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Samsung OIC Exec Jacopo Lenzi Touts "Open" Dialog

VP Jacopo Lenzi Led Company's SmartThings Acquisition Team

Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi (pictured below), who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson.

IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open?

See Also:  SmartThings CEO: Samsung Fully Supports Our Vision

Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires an open, consistent dialogue-that's the ethos of the Open Innovation Center (OIC). We partner with, invest in, acquire and foster startups, providing access to resources and information but functioning and encouraging independence from our partners.

For the industry to thrive, we have to keep SmartThings open and independent, so that it can not only continue growing but building exciting new services across all devices and protocols.

IoT Journal: I've seen a broad spectrum of projections for the size of smart technology markets and the IoT. What sorts of projections and assumptions do you operate under as this technology becomes more ubiquitous?

Jacopo: We're still in the early days of IoT but consumers are increasingly seeking its benefits. Samsung sells more connected TVs and mobile devices than any other provider and is the fastest growing home appliances company in the U.S.

An IDC report, for example, expects the installed base of the IoT to be approximately 212 billion "things" by 2020.

But, not all home will have devices from the same company. Over time, those devices will be networked and will ideally be controlled through a common interface. So, we really believe that openness-supporting SmartThings' open platform and fostering more explosive growth-is what will help the IoT industry thrive.  Only when consumers can let all their devices talk to one another will we unlock the possibilities of the IoT.

IoT Journal: Our readers may be unaware of all of Samsung's activities within the IoT. Can you tell us a bit more about what's going on?

Jacopo: Connected devices have been a strategic initiative for Samsung for many years, and we're growing quickly. With SmartThings, Samsung looks forward to becoming their newest strategic partner, but this is just one initiative.

Outside the OIC, Samsung's actively exploring and driving IoT. Earlier this year, for example, Samsung unveiled Samsung Smart Home, a service for connecting and managing Samsung Smart Home products and devices.

Samsung's also helping drive collaboration with other companies and manufacturers, as a member of the Thread Group, creating a new IP based wireless networking protocol, and the Open Interconnect Consortium, developing new tools to foster interoperability.

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More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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