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Samsung acquires smart home company SmartThings

Samsung Electronics this week said that it had acquired SmartThings, a company that develops software and hardware for smart homes. The acquisition will help SmartThings to expand its product line, whereas Samsung will be able to enter a new market of smart home appliances. The company will continue to operate independently under founder and CEO Alex Hawkinson, and will become part of the Samsung Open Innovation Center (OIC).

SmartThings offers hardware and software platform for home automation. The platform allows to monitor, control (lights, locks, electronics, appliances and other connected devices), receive alerts, trigger actions and even customize connected devices using smartphones. In addition to its own software, SmartThings allows third-parties (e.g., device makers, inventors, and developers) to develop use cases and apps for its platform. At present the SmartThings eco-system supports more than 1000 devices and 8000 apps.

“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 Samsung 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.”

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It is noteworthy that Samsung will not integrate SmartThings into itself, but will allow it to continue support third party devices and smartphones. While it remains to be seen whether SmartThings will retain support of Apple iPhone, logically speaking it should, since this is a competitive advantage of its eco-system.

“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.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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KitGuru Says: While everything is more or less obvious with the future of SmartThings, it remains to be seen how Samsung benefits from the acquisition. The company could introduce its own lights, locks, electronics, appliances and other connected devices for home and further expand its business. But will Samsung do it? Only time will tell!

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