(by Laura Elsler, analyst)
This post is about a topic which is not directly related to the financial services industry. But we think that the development is so profound and implications are far reaching that we would like to discuss it on our blog.
Samsung, Apple’s mightiest competitor in the area of mobile devices, is about to release a project called S.A.M.I./Simband. Behind these acronyms, which rather evoke thoughts of robots controlled by artificial intelligence and sci-fi movies, is a cloud-based platform and reference technology for wearable devices. The Simband is a sensor packed wrist-band which measures physiological and ambient data. S.A.M.I. translates to Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interaction and shall allow wearable devices with different operating systems to connect to it, store data, run algorithms and send information back to the device.
Putting it differently, Samsung attempts nothing less than to become the central hub for all data which run on wearable devices, an industry which is expected to grow 6-fold until 2018. All devices, which consumers will wear on their bodies, or which connect their home with their car and the office, may run on this platform.
Unlike the Facebook model of leveraging data, Samsung promised that users and developers will remain owners of their data. If Samsung has yet a model how to cash in on the Simband and S.A.M.I. platform seems questionable. To me it appears, once Samsung is the central player controlling a market growing so strongly, the potential return on this investment can be huge.Of course, Apple is not standing by waching Samsung overtaking them. The Apple Health App is aiming for the same or similar consumer needs.
Wearable technology has long been predicted to be the next big wave after the smart phone and the tablet. It seems that the battle has finally started. The implications for financial institutions are yet far from clear. But there is no doubt that all aspects of life and business will be touched by this new technology.