samsung and smartthings

With much of the ‘next big thing in tech’ talk focused on wearables and mobile payments, it’s easy to forget about the connected home. But all of the major tech companies are making major moves in this space, including Google, Apple and now Samsung.

Following Google’s Nest acquisition and Apple’s HomeKit unveiling, Samsung announced this week that it has purchased smart home startup—and former Kickstarter sensation—SmartThings. The money is said to be in the neighborhood of $200 million…

Recode was first to report on the deal, and it was later confirmed by SmartThings’ Alex Hawkinson:

We believe that there is an enormous opportunity to leverage Samsung’s global scale to help us realize our long-term vision. While we will remain operationally independent, joining forces with Samsung will enable us to support all of the leading smartphone vendors, devices, and applications; expand our base of developers and enhance the tools and programs that they rely on; and help many more people around the world easily control and monitor their homes using SmartThings.

For a better idea of what kinds of things the company is working on, checkout their Kickstarter video:

Following completion of the deal, the SmartThings team will move to the Samsung Open Innovation Center in Palo Alto. As said in the above statement, it will continue to operate as a separate company, and Samsung says it intends to keep the platform ‘open.’

Samsung, of course, already offers a wide range of so-called ‘smart’ appliances, but they haven’t been very widely adopted thus far. Buying SmartThings was actually a really smart move for the firm, and it’ll be interesting to see what it does with the company’s tech.

Apple, for its part, unveiled its smart home platform ‘HomeKit’ during its June WWDC event, and plans to launch it alongside iOS 8 this fall. Few details are known about the project, but it looks like it’s going to need strong third-party support to make any waves.

  • In the KickStarter video we can see them using an iPhone app. I guess now that they’re owned by Samsung they’ll only be working on Android apps…

    • Rowan09

      I would think Tizen apps and Samsung apps.

      • Wait do Samsung actually sell a whole lot of phones with the Tizen operating system? The last time I checked it was a platform doomed for failure…

      • Rowan09

        No they don’t but they want to build up the developer backing and catalog. Samsung doesn’t want to stay on Android because it is too heavily relied upon what Google says they can and cannot do. The only reason they are on Android is to get phone sales and they can’t make a forked version because they became a member of the Google formed Open Handset Alliance.

  • bsquarewi

    UGH…. Every one of the home automation solutions I start to get into end up being plucked up by one of these big companies. Nest, Insteon, now this…

    Nest – bought by Google, Wanted to rip it off my wall the day they announced it. Have too much $$$ invested in the Thermostat and Protects to flush it down the toilet though…
    Insteon – Have a number of devices around the house and they went and got in to bed with Microsoft and WindowsPhone a few months ago. So not much new in the way of their iOS integration.
    So… just a couple days ago I ordered a few of these Smarthings devices to integrate with IFTTT. Guess I’ll return them and try my luck with WEMO instead.

    Apple needs to help get some of their partners’ HomeKit devices out in the market soon.

  • Fancy stuff, but regardless who it comes from, I don’t ever see myself intentionally connecting my home appliances to the internet. To a private wifi network though, that might happen.