Samsung Smart Home is a forthcoming IoT (Internet of Things) platform that’ll let you control things like lights, heaters, door locks and other appliances with your phone.
Instead of having to have a separate, discrete app for each of the smart services in your home, devices that are gathered under the Samsung Smart Home umbrella. Everything will be controlled from one app.
That’s Samsung Smart Home in a nutshell. The service won’t be ready for a while – Samsung plans to release the software to developers at its annual Developer Conference in San Francisco, which kicks off on November 11. Until then, here’s everything we know about Samsung Smart Home.
Samsung Smart Home: What devices will it be available on?
Samsung Smart Home will be a feature available to Samsung Galaxy Android phones and the Galaxy Gear series of smart watches.
Minimum specifications and supported devices are not yet known.
Samsung Smart Home: What devices can I control with Smart Home?
Dr. Wonpyo Hong, President, Media Solutions Center said that Samsung “plans to build a truly open smart home ecosystem by actively incorporating a variety of services and platforms in the cloud, as well as by opening Samsung’s platform to developers.”
In short you should be able to control a wide variety of smart home products and services, not just Samsung-branded ones. At present, no brand partners have been announced for Samsung Smart Home.
Samsung Smart Home: What will I be able to do with it?
To give us an example of the types of things you’ll be able to control, Samsung set up a living room of the future at IFA 2014, a room that was bedecked with smart light bulbs, smart speakers, connected TVs and washing machines.
As with IFTTT (If This Then That) and Apple HomeKit, it looks like you’ll be able to create scenarios whereby if you tell one appliance to do something, two or three other actions by other devices will be triggered.
For example the smart lights in Samsung’s living room automatically dimmed whenever someone started watching a movie on the smart TV.
In his keynote speech, Samsung’s president and CEO BK Yoon reiterated that Samsung Smart Home is as much about the home responding to your presence automatically as it is putting control of many things at your fingertips.
“The home of the future is not about the technology and it’s not about being smart and connected. It’s about working in a way that you don’t notice the technology at work. It’s about giving you the right options at the right time. Above all, it’s about adapting to you.”
While Yoon was talking about smart homes in general, Samsung demonstrated this philosophy in action at IFA 2014.
Location information will also let you do things like have heaters and lights come on as you approach your home and unlock the front door as you walk towards it.
As well as your smart home dynamically responding to your presence, you’ll also be able to directly access things like IP cameras on your phone and check the logs of the digital door locks to see who has come and gone, and have the lights come on in the bathroom or bedroom or anywhere in the house where you’re immediately headed.
You’ll be able to issue voice commands through S Voice, Samsung’s Siri-like voice assistant, as well as through the Samsung Smart Home app.
The Smart Home app will also let you check how much energy appliances in your home are using and compare energy usage over months. How you’ll be able to do this without a smart meter isn’t clear – Samsung Smart Home is very much in the early stages right now.
Other smart home scenarios demonstrated included a connected fridge which lets you check on what’s in your fridge to stop you buying more than you need. During his keynote, Yoon sketched out an idea for the future where a smart fridge would tell you what leftovers you have and suggest recipes.
Samsung Smart Home: Release date – when is it coming out?
The Samsung Smart Home SDK will be released to developers during Samsung’s Developer Conference 2014, which takes places between November 11-13.
It’s unlikely we’ll see any Samsung Smart Home products going on sale before then. Samsung will also be demonstrating the latest developments of SmartThings, an existing smart home and IoT ecosystem, at the Developer Conference.
While SmartThings is owned by Samsung, the company will continue to develop its services separately from Samsung Smart Home.
Samsung Smart Home: How much will it cost?
Samsung Smart Home is likely to be a built in feature of Samsung’s Galaxy range of Android phones.
While it won’t cost anything extra itself, you’ll still need to have a Galaxy phone. Samsung’s current flagship phone the Galaxy S5 costs either £465 up front, around £200-£250 on £40 12 month contracts or free on £30-£35 24 month contracts.
You’ll also be able to control your smart home gadgets with a Galaxy Gear smart watch. Prices for those range from £120-£200.
As no products have been announced by Samsung yet, its impossible to say how much a typical Smart Home set up would cost.
With smart heating systems like Tado and Hive costing around £250 to set up, smart door locks costing around £60-£80 and light systems like Philips Hue costing £180 for three bulbs and the wireless bridge, you could be looking at paying around £500
This is just an estimate based on today’s prices of three popular smart home appliances. By the time Samsung Smart Home is ready for launch, these prices may have changed and the cost of any of Samsung’s own appliances might be lower (or higher).