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CEO of @SmartThings: Samsung Fully Supports Our Vision | @ThingsExpo [#IoT]

Alex Hawkinson Outlines Vision for Hundreds of Millions of Homes

Samsung promises to be one of the 800-pound gorillas of the IoT, if its success in recent years with Android devices and other consumer electronics is any guide.

Showing its willingness to be a big IoT player, the company recently acquired SmartThings, a recent startup that's developed an open smarthome appliation that currently supports 1,000 devices and 8,000 apps. SmartThings will now work under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovation Center (OIC).

See Also: Samsung OIC Exec Jacobo Lenzi Touts "Open" Dialog

SmartThings Founder and CEO Alex Hawkinson (pictured above) said that Samsung "fully supports (our) vision" and that "we'll continue to run things as we always have: by embracing our community of customers, developers, and device makers." SmartThings will relocate its headquarters from Washington, DC to Palo Alto, CA.

We had a few questions for Alex, which he answers below. Separately, we interviewed Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the OIC acquisitions team.

IoT Journal: SmartThings was founded only in 2012, yet I imagine there's some history behind its vision and team. What are its roots and the sources of the thinking you've put into the company?

Alex Hawkinson: The roots of the company stem from a personal incident when my family cabin in Colorado lost power in low temperatures and the pipes burst after freezing.

We were away from the house for an extended period when this happened and had no warning of dropping temperatures or resulting damages. Upon arrival, we found the house pretty much destroyed by water from the thawed pipes. All in all, there was about $80,000 worth of damage.

Had I known about the busted pipes, I could have easily called a neighbor to shut off the water. It occurred to me that it's crazy that we know so much about our distant friends and their lives via Facebook, but there was yet to be an easy way to monitor and control our homes from anywhere in the world without spending a lot of money.

Since then, I've made it my mission to give the everyday things in our homes a voice, creating solutions that can monitor and send alerts if there is, for example, a flood in someone's home when they aren't present.

This incident inspired the broader vision for the company:  to make every home a smart home. Our goal is to bring consumers security, peace of mind, savings, and the ability to easily customize it to fit their needs and routines. To achieve this, we have also embraced an open platform approach, attracting device makers and developers to help build, create, and unlock the limitless possibilities of the consumer IoT.

IoT Journal: Your customers are consumers, not techies, with little patience for bugs and glitches. What approach do you take to ensure lots of features and functionality, but also intuitive use?

Alex: Part of our vision is to make SmartThings the easiest way to turn your home into smart home and that vision applies to both developers and also mainstream consumers. What's great about the product is that consumers can customize their experience and choose which devices they would like to connect to solve specific problems.

Then, with the help of the SmartThings Hub, you can monitor and control all of your devices through the SmartThings mobile application, as well as discover and set up simple, guided solutions for top use cases that may be useful to you.All you need to get started is the SmartThings Hub and whichever SmartThings sensors or third-party devices you like, which can range from moisture sensors, locks, lighting controls, and more.

Much of the setup and discovery is self-guided and can be tailored directly to the consumer's needs. In the case that troubleshooting issues do arise, our support team is available via email or live chat within the app.

IoT Journal: You've said you'll still be run independently. What advantages does being involved with the Samsung OIC offer your team and your customers?

Alex: We believe that coupling our market-leading platform and ecosystem with the massive scale and reach of Samsung will enable us to more quickly fulfill our mission and bring the benefits of the IoT and smart home to hundreds of millions of consumers.

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Conference Schedule Announced

Are you ready to put your data in the cloud?

What is the future of security in the cloud?

Does Docker quickly advance the development of an IoT application?

What are the implications of Moore's Law on Hadoop deployments?

Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 15th Cloud Expo, November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, CA. The Cloud ExpoBig Data Expo@ThingsExpoDevOps Summitprograms are now available for you to inspect and investigate in advance.

Our upcoming November 4-6 event in Santa Clara, California will present a total of 10 simultaneous tracks by an all-star faculty, over three days, plus a two-day "Cloud Computing Bootcamp" presented by Janakiram MSV, an Analyst with the Gigaom Research analyst network, where he covers the Cloud Services landscape.

Cloud and Big Data topics and tracks include: Enterprise Cloud AdoptionAPM & Cloud Computing | Hot TopicsCloud APIs & BusinessCloud Security | MobilityBig Data | Analytics.

@ThingsExpo content tripled from a single track in New York to three simultaneous tracks: Consumer IoTEnterprise IoTIoT Developer | WebRTC Convergence.

