As new technology puts the Internet of Things and the automation of the smart home closer within reach of the regular consumer, people will be heading to Home Depot or Amazon not only to pick out thermostats that know when they’re out of the house, lights that can switch themselves on and off, or locks that will open when they walk up the steps with bags of groceries, but to find a hub or a platform that will enable them to control all of those devices.
While some hubs are designed to control only the devices that third-party manufacturers have specifically designed to be compatible with that particular hub, or only the selection of devices that use one of a number of different communication protocols, there are a few hubs and platforms that are more universal, and aim to enable consumers to control just about any smart home device. That’s where things are getting interesting.
Pushing deeper into smart home automation and the Internet of Things, Samsung is acquiring SmartThings, a startup that makes an open hub and platform to control an array of connected devices. Samsung announced the acquisition on Thursday, writing that with Samsung’s resources and support, SmartThings will be able to make its platform available for integration with even more devices, bolstering the platform’s current compatibility with some 1,000 devices and 8,000 apps. SmartThings will continue to operate independently under founder and chief executive Alex Hawkinson, within Samsung’s Open Innovation Center in Palo Alto, California.