The battle for the center of the IoT octagon just got more crowded with Samsung’s announcement of its ARTIK platform for connected devices. It is beginning to feel like a UFC title match, a “no holds” barred cage match to be the ultimate pushers of silicon and enablers of developers to connect the ridiculous number of devices that will soon have their own IP addresses whether found in the home, on the roads, in our shipping lanes, in the air, in our factories, or in our hospitals.
Ever since it announced its SmartHome service, and then acquired SmartThings, Samsung has signaled that it wanted to move far beyond electronic devices towards an interoperable, secure, IoT developer that would power all of its devices within 5 years. And to simply development, the Company has recently announced ARTIK, a suite of modules optimized for a broad range of used cases and devices and support for various communication protocols such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ZigBee.
ARTIK 1, which is intended for low end consumer devices, provides Bluetooth low energy connectivity to achieve 5 days battery life, an a 9-axis motion sensor. ARTIK 5, intended for the smart home, high endd watches, drones, and IP cameras, consists of a fast dual core processor and onboard storage, while the ARTIK 10, provided for applications requiring high performance processing such as smartphones and media hubs, contains a fast core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16 GB storage in addition to Wi-Fi and ZigBee connectivity.
Samsung continues to take an open approach to its ecosystem, a strategy that in conjunction with a build/deploy fast application platform hopes will drive more developers to it platform, more silicon into devices, and more devices into consumer and business users’ hands.
So what does all this mean? Well for starters, it certainly means more choices and in turn likely more confusion for developers and their customers. And it certainly means we’ll have to wait longer and longer for the killer IoT use cases, be they consumer use cases, industrial use cases, commercial use cases, or public use cases (safety). How one chooses a development platform between new entrant Samsung, Intel, Qualcomm, Google, Logitech, et al is far beyond the scope of this post. But it certainly means more questions about security, privacy, communication protocols/interoperability, the kind of questions that limit the pace of widespread adoption. These are the kinds of questions that for an early market, signal it is still a great time to build a services and tools company in the IoT space, and certainly not the time to be building an IoT development platform!