Samsung Global Spruiks SmartThings Hubs As Samsung OZ Tosses Them
Samsung Australia has chosen to discontinue selling a smart house hub, or as Samsung refer to it a SmartThings station, despite the US pushing smart hubs, instead they are pushing smart tags and shortly they will be incorporate their Smart Things technology into soundbars.
Back at CES 2023 Samsung launched the SmartThings Station, which is also a wireless phone charger. In Australia Samsung is punting on a SmartThings technology being into all its 2023 TVs, Family Hub fridges, soundbars, and monitors.
Samsung responded to our request for a comment claiming “Samsung is taking a significant step forward in enhancing the smart home experience for our customers in Australia. In doing so, we have decided to embed SmartThings Hub functionality into a range of our existing and new products, including Samsung Sound Bars, Smart TVs, Smart Monitors and Family Hub fridges. This means that Australians can now launch their smart home journey directly from their compatible devices, eliminating the need for a standalone SmartThings Hub.
Additionally, we’ve made it even more convenient for users to manage their smart homes by enabling routine activation via the SmartThings app, whether they are at home or away.* This reflects our commitment to delivering cutting-edge technology that simplifies and enhances the lives of our customers.
The big question is what happens if you don’t have a Samsung Hub on every floor.
At its annual developer conference today, Samsung, as it did at CES and IFA has put its SmartThings smart home platform front and centre of their marketing, why? because it’s key to their future and where technology is going.
Their newest soundbar, the HW-Q900C, is now capable of being a SmartThings hub, complete with support for Zigbee, Thread, and Matter.
SmartThings is a unified IoT-based smart home ecosystem that I believe is superior to the Google Home offering a platform which is more about Google knowing who you are, what you are doing and what gear consumers are buying for their home.
The addition of the soundbar as a hub is a continuation of the company’s ambition to be a key player in the connected home.
Overnight the Company announced that more of its existing and new TVs and smart monitors are set to become Matter controllers, Thread border routers, and Zigbee bridges.
Samsung is one of the founding members of Matter, a new smart home standard designed to make the connected home more interoperable, secure, and easier to use.
Matter is a new smart home interoperability standard that provides a common language for connected devices to communicate locally in your home without relying on a cloud connection.
Developed by Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung, Matter uses Wi-Fi and Thread wireless protocols and currently supports smart sensors, smart lighting, smart plugs and switches, smart thermostats, connected locks, and media devices, including TVs.
All of this means that if a smart home gadget you buy is Matter enabled you can set it up and use it with any Matter-compatible device, any Matter-compatible platform, and a Matter controller.
For Samsung it’s critical that their devices are Matter or third-party technology certified because it allows other technology such as Philips lighting or Yale door locks to co-exist on their platform as no smarthouse is going to feature only Samsung products.
Samsung has confirmed that its multi-hub network is now live, allowing users to run multiple hubs concurrently.
Ideally in a three-level house I would put a Samsung hub on each floor instead of relying on a Samsung product to do the job and this is where Samsung Australia are failing in their Smartt Things strategy.
For Australian Companies who want to deliver a product that’s operable in the SmartThings environment Samsung has launched a new developer portal and new smart home APIs designed to make it simpler for manufacturers such as Swann Communications to integrate SmartThings devices and services into their apps.
Samsung also showed off new integrations with Aqara devices and announced that its map-based SmartThings user interface for smart home control is finally coming to smartphones.
Jaeyeon Jung, EVP at Samsung Electronics and head of SmartThings, said that all Family Hub fridges will also have the Thread / Zigbee chip built-in starting next year.
Aqara is another device maker working closely with SmartThings.
After integrating its Zigbee devices directly into SmartThings hubs, as well as through Matter, Aqara is now adding its Wi-Fi-based FP2 Presence sensor and smart lock into the platform.
SmartThings Map view UI is another smart home control interface that’s set to be available on newer Samsung TVs and monitors and is now coming to phones and tablets.
Jung says it will roll out to Android users at the end of this month and come to iOS at a later date.
A pinch and zoom interface that allows for a clean view and direct control of devices, it’s similar to the map view Amazon is introducing for Alexa; however, Samsung’s will work on any phone, not just newer iPhones.
Finally, a new integration between Samsung smart TVs and Galaxy smartphones will let you quickly turn your phone into a TV remote. “If you’re near a TV, a notification will pop up on your Galaxy phone. Click it, and the remote will pop up, and you can use your phone as a TV remote,” says Jung.