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Samsung spins off a bit more blue sky thinking

Samsung

Samsung has announced it will spin out three more projects from its in-house start-up incubation programme C-Lab (Creative Lab).

The additional projects bring the total up to 34 spin offs since 2015, with the latest trio focusing on an indoor smart garden solution, a portable directional speaker and a research platform that connects clients and users based on mobile usage patterns.

“During the past three years, 34 start-ups with 130 employees were spun off from C-Lab and they have hired an additional 170 people from outside of Samsung,” said Jaiil Lee, Head of Creativity & Innovation Center at Samsung Research. “We will continue to give opportunities to our employees to realize their innovative ideas as an entrepreneur in start-ups accelerated by Samsung.”

The first, Agwart, has created a product called Planbox, which is essentially an indoor garden which can be monitored and managed using a smartphone. Users place the seeds in the device, which then automatically detects the species of the seed and optimizes its internal environment including lighting, temperature, humidity, air quality and nutrients.

The second is Catch Flow, which has developed S-Ray, a speaker which sends the sound directly forward so only the people in the right direction can hear it. S-Ray is one tenth the size of a conventional directional speaker, with Samsung claiming it also runs on lower power without impacting volume or sound quality.

Finally, AppBee is a platform which predicts a user’s characteristics by analysing their mobile usage patterns and automatically matches the users to suitable clients through AI-based algorithms. The start-up will be known as For Makers hopes to produce more reliable research results at a lower cost compared to conventional, untargeted surveys.

C-Lab has proved to be a successful venture for Samsung, with a number of the projects making tangible headway in the digital economy. Linkflow is perhaps one of the biggest success stories, with the value of the business increasing 20-fold since launching in 2016. Linkflow’s FITT360 Security camera has especially been attracting attention from security companies, though there does seem to be some positive momentum for many of the wearable camera products.

The Google Moonshot business unit is the envy of most technology companies around the world, but Samsung doesn’t seem to be doing a bad job either.

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