Samsung to acquire IoT smart home platform provider SmartThings

Acquisition is likely to speed up the manufacturer’s efforts to connect its home appliance products to the Internet using the SmartThings open platform, which enables users to connect devices and alarms in their home to their smartphone via a home hub

Samsung to acquire IoT smart home platform provider SmartThings

Samsung Electronics announced today (15 August 2014) that it has entered into an agreement to acquire US company SmartThings, creator of the open platform for the smart home and the consumer Internet of Things. No figures have been released, but the price is understood to be approximately $200 million.

SmartThings enables users to connect smart devices in their homes to their smartphones via a home hub from anywhere. Samsung said today that with its resources and support, SmartThings will be able to expand its platform and become available for even more partners and devices.

 The company will continue to operate independently under founder and CEO Alex Hawkinson, and will become part of the Samsung Open Innovation Center (OIC), which is responsible for bringing software and services innovation to Samsung Electronics. SmartThings will move its headquarters from Washington, DC to Palo Alto, California.

Founded in 2012, SmartThings gives people power to monitor, control, and automate their homes from wherever they are through a single mobile app. SmartThings’ open platform supports more than 1,000 devices and 8,000 apps created by its community of device makers, inventors, and developers.

 “SmartThings has created a remarkable universe of partners and developers and now has the most engagement of any smart home platform in the world,” said David Eun, head of the OIC.

“Connected devices have long been strategically important to Samsung and, like Alex and his team, we want to improve the convenience and services in people’s lives by giving their devices and appliances a voice so they can interact more easily with them. We are committed to maintaining SmartThings’ open platform, fostering more explosive growth, and becoming its newest strategic partner,” said Eun.

“As an open, standards-agnostic platform for the Internet of Things, our vision has always been to innovate, build, and make the world smarter, together,” said Alex Hawkinson. “With Samsung behind us, we will be able to attract more device makers and developers to unlock the limitless possibilities of the consumer Internet of Things. We are thrilled to become part of the Samsung family and continue our goal in making every home a smart home.”
 
As a major producers of electronic goods, the acquisition of SmartThings is likely to see a strong link up with Samsung products. However, as an open platform many other devices from other manufacturers will continue to be able to sync up to the SmartThings hub.

The SmartThings app, available for both iOS and Android, enables users to see what is happening at their home when they are absent on their smartphone by connecting as many smart devices as they want to a hardware hub device that connects the smart devices and alarms to the mobile phone.

For example, the “Activity Feed” lets them see up-to-the-minute information about what is happening in different parts of their home, and what has happened recently.

Applications connected to the smart hub enable users to control lights, locks, electronics, appliances and other connected devices in the home from anywhere. Users are also able to customise different notifications and alerts so they can keep an eye on what’s important to them.

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