The smart home is about to transform. Soon, you won’t have to select an intelligent light bulb or door lock just because it operates with your smart speaker.
Instead, you’ll be capable of buying a smart device and bringing it home, and it will use with any voice assistant or app you prefer.
At least, that’s the commitment behind Matter, a new standard designed by Samsung, Google, Apple, and Amazon. Most significantly, you won’t be locked into the platform you choose. If you decide you desire to switch to SmartThings from Google Home or move with Amazon Alexa over Apple HomeKit, any Matter-enabled appliances can come with you.
This shift in the smart home represents the powerful platforms that help us run our connected devices are changing, too.
SmartThings is the only standalone consumer intelligent home hub from the early daytimes of the DIY smart home boom that’s still active and kicking. It created its business on its namesake hub’s ability to secure devices from different manufacturers, permitting you to manage them all with one app.
While more “hubs” do that today, including Amazon Alexa and Google Home, the SmartThings hub is a few consumer-level devices with multiple radios, including Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and Z-Wave. As a result, it allows controlling a much more comprehensive range of intelligent home appliances. It also operates with cloud-to-cloud software services and is one of the most compatible innovative home platforms. In addition, there’s a voice assistant aid for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and Samsung’s Bixby.
Acquired by Samsung in 2014, SmartThings has evolved into the electronics giant’s preliminary platform for connected gadgets. However, the app is earlier installed on all Samsung phones. So if you acknowledge any connected Samsung appliance — like a refrigerator, TV, or washing machine — you’ll require to download the SmartThings app to utilize any innovative features. The app operates on iOS and Android phones and includes one of the more effective automation platforms.
Since the acquisition, Samsung has shifted away from manufacturing any SmartThings hardware, offloading both the unique hub and many sensors to device maker Aeotec. Instead, the company has said it’s concentrating all actions on the SmartThings app and supporting Samsung’s connected products through software.
In 2021, it launched the Cooking, Air Care, Clothing Care, and Pet Care sections of the SmartThings app. In addition, it helps users of Samsung products get the most out of their connected appliances and has a Smart Energy and Home Care section for monitoring energy usage and maintenance needs of Samsung appliances.
Plenty has transformed the industry since SmartThings launched. Architecturally, the platform has also had to evolve. We’ve been working on setting the forum up for scale and flexibility in the future.
Many exciting things are going on in the creative home space. Consumers have never been more inclined to add smart devices to their residences. With the pandemic, individuals are rediscovering and reimagining what their home could be like and how they can create it better, cracking into excitement about intelligent home stuff.
SmartThings is truly in the center of that activity where we’ve been since 2012. As a result, we have a unique chance to bring our partners together to commit to the new industry standard, Matter. But finally, the industry has recognized it has been a barrier to adoption.
We do think that, in 10 years, we’re proceeding to look back at this year as an enterprise inflection point — a fundamental change in the way companies work together to deliver things that work together, not just in distinct siloed ecosystems.
There have been two aspects to SmartThings: Samsung SmartThings and the original SmartThings. Samsung no longer causes any SmartThings hardware and has stated that future hubs will be software-based. Many users are anxious about that transformation.
It’s an evolution. It’s been happening now for a while. We’re trying to bridge those worlds together. History has been the epicenter and the community with all of the significant innovations they’ve obtained. But we’re also witnessing a massive explosion in the adoption of SmartThings via the Samsung appliances and TVs.
So, you have a depth between the early adopters and developers, who know how to operate a smart home, and the regular user who has some intelligent, connected devices but doesn’t take the full spectrum of a connected home.
The future development is really in this, but it doesn’t mean we want to leave that early group behind. Instead, we like to bridge those two and find patterns that the community can innovate to create the whole SmartThings platform better for everybody.
The unique SmartThings V3 Hub and the Aeotec SmartThings Hub will be updated to support Matter when it launches in the fall. In addition, SmartThings is getting integrated more intensely across the Samsung portfolio, with SmartThings Hub software created into select 2022 Samsung Smart TVs, Smart Monitors, and Family Hub refrigerators. These devices will also let users connect to various existing smart home devices. As the new standard becomes available, they will be updated to get Matter as controller support.
Low-power wireless protocols are a vital part of the Matter standard and will come to the Samsung SmartThings products with built-in hub functionality. More details are to come later on implementing Thread technology, but Thread’s vital to us. In addition, communication with Zigbee devices will be possible through the SmartThings Dongle, allowing connectivity to many smart home devices.
Indeed. This year, we will concentrate the efforts on obtaining Matter as a controller for multiple surfaces across the Samsung portfolio. It means most 2022 Samsung Smart Monitors, Smart TVs, and Family Hub refrigerators. SmartThings Hubs will not work as a Matter bridge, so non-Matter devices will not be bridged or revealed to other Matter controllers. Instead, matter-enabled SmartThings epicenters will continue to sustain existing devices and protocols (e.g., Zigbee, Z-Wave) to deliver SmartThings customers with flexible connectivity choices.
The competitive landscape is changing. We’ve inevitably gotten to this point. The previous days of the intelligent home were about “How can I obtain a device connected?” and “What forum is the most flexible in allowing the most different kinds of varied protocols and devices?” It was a fragmented world, and we brought everything to work together.
The Matter is enabling to facilitate the way devices get connected. Now, how it’s linked isn’t the differentiator anymore. It could seize some time for Matter to grow and be adopted. It’s not varying to be all at once, but it is the future.
With connectivity evolving more standardized, where SmartThings contends in the future will be distinct. The user understanding is the competitive space that will determine platforms and companies — things around help cases in the home, taking care of your pets, cooking, setting the lighting just right, managing energy usage, and locking the doors at night. Having those things work and be superficial and easy to understand so that users can control their homes and manage them well is why we’re enthusiastic about Matter.
At the same time, it does cause an evolution, a change, in terms of the competitive areas and communal areas.
Hopefully, the user experience is significant enough that it is a differentiator. It will be very competitive because several companies are all working to have the same goal of being an excellent user experience that the customers can go to manage their Matter devices. But one of the significant differentiators that we have is the Samsung portfolio of devices. And that’s something no one else has.
Another thing is that SmartThings has an incredible Routines engine for creating advanced automation. So other companies will resume making investments and progress there because that’s critical to doing well. But that’s already what SmartThings has the benefit in. And it’s something that we’re resuming to fund in.
The interoperability and being able to bring devices connected is standardizing. But connectivity isn’t where the match will occur. It’s in the experience of utilizing those things and how they work with the features you can access on those devices. So that will continue to be a differentiating point for SmartThings and Samsung.