Samsung Electronics said it is making its Tizen OS, which it uses for its TVs, smart home appliances and mobile devices, available to other third-party TV makers.

The announcement, which was posted on the corporate web site Tuesday, comes out of the Samsung Developers Conference (SDC2019) where the company introduced “new ways its platforms will enable developers to introduce simpler, more powerful experiences to consumers around the world.”

Samsung said its mission at the SDC2019 was focused on creating opportunities for developers “through open, scalable AI and IoT platforms.”

Tizen is Samsung’s custom OS built on a Linux base framework. One of it’s strengths is that it is flexibile enough to be used with a wide range of devices including: smartphones, wearables, smart appliances, in-car infotainment systems and TVs.

Samsung’s announcement didn’t reveal which, if any, third party TV markers have signed on to use, or even expressed an interest in using, Tizen for their own products. But one of them won’t be Samsung rival LG Electronics, which has its own similar webOS smart TV platform.

In addition, Samsung’s long-held market leadership in the TV and smart TV categories has been threatened in recent years by the growth of smart TV ecosystem developers and streaming service aggregators like Roku, Amazon and Google’s Android TV, that offer diverse networks of open inter-operable device experiences across platforms.

These business models often derive some revenue from advertising, referrals and billing from SVoD partners and other services using their platforms. Samsung is likely looking for the same thing.

The company’s satement said it is also investing in 8K streaming technologies with “AI ScaleNet” that makes it possible to stream high-quality 8K videos on networks with lower bandwidth capabilities.”

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The company could be looking to further leverage its early lead in the 8K TV space along with the offer of using its disparate smart TV platforms by enlisting third party developers and hardware makers that are looking for easy turnkey content and system development opportunities.

Samsung also revealed it has developed “new tools that make it easier for developers to bring experiences across the nearly 100 million Smart TVs that are powered by Tizen.”

These include the following:

Wits — This is said to automatically upload a code edit to the TV, so developers can see their update almost immediately, significantly trimming development time.

EasyST — This makes testing content playback much easier because developers don’t need to build their own test app to make sure their content is streaming as intended.

TIFA (Tizen Identifier for Advertising) — This gives consumers the option to limit ad tracking or opt-out of targeted advertising.

A big part of the announcements addressed security concerns. Samsung said it is building “end-to-end security” into every solution and experience. This includes emerging technologies, such as IoT, AI and 5G.

As pat of a Secure Development Lifecycle initiative, Samsung said it is providing “systematic reviews at every phase of the development, supply chain, and manufacturing process” to give both developers and users peace of mind.

“For Samsung, it means providing the community with the tools and programs necessary to deliver secure and reliable solutions,” according to the company statment.

In tandem with helping the developer community integrate advanced security solutions to their apps and services, Samsung has been working with “German government agencies, especially BSI, and industry partners on developing a mobile-enabled eID for digital services to support customers and governments by developing a solid foundation for trusted identity services.”

In other annoucements, Samsung said it continues to improve and evolve its Bixby voice control AI platform “to help consumers discover new ways Bixby can work with them to get things done more quickly and easily.”

Since launching the Bixby Marketplace earlier in the year, Samsung said it has given developers a way to “introduce their Bixby capsules to millions of Bixby users” for new automated experiences.

As a result, the company said the size of the Bixby developer community has doubled in the last six months. Starting in 2020, the Bixby Marketplace will expand gradually, enabling developers to offer their services across more Samsung devices.

Samsung said developers can now register their “capsules” under Natural Language Categories.

“When users ask Bixby for help related to a category—such as radio, news, or navigation—Bixby suggests a capsule that can help them get what they need more quickly and easily, even without having to call out exact name of the capsule,” Samsung said. “More consumers than ever are seeing how seamlessly connected devices and services can make everyday life easier.”

By opening up the Tizen TV platform and Bixby to developers and third parties, Samsung appears to be trying to create its own almost universally compatible ecosystem of connected devices and experiences.

Similar to the works with Alexa system used with Amazon smart devices, Samsung is looking to integrate its platforms into more harmonious usage scenarios. This intention was telegraphed by including support for Amazon and Google voice AI technologies in many 2019 Tizen TVs.

Samsung previously offered developers the ability to scale their devices and services through the Samsung’s IoT platform, SmartThings.

“Already, developers and partners have brought connected experiences to more than 45 million monthly active users and thousands of compatible devices, and the platform is expected to grow further with the Work as a SmartThings Hub (WASH) program, which allows partners like network operators to embed SmartThings Hub software into their devices,” the company said.

In addition Samsung announced it is launching a SmartThings Device SDK Beta program in early 2020 to enable more third-party manufacturers to create SmartThings-compatible devices.

By Greg Tarr

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