Samsung is betting big on the Internet of Things (IoT) by investing $1.2 billion in the U.S. in the next four years. The company says the funds will be split between internal research and development and investments in startups.
The company said in a statement that it will make the investments through its Silicon Valley arm, such as the Samsung Global Innovation Center, so it can develop relationships with startups.
Samsung joins a growing number of companies that are investing in the IoT area. In March 2015, IBM announced it would invest $3 billion over the next four years in IoT. Likewise, Intel, GE, Cisco, and others have made big-dollar commitments and acquisitions in the IoT space.
Samsung executives say this new funding will help the company compete with other IoT firms like Intel and Qualcomm. Specifically, Samsung plans to invest in IoT applications like autonomous vehicles and healthcare apps as well as use it to develop software that will make sense of massive amounts of data that is collected by connecting all these devices.
This isn’t Samsung’s first foray into IoT. Last April the company unveiled Artik, an IoT developer platform optimized for wearables and other connected devices.
Samsung just last week expanded into the cloud services space with the acquisition of San Francisco-based Joyent. Although the company says the primary reason for the deal was to reduce its reliance on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure for cloud services, it also said that it plans to grow its software and services business in anticipation that new areas like IoT will require more computation power than mobile devices can handle and will be powered by cloud services.