The tech giant acquires the open platform for smart home devices to “improve the convenience and services in people’s lives”.

Samsung is treading deeper into the Internet of Things with the announcement Thursday that it has agreed to acquire SmartThings, an open platform for smart home devices.

“This idea of connected homes or smart homes is something Samsung has been thinking about for years,” David Eun, head of Samsung’s Open Innovation Center, or OIC, told CNET. “It became obvious to us [that] this idea of creating a really open platform and making it truly global was absolutely what the industry needed.”

The idea of the acquisition is to pair Samsung’s resources with SmartThings’ platform so that the two can boost innovation in the Internet of Things. Companies across the tech and home-appliances sector, not to mention startups, are working on products that allow devices to talk to each other and connect to the Internet. Smart appliances allow people to do everything from turn on their air conditioners using a smartphone to remotely close the window blinds in their homes.

Source: CNET

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It wasn’t touted onstage, but a new iOS 8 feature is set to cause havoc for location trackers, and score a major win for privacy. As spotted by Frederic Jacobs, the changes have to do with the MAC address used to identify devices within networks. When iOS 8 devices look for a connection, they randomize that address, effectively disguising any trace of the real device until it decides to connect to a network.

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If you thought websites were intrusive, say hello to smart stores and beacon tracking.

Beacons, custom mobile apps, and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) appliances are easily accessible to retailers, such experiences will begin to show up in real life. Using smartphone signals, beacons, and BLE appliances, retailers can track a shopper’s location and measure appropriate metrics and patterns in browsing habits.

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