Looking to breathe new life into its SmartThings platform for smart homes, Samsung has announced plans to release a dedicated SmartThings hub device. It will also launch an assortment of compatible bespoke appliances including Family Hub fridges and a combo washer/dryer.
The new Home Hub is shipping first to South Korea sometime in 2022. It will let you control and monitor SmartThings-connected gear. You’ll be able to turn compatible lights on or off, for example, and monitor the energy consumption of devices like TVs. This could be something similar to Google’s Nest Hub smart display, or Amazon’s Echo Show lineup, but Samsung is so far being coy on features or even what the product looks like.
Samsung SmartThings hub appliances
Much more is known about the Bespoke Family Hub. This is a 21.5-inch, Full HD touchscreen built into Samsung’s Bespoke French Door Refrigerators launching in 2022. The Family Hub serves not just as a SmartThings hub, but a place to play music and videos, share pictures, look up recipes, and order groceries. Samsung has had similar Family Hubs in some of its fridge models for years. The Bespoke French Door Refrigerators, though, will be available in 12 colors and two different finish options, as well as full- and counter-depth models.
Meanwhile, the Bespoke Front Load Washer and Dryer offers some “smart” features on its own. But when connected to a SmartThings hub, it can suggest different cycles based on the clothing you’re cleaning and your personal preferences. As with its other new products, Samsung is targeting a vague 2022 window.
SmartThings has languished behind Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant in terms of public adoption. Relatively few accessory makers target the platform, and there’s often no incentive to choose it unless you have a Samsung phone and/or Samsung appliances. The Home Hub could help make SmartThings more appealing, along with plans to support Matter, a multi-platform smart home protocol coming this year.