Samsung Releases SmartThings App, New Hardware
Samsung makes good on its CES announcement.
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Back in January, Samsung used CES to announce a new SmartThings product lineup. It was promised to arrive in April, but due to development issues, the launch was delayed. Now Samsung is using IFA, the premier European electronics show, to officially release the new smart home goodies.
The star of the show is the new hub, which adds a Bluetooth radio, battery backup, and video monitoring. That means you can view live streams from select models of Samsung and D-Link cameras in your home. Samsung claims the battery will last for "up to 10 hours," and the hub no longer requires internet access to run, giving it a leg up on other platforms during power outages.
There's one caveat, though: While the Bluetooth radio is included, SmartThings says it won't be activated until a later date, due to development priorities.
The hub is accompanied by new, smaller versions of the SmartThings sensors. They include an outlet, a motion sensor, a key fob "arrival sensor," a door and window–style multipurpose sensor, and a water leak sensor.
The new hub goes on sale today for $99 through SmartThings, Samsung, and Amazon. The sensors cost between $30 and $55 a pop and are also available immediately. However, the new lineup won't be found in brick-and-mortar stores until next month.
In addition to the new hardware, Samsung is releasing a new version of the SmartThings app for Android and iOS (sorry, Windows Phone users). It features a new redesign for easier navigation, as well as the ability to group smart home products into rooms for whole-room control and create automatic actions that revolve around "preset routines."
Samsung also had more to say about the home monitoring service it announced at CES, which is now called Smart Home Monitor. The service will send you video clips and text alerts when it detects that something has gone wrong in your home.
Smart Home Monitor is free until the end of the year, after which Samsung will start charging users for premium features. A paid offering is expected before year's end.
Lastly, the company announced that it is releasing new developer tools and building stronger product integrations under the "Works with SmartThings" program. These deep integrations will come from partner companies including Bose, Cree, D-Link, First Alert, Honeywell, Osram, Schlage, Yale, and more.
With new hardware and software, SmartThings is quickly becoming one of the most compelling and feature-rich smart home offerings on the market. Now all SmartThings needs are appliance integrations—oh, and proper Nest support would be nice too.
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