Samsung CES 2015 Keynote: The Internet Of Things Is Here And There’s Pretty Much Nothing That Can Stop It

Samsung president and CEO BK Yoon presented the keynote for CES 2015.

Samsung president and CEO BK Yoon presented the keynote for CES 2015.

Here are the things we learned from Samsung’s CES 2015 Keynote address Monday evening: CEO and president BK Yoon has a lot of executive friends, the Internet of Things is already here, soon our entire lives will be “connected” and Back To The Future II references are getting old.

Yoon’s opening for the 2015 CES was remarkably unremarkable with few major announcements despite a plethora of guests taking the stage.

The hour-long presentation was solely about the industry’s hottest topic (according to Yoon, anyway): the Internet of Things (or IoT for short).

“Many people think it’s in the distant future,” he said. “It’s not. It’s 2015, and we are going back to the future.”

Yay, another Back To The Future II reference, but, sadly, no hoverboard.

Cue a display of the Back To The Future II movie title behind Yoon. While we all know and love the film (maybe?), the rather mundane response elicited from the audience makes it clear that just five days into 2015, we’re all pretty sick of references to the flick.

That reaction seemed to set the stage for the monotonous keynote, where many of Yoon’s kind-of-joke quips fell flat and the biggest announcement came from SmartThings, a company Samsung bought back in August.

And guess what, that announcement wasn’t exactly earth-shattering either.

During a painfully scripted back-and-forth with Yoon, SmartThings CEO and Founder Alex Hawkinson – who was actually the second CEO not from Samsung to grace the stage during the keynote – dryly announced the launch of an upcoming premium subscription service that will alert consumers to issues in their homes. So basically, it’s a smart home product similar to about a dozen or so others being showcased at CES this week.

The gist of Yoon and his fellow CEOs’ – there were some from BMW, Jawbone, the Foundation of Economic Trends and SmartThings – speeches was that for the IoT to work properly companies must provide an open platform in which all devices work together and developers are given free-reign to explore new innovations.

To get the ball rolling, Yoon promises that all of Samsung’s IoT components and devices will be open to any platform and that the company will invest $100 million in the developer community this year.

Other than that, the keynote featured a few examples of companies working together – err, or working with Samsung or its related companies. The connected BMWs will use a Samsung tablet, Jawbone will work with SmartThings and Samsung will more or less just be Samsung.

Perhaps the only kind-of cool aspect of the overly philosophical keynote was BMW senior vice president Elmar Frickenstein’s announcement of the BMW i8 by commanding into his smart watch, “BMW, pick me up.”

Unfortunately, any awesomeness that could be associated with this segment ended when the screen behind Frickenstein tuned to a pre-recorded video instead of a car skidding on-stage action-movie style. However, the video did show the BMW lighting up and driving itself to Frickenstein in some secluded parking garage.

In all, the opening keynote for CES 2015 basically served as a way to tell consumers that one day, very soon, your life will be completely governed by connected devices.