adoption by boosting interoperability, through the use of standards and an ‘open platform’ approach. 

South Korean multinational conglomerate Samsung has said it will make all its products IoT ready by 2020, with a plan to boost adoption via what it calls an “open, consistent and intelligent platform.”

At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the company said it is working with partners such as the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) to set common industry standards. OCF is the largest IoT standardization body in the world and Samsung’s ARTIK chip, air conditioner and Family Hub refrigerator have already been certified by the foundation as having the interoperability criteria needed for IoT.

In the next few months, the company will integrate its IoT applications, including Samsung Connect, Smart Home, Smart View and more into the SmartThings app to connect and control any SmartThings-enabled device directly from their phone, TV, or car from a single application.

Read more: Samsung unveils new SmartThings IoT strategy

At home and on the road

Samsung also said that it plans to connect Harman Ignite – an automotive cloud platform – to the SmartThings Cloud. As a result of this link, say company executives, consumers will be able to manage their connected home from their car and vice versa.

At the show, Samsung demonstrated its Digital Cockpit to demonstrate how cars will become connected with other ‘things’ as part of the IoT. The new dashboard design, along with Bixby, allows drivers to control the in-car experience and their connected devices at home through voice, touch, gesture and context-based methods. Its 5G-capable Telematics Control Unit (TCU) can download and upload data faster and enables vehicle-to-everything communications, laying the groundwork for better autonomous driving, the company claims.

The company will also bring its Amazon Alexa rival, the artificial intelligence (AI) powered assistant Bixby to some of its smart TVs and new Family Hub refrigerators. These new fridges will offer a wide range of smart features, such as syncing food storage with meal preparation and will be able to recognise the individual voices of family members, to give personalized information such as news, weather and calendar updates.

“At Samsung, we believe IoT should be as easy as flipping a switch. With the new products and services announced today, we’re making IoT easier and more seamless,” said Hyunsuk (HS) Kim, President, head of the company’s Consumer Electronics Division and Samsung Research. “We’re committed to accelerating IoT adoption for everyone and making all Samsung connected devices intelligent by 2020. These advancements will help consumers realise the benefits of a seamless and simple connected life.”

Read more: Samsung launches data monetization service for IoT device manufacturers

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IBM & Samsung team up to empower field technicians to work from anywhere

When a product or piece of equipment needs maintenance, we rely on field service technicians to fix the problem quickly and at minimal cost. To do this effectively, mobility has become a driving force for the future of field service management (FSM). As we discussed in a recent post on mobility and innovation for FSM, the market growth is staggering.

Estimated to grow from $ 1.78 billion in 2016 to an impressive $ 3.61 billion by 2021, Gartner also predicted that by 2020, two out of three large field service organizations will have equipped field technicians with mobile applications. This will enable the ability to generate new revenue streams, improve efficiency and increase customer satisfaction.

To meet this growing demand, IBM & Samsung announced a partnership to accelerate the digital transformation of industries among key verticals like transportation, public safety and manufacturing.  The Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2, a new business-rugged tablet built directly for business through a customer-centric design, will come equipped with IBM Maximo, the world’s leading enterprise asset management (EAM) software. 

Understanding where EAM & FSM intersect

Industries such as transportation and manufacturing are very asset-intensive. This means that they typically operate in highly competitive markets, manage high-value facilities and equipment, and have an extensive volume of assets to manage. They must do this all while balancing costs, safety and resources. In these types of industries, each failure is disruptive and costly.  Maintaining optimal availability, reliability, profitability, and operational safety is therefore essential for an organization’s success.

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) addresses the entire lifecycle management of the physical assets of an organization. Field service management is the ability to optimally plan and dispatch field resources and their vehicles to a specific location in a timely manner in order to deliver against their service commitments. This includes executing work orders against assets managed in Maximo. See Figure 1 for more detail on how EAM and FSM intersect.

Figure 1. Intersection between EAM & FSM

 

Simplify the daily lives of field technicians

Mobility is critical in allowing dispatchers and technicians to communicate in real-time. Having the right functionalities on mobile devices makes it easier and more efficient for workers to perform tasks, regardless of the complexity of the environment they are working in.

For example, a technician in the field receives notifications of new work assignments. They then view details of the assignment and access the work order to log time and materials. They also provide progress updates and note when a job is completed. Dispatchers see these updates in real-time and view progress made by labor and crews on a map. If an interruption to the planned work for the day occurs, due to severe weather or other circumstances, the dispatcher can make adjustments to the schedule and assignments. This way, crews stay informed and resources are utilized effectively.

