Samsung is in the process of reinventing itself. Having announced its ambitions at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show to become an “Internet of Things” company dedicated to Internet-connected smart devices that talk to one another, the South Korean tech giant has now established a new experimental research lab that will focus on building drones and robotics, in addition to 3-D printing and virtual reality.
As befits a large-scale reimagining of Samsung’s business, the team appears to be taking a long-term approach to innovation, according to the Korea Times:
“Given the significance of the team, members will have more authority and independence because the main purpose of the team isn’t to develop single devices for any imminent results, but to develop solutions to go with Samsung’s manufacturing capabilities… The team will explore how technologies could help people’s daily life for a better future.”
The new team will be a part of Samsung’s mobile division, but will also have autonomy within the company, while building upon existing products such as Samsung’s Gear VR headset.
Samsung is currently attempting to break away from its old business model of creating products primarily by undercutting rivals. With the arrival of new low-cost mass market handset makers like Xiaomi, Samsung is likely poised to go back to the drawing board before its profits are eroded too heavily. Its new Internet of Things focus recently saw the company launch a new line of Internet-connected smart refrigerators, air conditioners, and washing machines.
The company isn’t, however, completely giving up on its classic strategy. While today’s news indicates Samsung is investing in promising fields like virtual reality and robotics to find the next breakout product, it continues to promote new lost-cost mobile devices, running the company’s Tizen operating system in developing markets such as India and Bangladesh.