Samsung announced plans on Tuesday to invest $1.2 billion for US-based research over the next four years on “human-centered” applications for the Internet of Things.
The South Korean electronics giant said the research aimed to improve applications for connected everyday objects for health, public safety and energy efficiency, for example.
Some of the projects may include applications to help monitor elderly people with dementia, find deficiencies in roads and bridges or detect earthquakes in real time, Samsung Electronics vice chairman and chief executive Oh-Hyun Kwon told in a conference.
“At Samsung, we believe in thinking differently about solving problems with IoT,” Kwon told the “Internet of Things: Transforming the Future” conference.
“Everyday objects can be transformed into solutions. Trucks can become mobile data collectors, making our bridges, and people, safer. We just need the creativity to see these things from a new angle.”
Kwon offered some examples of how the Internet of Things, or connected objects, can improve lives.
For example, someone with dementia can be equipped with a device to allow family members to know their location. And smart homes can be more precisely programmed and tuned to save energy costs.
Smartphones, he said, could detect seismic vibrations in earthquakes in time to shut down gas lines, potentially saving lives.
“Today, IoT is changing individual lives – helping people to age in their own homes,” Kwon said.
“But tomorrow, using IoT, we can give the same independence to millions of Americans. We can keep people out of hospitals and nursing homes.”
Samsung, which opened a Silicon Valley research center in 2015, employs some 15,000 people in the United States, according to Kwon.