Kenyans could soon start enjoying an Internet of Things (IoT) experience if advances being made by Samsung Electronics East Africa continue at the current pace.

The electronics manufacturer, whose Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is currently being used by the country’s biigest telco Safaricom as the flagship smartphone for 5G connectivity, has vowed to use its wide range of home appliances to enable users create stable IoT systems.

The company has introduced into the East African market a new range of consumer electronics most of which, powered by Artificial Intelligence, can be connected together to make future lifestyles a reality.

“In the next two years, IoT will be a reality in most urban homes in Kenya. In the next five years it will have moved to rural areas as solar energy penetration increases,” Samuel Odhiambo, head of consumer electronics division at Samsung Electronics East Africa said.

Samsung manufactures smartphones, smart watches, ear buds, laptops, tablets, smart television sets, washing machines, smart fridges, freezers, cooking machines, microwaves and home theatre systems, which it has promised to virtually connect for users to control from the phone.

The latest devices the company has launched in Kenya are the affordable series of 5G –enabled phones (Galaxy A32, A52 and A72), Neo QLED 8K and 4K Series TV, QLED 2021 Series TV, Crystal UHD 2021 Series TV, 2021 Frame TV and the AI enabled washing machines and the bespoke fridges.

“The Covid-19 pandemic saw an increase in consumer electronics and this has greatly informed our plan for IoT. There is a trend for demand for bigger and intelligent appliances,” he added.

IoT home automation is the ability to control domestic appliances by electronically controlled, 5G internet-connected systems.

It may include setting complex heating and lighting systems in advance and setting alarms and home security controls, all connected by a central hub and remote-controlled by a mobile app. All devices in the connection network communicate with each other.

Just from the SmartThings App your Samsung smartphone, you could soon get alerts about when your food is overcooked, when your laundry is done, the types and number of items in added and removed from your fridge, the appropriate music to play at specific times, upcoming TV shows, your heart rate, when you are stressed and what to cook every meal time.

Samsung has said the new AI-enabled washing machines allow users to enjoy efficient cleaning, even at low temperatures with the Samsung Eco Bubble technology feature.

“With this technology, detergent is turned into bubbles, so it quickly penetrates fabric and removes dirt easily, while saving energy and protecting clothes’ color and texture.”

The washing machines personalizes washing by remembering user’s habits, suggesting cycles and displaying timely information.

“Consumers today expect experiences tailored to their needs, personal tastes, and style. The new range of consumer electronics that we have introduced are both aesthetic and functional for IoT hence working for any space that the customer will have in mind,” noted Mr Odhiambo.

The app also provides advice on cycles, planning and troubleshooting and it automatically selects the perfect drying course.

AI Wash uses four types of sensors to sense the laundry’s weight and calculates the optimal amount of water and detergent.

A turbidity sensor monitors the level of soiling and, if necessary, adds more detergent or rinsing time.

The Auto Dispense feature automatically dispenses the appropriate amount of detergent and softener for each load.

It also holds enough detergent and softener for up to one month of washing, so there is no need to fill-up the tank after every wash.

The Air Wash technology deodorizes and sanitizes items, so they smell fresh while ‘Air Sanitize’ course removes all bacteria, as well as dust, mites and odours.

The ‘Air Bedding care’ feature ensures bed linen and blankets are clean and fluffy.

“This Give clothes a deep, hygienic clean with steam. A Sanitize cycle with steam improves the cleaning quality of a wash without pre-treatments. It releases steam from the bottom of the drum, so every item is thoroughly saturated. This removes ingrained grime and 99.9 percent of bacteria,” Samsung said.

The models, available since the beginning of July, include the tall one door fridge, the tall one door freezer and a bottom mount fridge. 

The standard size and depth of the fridges fully aligns with your cabinetry. These refrigerators can be installed as either a counter-depth style or a kitchen-fit style.

The minimalist flat design allows them to blend perfectly with any modern kitchen décor. The refrigerators have large capacity allowing for enough space to store the user’s groceries.

And while an IoT system would be prone to cyber attacks, Samsung says through its blockchain-based Knox technology, all its devices would be protected against cyber breaches and data privacy rights violation via a ‘powerful firewall’ and constant cyber threat monitoring.

“The future of data security lies in blockchain tech. Samsung Blockchain keeps your private key in a single, secure location and provides encryption for your data files with this private key. Also, Private Share ensures that your valuable data and information are managed and shared without risking your privacy,” says the company.

The company also promised to join the healthcare revolution, where 5G and IoT are being deployed to allow remote surgeries across the first world.

“Treatment equipment can be plugged into the Samsung home IoT system where doctors can monitor progress of patients remotely. But widespread adoption of 5G in Kenya and more affordable internet must happen first,” said Mr Odhiambo.  ​