LAS VEGAS—The problem with most connected home products is that the reality usually doesn’t live up to the name. It’s not your whole home that’s connected—your Wi-Fi scale talks to one app, while your lights are controlled by a different app. So is that fancy smart smoke detector.
Samsung wants to change this with Samsung Smart Home, an integrated platform that will let you connect and control all your smart devices (TVs, appliances, lights, security cameras, you name it) from a single Smart Home application.
The electronics giant announced Samsung Smart Home on Sunday, one day before its press conference at CES 2014, and plans to roll out the product during the first half of this year.
The Smart Home application will have three main sections at first: Device Control, Home View, and Smart Customer Service.
Device Control lets you set up behaviors for when you’re home or away. For example, you could tell your Galaxy Gear smartwatch that you’re “going out” (yes, it has voice control, and yes, this would be the coolest use of the Gear by far if it really works), which could turn down the heat, shut off the lights, and fire up your robot vacuum. Only Samsung products will be supported at first, but Samsung’s Smart Home software protocol will let other companies connect their products as well.
The Home View feature lets you peek in on your house when you’re away, thanks to cameras built in to your appliances. (As long as you’re comfortable buying appliances that can see as good as they look.)
The Smart Customer Service is a way for your devices to let you know when they need repair or more consumable supplies—hopefully it’ll be more reliable than those low-ink warnings your printer sends when there is clearly plenty of ink left.
Samsung’s announcement didn’t include a full list of compatible products—or prices—although the company says it eventually plans to cover home energy, home security, and healthcare products through partnerships with other companies. More details are hopefully coming at Samsung’s press conference on Monday; we’ll keep you posted.