The question plaguing people today is; in the smart home expected in the future, who will be the leader? A new report indicates that the company could be the Samsung Electronics, if we consider patent innovation. In the past few weeks, most of the headlines have been made by Google Inc. and Apple Inc. Last week, Apple held its Worldwide Developers Conference where it made the announcement of its ‘HomeKit’. This will enable the manufacturers of ‘smart home’ devices such as thermostats for linking to the iPhone and will make the company’s device into a remote control for the entire house.
As far as Google is concerned, the company purchased a smart home appliance maker in January Nest Lab Inc. for a cost of $3.2 billion. This move prompted Honeywell International Inc., a stalwart of home automation for a long time to introduce a smart device. However, away from the headlines, Samsung is the company that’s filing the most patents for new products as indicated by recent research. In the past 14 years, the South Korean giant has filed a total of 150 patent applications in the US and this is double that of Sony. In addition, it was also reported that the company will file an additional 60 patents in this year alone.
The ‘smart home’ industry has exploded in the past couple of years according to the numbers of home automated connecting applications. However, the torrid pace taken up by the smartphone leader will increase the company’s lead against its closest competitors including LG Electronics and Sony. Google holds the 16th rank behind Honeywell that has the eighth position while Apple Inc. was at the 30th position as it has only filed a handful patents concerning home automation. Nevertheless, the number of patent applications isn’t an indicator of the whole story.
After all, not all patents are the same as some are more beneficial and useful than others. Therefore, additional research was conducted to judge if the filed patents were granted and connected with other applications and had proven to be influential in the long term. Even then, it was discovered that Samsung holds the first position and can easily get ahead in the smart home market. With Samsung, it’s not just the volume of innovation that’s important, but so is quality, which enables the company to take the lead.
Furthermore, since Samsung became a target of a patent lawsuit filed by Apple Inc., it has gotten even more aggressive in its patent applications concerning important areas of technology where it wishes to be active. It was discovered by research in 2013 that in terms of patent applications concerning smart media, semiconductors and mobile telephony, Samsung was ranked first all over the world. As far as the current year is concerned, the South Korean firm was on the receiving end of more US patents as compared to any other firm. The company has come to realize the importance of protecting its innovation via the patent system, which is the reason behind its aggressiveness.