Samsung’s press meet today played host to an echelon of announcements. The conference, which introduced Samsung’s brand new ARTIK platform for connected objects also saw the tech-giant publicize its investment in Sigfox along with plans for a brand new innovation center in Paris.
The fact that the South Korean company choose to invest in the French start-up makes perfect sense when you stop considering the fact that Sigfox is involved in building a low-cost, alternative cellular network for connected objects — which is what the ARTIK platform is all about. Although not as effective as conventional cellular networks, Sigfox will allow objects to connect via the its own server using hardware that along with being light on the pockets, doesn’t require much to power them up.
Speaking on the topic Samsung President and Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn said
We made the decision to invest in Sigfox. But even more important, Sigfox is a partner.
In what may be a special, partner effect, developer kits for ARTIK will come with a Sigfox-compatible hardware chip out of the box enabling it to connect to Sigfox’s server.
The ARTIK platform will come with a range of answers to the hardware and software woes of companies working on connected objects and Samsung is planning to market them as ready to use boards — which wouldn’t however be a first, since Qualcomm and Intel have already taken steps in that direction.
Although the exact amount remains shrouded, the investment by Samsung should certainly help take Sigfox’s €100 million current fundraising effort several steps further. The fund-raising drive — which has been relying on a brand new strategy mapped out by Anne Lauvergeon — who joined the company in 2014 after leaving Areva –involves offering investment opportunity to carriers and big public companies. The drive now includes French giants GDF Suez, Air Liquide etc. along with international players such as Telefonica and SK Telecom with others expected to come on board soon.
Samsung’s decision to invest in a French start-up along with the brand new center its putting up in Paris, offer a measure of the potential of the place, and reading between the lines of President Sohn’s following statement, this may just be the beginning of Samsung’s plans for the country
We actually believe that there are tremendous technology efforts happening in France, and that Samsung can take advantage of them. So we will keep investing in France.