With IBM Maximo, we are delighted to bring to Samsung, for the first time, industry leading asset management features for field workers to simplify their daily lives.”  – Suk-Jea Hahn, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics’ Global Mobile B2B Team

Delivering mobile work management

Maximo Anywhere is an integrated solution for managing mobile work and assets. Using this functionality, organizations can maximize both their resources and the lifecycle of their assets. It works in tandem with IBM Maximo Asset Management Scheduler so that field- based work processes are streamlined. Key capabilities include:

  • Managing work orders — Manage work execution, including submitting of actuals, follow-up work and delegation of tasks.
  • Managing field crews and technicians — View and execute optimized service routes and assigned work
  • Supply Chain management — Control stock rooms and truck stock, inventory issues, re-orders while managing purchase orders, and the receipt of materials
  • Asset management — Record service address, work, time and material details; view work locations on a map, complete with turn- by- turn directions to help improve technician productivity

Enabling field technicians with tools to work where and how they do

With the Economist forecasting 10 billion mobile devices to be in use by 2020, the proliferation of mobile technology cannot be denied. It is fundamentally changing the way people think, work, act and interact. Mobile applications, or “apps,” enable people to be more productive from anywhere. In fact, 92 percent of organizations believe that adopting mobile apps will give them a competitive edge. They also believe that not doing so will be harmful.

Mobile devices help organizations of all sizes get the right information to the right people at the right time. This improves service quality, increases customer satisfaction and reduces the costs and complexities of daily operations. Figure 2 shows the improvements in performance of best-in-class organizations who have embraced mobility versus those who are lagging behind.

Figure 2. Mobile technology improving compliance rates and reducing paperwork. Source: Aberdeen Group, 2015

With this collaboration, IBM Maximo and Samsung are solving ever-changing business requirements for industrialized mobile devices. In addition, they are empowering field technicians with new tools designed to work where and how they do. 

To learn more about this collaboration, read the press release.

For more detail on IBM Maximo, visit the marketplace.

 

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Samsung unveils new SmartThings IoT strategy

Samsung unveils new SmartThings IoT strategy

At the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) 2017 in San Francisco, Samsung has made a number of significant announcements about its IoT strategy and the SmartThings brand.

As well as opting to unify its IoT services under the new SmartThings platform, South Korean technology giant Samsung  has revealed a next-generation voice assistant, Bixby 2.0, and new augmented reality capabilities for Samsung smartphones.  

The company’s latest push towards the smart home market focuses on doing more to unify a fragmented marketplace and prioritize the end user experience.

The headline news is Samsung’s decision to bring together its separate IoT services – SmartThings, Samsung Connect and ARTIK – into one united IoT platform: SmartThings Cloud.

Read more: Google launches Cloud IoT Core, a managed IoT service

SmartThings’ smart home ambitions

Samsung is working towards the futuristic ambition of a fully-integrated smart home, where things ‘just work’ and, it says, where there’s “no need to interact with many different apps to achieve results.”

To do that, the company now offers a single cloud-based hub that can connect and control IoT-enabled products and services from a unified touchpoint. The move makes the SmartThings Cloud one of the world’s largest IoT ecosystems. Samsung claims it will  deliver a connected consumer experience that is “innovative, versatile and holistic.”

The new cloud will give developers access to a single API across all SmartThings-compatible products, which include cameras, speakers, doorbells, locks, lighting and home assistants from a wide range of providers, including the likes of Amazon, Google, Netgear, Yale and Bose. The SmartThings Cloud will also provide secure interoperability and services for business developing commercial and industrial IoT solutions.

“At Samsung, we’re constantly innovating in order to deliver smarter, connected experiences for our consumers. Now we’re taking a big step forward with our open IoT platform, intelligent ecosystem and AR capabilities,” said DJ Koh, president of the mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics.

“Through an extensive open collaboration with our business partners and developers, we are unlocking a gateway to an expanded ecosystem of interconnected and intelligent services that will simplify and enrich everyday life for our consumers.”

Read more: Samsung unveils NB-IoT GPS smart tag

Upgrades to Bixby and AR

While the SmartThings convergence strategy will steal the headlines, Samsung also announced two related moves. The first is an upgrade to the company’s voice assistant, Bixby, which was launched just six months ago.

Bixby 2.0 will be available on a variety of devices, including Samsung Smart TV and its Family Hub refrigerator. The main difference is that now Bixby will sit “at the center of consumers’ intelligent ecosystem.”

Just as the new SmartThings cloud will allow a more integrated approach to smart home solutions, Bixby 2.0 will introduce “deep linking capabilities” and upgrades to its natural language abilities. The result, Samsung expects, will be to better recognize individual users and create a predictive, personalized experience that anticipates needs.

Samsung will also provide a software development kit to bring Bixby 2.0 to more applications and services. The Bixby SDK will be available to select developers through a private beta program, with general availability to come in the near future.

Finally, Samsung has announced an AR partnership with Google, which will see the search engine giant’s ARCore SDK become available to Samsung consumers on the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note8. In a statement, Samsung suggested that “this strategic partnership with Google offers new business opportunities for developers, and a new platform for creating immersive new experiences for consumers.”

Read more: Samsung debuts wearable tech for health and safety

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