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What can record-breaking athletes teach us about IoT?


Presented by Samsung


At the Berlin Marathon in September, Eliud Kipchoge didn’t just set a new world record — he smashed the old one, beating it by more than a minute. And, with a time of 2 hours, 1 minute, and 39 seconds, he approached a milestone long considered impossible: running a marathon in under 2 hours.

Over the past couple of decades, runners have been steadily shaving time off prior benchmarks, decreasing the world record by more than 4 minutes total. Their incredible progress is no accident. As they inch closer to Breaking2, as they call it, their efforts are getting more and more focused.

They have built out entire teams — full of not just coaches, trainers and sponsors, but also academics, physiologists and running shoe designers.

These teams analyze every single aspect of a runner’s performance: how to maximize oxygen intake, ensure proper hydration, and make runners constantly aware of their pace. They work to develop shoes that can improve performance and apparel that reduces friction, and identify race locations that might offer optimal weather conditions.

If Kipchoge or one of his peers achieves a Sub2 marathon soon, it would be easy to assume he’ll do so because, through sheer force of will, he’s gotten faster. But I’d argue that he’ll achieve the impossible because he’s gotten smarter. He and his team are collecting and observing all of the relevant data, then connecting all of it to build their knowledge and advance their intelligence.

It’s similar to the way we approach things at Samsung. As technology becomes an essential part of our daily routines, we want to ensure it makes people’s lives easier and more meaningful. One way we’re doing this is through the Internet of Things. We develop IoT-enabled devices that can understand and anticipate users’ intentions and, ultimately, deliver what they want quickly.

In order to do that, though, we have to consider how our entire ecosystem intersects with consumers — from the phones in their pockets, to the cars they drive, to where they hang their hats each night. We have to make sure our ecosystem is truly connected, that all of the devices within it work together to power consumers’ lives.

To succeed, we have to build intelligence in the same way that the Sub2 teams do. With the utmost care and responsibility as our underlying business virtue, we need to gather information from all corners of our connected lives and process it in a way that is meaningful and intelligent. Then we can identify patterns and trends to build our knowledge and develop a better experience for our end users.

Just as the Sub2 marathon teams are close to achieving a breakthrough, we too are on the precipice of a paradigm shift in technology. We’re close to realizing true intelligence — to building a truly connected future.

But we can’t do it alone. No company can. We need to co-build intelligence alongside our partners. We have to bring all of the relevant stakeholders to the table in order to increase our collective understanding. The more knowledge we share with each other, the more knowledge we can apply. And the more our consumers benefit.

That’s why we’re convening organizations and individuals from across the sector at this year’s Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco from November 7-8. It’s an opportunity for us to come together, across disciplines and functions, to explore what’s happening in different areas, share ideas for new approaches, and lay the groundwork for what’s to come. We’ll cover everything from what’s new in SmartThings, our IoT platform, to emerging opportunities in gaming and AI, to what’s next for intelligent assistants. And you won’t want to miss the keynote and spotlight sessions that will open both days of the conference.

We hope you’ll join us for this dialogue about how we can build our collective intelligence. If the work of the Sub2 teams is any indication, the better we work together, the closer we’ll come to reaching our goals. Maybe we can even break a barrier or two in the process.

To register for the 2018 Samsung Developer Conference, go here. 

Yoon C. Lee is SVP, Content and Services and Head of Product Innovation Team, Samsung Electronics America.


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