Samsung is pivoting to the future. The company used this weekend’s Consumer Electronics Show to rebrand its innovation center and to demonstrate its commitment to the smart home and the Internet of Things.
With respect to the latter, Samsung highlighted its work with the Open Connectivity Foundation, whose aim is to connect major industry players as they work to establish more unified standards for the emerging IoT. Samsung showed off solutions at the OCF Kiosk Zone and Demo Zone, where it demonstrated how a Samsung tablet could be used to turn on or off a TV, air conditioning, and even a robot vacuum; and how the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch can be used to adjust the settings of a connected car.
Samsung has also announced a new name for its Global Innovation Center, which is now known as Samsung NEXT. It’s essentially a startup incubator, with Samsung asserting in a statement that “Samsung NEXT will partner with tech innovators around the world and empower them with whatever they need to go further, faster.” The company has also highlighted the work its already doing with partners like water use sensor specialist Lotik and cross-platform digital map developer Mapzen.
And to go with the rebrand, Samsung has announced a $150 million Samsung NEXT Fund for venture capital aimed at helping to push innovation even further. The company is clearly aiming to position itself as a pioneer in the tech world, and is backing it up with some heavy investment.