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Samsung's ARTIK IoT Platform: Connecting Developers To 'Things'

The set of hardware modules, software, and cloud services aims to provide developers with a faster path to market for apps that support the Internet of Things.
Meet Your IT Workers Of The Future
Meet Your IT Workers Of The Future
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The Internet of Things (IoT) tends to be discussed as a line of consumer products and marketed toward individuals interested in a high-tech lifestyle. But Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics, emphasized it as a trend that benefits businesses during his keynote presentation at IoT World in San Francisco on Tuesday.

"People are using these technologies for managing their businesses," said Sohn, citing fishermen who use mobile devices to check market demand and people who use mobile devices for banking. "It's just the beginning, and I see a lot more opportunities going forward."

Samsung used IoT World to announce ARTIK, an open platform comprised of hardware modules, software, and cloud services for connecting objects via WiFi, Bluetooth, and ZigBee.

The company introduced three hardware modules that device-makers can use to create Internet of Things (IoT) products: ARTIK 1, a tiny module with a 9-axis motion sensor for low-end mobile devices such as beacons, activity bands, and fitness trackers; ARTIK 5, a slightly larger module for smarthome hubs, high-end smartwatches, drones, and IP cameras; and ARTIK 10, a module for devices that require high-performance processing such as home servers, smartphones, and media hubs.

[ Think you're ready for IoT? Think again: IoT And The Looming Mobile Tidal Wave. ]

The ARTIK family of devices is supported by a software stack that obviates the need to write low-level drivers for devices.

Samsung's ARTIK modules are Arduino-certified, meaning they can be programmed using the Arduino IDE. They also come with Samsung's Secure Element, a cryptographic hardware security mechanism designed to prevent unauthorized access.

"Smart things will make our lives better," said Sohn. His message echoed that of Samsung Electronics CEO BK Yoon at CES in January. Yoon said that IoT has the potential to transform societies and economies through openness and connectivity.

Citing the way IoT devices can help with healthcare management, Sohn suggested people could benefit from a dashboard that would let them monitor their health as if they were watching the oil level in a car.

"This is where we need to go," Sohn said, noting that IT will have a growing opportunity to contribute to this goal.

Sohn also acknowledged a variety of challenges that will inform how connected technology gets deployed, such as shifting demographics, urbanization, and climate change. And he stressed that IoT devices must be secure.

"At Samsung, we believe every possible device should deliver the best possible security and privacy," Sohn said.

Alex Hawkinson, CEO and founder of SmartThings, acquired by Samsung last year, joined Sohn on stage at IoT World to announce the SmartThings Open Cloud, a cloud service based on Samsung's SAMI data exchange platform. SmartThings Open Cloud provides developers and device-makers with ready-made infrastructure for authentication, connectivity, data sharing, and security.

The service is free for developers at this time and is intended for data aggregation and analysis, but not data storage.

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