DevOps Summit also doubled from a single track in New York to two simultaneous tracks: "Dev" Developer Focus and "Ops" Operations Focus.

Schedule for Cloud Expo / Big Data Expo / @ThingsExpo ▸ Here

Schedule for DevOps Summit ▸ Here

Now that we have published the full conference schedule, please check back for daily updates as we finalize new session abstracts by working with our distinguished faculty members. For your questions please contact us at events (at) Last but not least we will announce our keynotes on the hottest subjects to be delivered by world-class speakers!

The largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world has announced "sponsorship opportunities" and "call for papers."

The 1st International Internet of @ThingsExpo was launched this June at the Javits Center in New York City with over 6,000 delegates in attendance. The 2nd International Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California, with an estimated 7,000 plus delegates attending over three days.

@ThingsExpo is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world. In 2014, more than 200 companies will be present on the @ThingsExpo show floor, including global players and the hottest new technology pioneers.

Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities for @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley and New York Are Now Available
Sponsors and exhibitors of Internet of @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35-minute technical session
  • Online advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology publications
  • Capitalize on our comprehensive marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial coverage on, Tweets to our 75,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 combined analysts and press members who attended Internet of @ThingsExpo - making it the best-covered "Internet of Things" conference in the world

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at), or by phone 201 802-3021. Book both events for additional savings!

@ThingsExpo Silicon Valley (November 4-6, 2014, Santa Clara, CA)
@ThingsExpo New York (June 9-11, 2015, New York, NY)

Secure Your VIP Pass to Attend @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley
Internet of @ThingsExpo announced today a limited time free "Expo Plus" registration option. The onsite registration price of $600 will be set to 'free' for delegates who register during September.

To take advantage of this opportunity, attendees can use the coupon code "IoTSeptember" and secure their "@ThingsExpo Plus" registration to attend all keynotes and general sessions, as well as a limited number of technical sessions each day of the show, in addition to full access to the expo floor and the @ThingsExpo hackathon.

The registration page is located at the @ThingsExpo site here.

@ThingsExpo New York 2015 'Call for Papers' Now Open
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York announces that its 'Call for Papers' is now open. The event will feature a world class, all-star faculty with the hottest IoT topics covered in three distinct tracks.

Track 1 - Consumer IoT and Wearables: Smart Appliances, Wearables, Smart Cars, Smartphones 2.0, Smart Travel, Personal Fitness, Health Care, Personalized Marketing, Customized Shopping, Personal Finance, The Digital Divide, Mobile Cash & Markets, Games & the IoT, The Future of Education, Virtual Reality

Track 2 - Enterprise IoT: The Business Case for IoT, Smart Grids, Smart Cities, Smart Transportation, The Smart Home, M2M, Authentication/Security, Wiring the IoT, The Internet of Everything, Digital Transformation of Enterprise IT, Agriculture, Transportation, Manufacturing, Local & State Government, Federal Government

Track 3 - Developer IoT: WebRTC, Eclipse Foundation, Cloud Foundry, Docker & Linux Containers, Node-Red, Open Source Hardware, Leveraging SOA, Multi-Cloud IoT, Evolving Standards, WebSockets, Security & Privacy Protocols, GPS & Proximity Services, Bluetooth/RFID/etc., XMPP, Nest Labs

@ThingsExpo billboard is viewed by more than 1.3 million motorists per week on Highway 101, in the heart of Silicon Valley

Help plant your flag in the fast-expanding business opportunity that is the Internet of Things: Submit your speaking proposal today here!

Download @ThingsExpo Newsletter Today ▸ Here

Chris Matthieu Named @ThingsExpo Tech Chair

Internet of @ThingsExpo named Chris Matthieu tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley.

Chris Matthieu has two decades of telecom and web experience. He launched his Teleku cloud communications-as-a-service platform at eComm in 2010, which was acquired by Voxeo. Next he built an open source Node.JS PaaS called Nodester, which was acquired by AppFog. His latest startups include Twelephone. Leveraging HTML5 and WebRTC, Twelephone's BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is to become the next generation telecom company running in the Web browser. Chris is currently co-founder and CTO of Octoblu.



About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media ( has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (, Big Data Expo (, DevOps Summit (, Internet of @ThingsExpo ( and Cloud Computing Bootcamp (

Cloud Expo®, Big Data Expo® and @ThingsExpo® are registered trademarks of Cloud Expo, Inc., a SYS-CON Events company.

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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