Samsung bet the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) to be totally open. Its Hub will securely unite sensors and accessories from a range of manufacturers using the SmartThings open system. In practice, Samsung’s idea is that just about every device you have – and even products like chairs, that you don’t normally expect to see technology in — will be connected and talking to each other. You’ll be able to take off your headphones when you arrive home and have the music they were playing automatically start up through your speaker system.
Bins, toasters, washing machines and lights will be able to talk to each other for automatic, more efficient control and monitoring.
Lights could talk to the heating system or door to know when you’re home. A fridge could detect when the milk is empty and order another pint, or the security camera could turn on all the lights if it detects an intruder. But Samsung also sees this connectivity extending outside of the home. When you go up to a digital kiosk, such as a map at a large mall, Samsung imagines that your phone might automatically connect to it and change the graphic’s language to whatever you primarily speak.
The Hub will work with a range of SmartThings-branded devices as well as other products from Samsung and accessories from Bose, Philips, Honeywell, Yale, LIFX, Aeon and others.
Samsung will sell a starter pack costing £199 ($308) with the Hub, a door closer sensor, a motion sensor, a presence sensor and a power outlet switch for turning something else on and off. A range of other SmartThings devices including a moisture sensor, a camera and a sleep monitor will also be available for around £30 ($46) each, with more in the pipeline for next year.