HONG KONG — Samsung Electronics is spending $8 billion to get inside your car.
Samsung, the South Korean electronics giant — which already makes popular but recently problem-plagued smartphones — said on Monday that it had agreed to buy Harman International Industries, an American automotive technology company, in an ambitious push into a whole different kind of mobile.
Harman is best known for making car audio systems under brand names popular with audiophiles such as Harman/Kardon and JBL. But Harman’s appeal to Samsung comes from what it calls its connected car business — an operation that supplies a car’s navigation services, its onboard entertainment systems and its connectivity to the rest of the world.
“The vehicle of tomorrow will be transformed by smart technology and connectivity in the same way that simple feature phones have become sophisticated smart devices over the past decade,” Young Sohn, the president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics, said in a news release.
The deal marks the latest ambitious foray by an established name in the technology world into a new generation of smart objects sometimes collectively called the internet of things. Under this vision, everything from home security systems to refrigerators will be connected to the internet, gathering data and controllable at the touch of a smartphone icon.
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