We first heard about the Samsung Smart Home—a home-automation platform for Samsung smart appliances—at CES in January of this year. But this afternoon, the Korean electronics giant launched the service in America and Korea.
Using Samsung's cloud services and a smartphone app, owners of certain high-end Samsung smart appliances can work all sorts of magic from anywhere they can get a data connection.
Stuck late at the office? Grab your phone and start a load of laundry, turn the TV on for your lonesome house cat, or flip on the air conditioning to cool the house down before you get home. You can also check on the status of appliances, so you can see when the current load of laundry will finish without running down to the basement to check.
The Smart Home app can also be set up like a universal remote for smart devices. Press materials from Samsung describe one scenario in which a user could say "Goodnight!" to their TV remote control and a pre-programmed routine would power down the A/C, connected LED bulbs, and other smart devices. (Since the service can only be operated through a smartphone at this time, we're not sure how the TV remote factors in, but it probably hints at future functionality.)
For the U.S., compatible appliances include Samsung's smart front-loading washing machines, all 2014 Samsung smart TVs, and smart French-door refrigerators. To control them, you can use any smartphone running Android 4.0 and above. (Unsurprisingly, iOS users are out of luck.)
The company also promises to add compatibility with its recently announced smart LED light bulb, robot vacuum cleaners, and an oven by the end of 2014. Samsung will also bring the Smart Home app to the Tizen operating system for use with its Gear Fit and Gear 2 smartwatches.