Samsung has announced plans to develop a system that will link together gadgets, home appliances and utility controls. Named Smart Home, the system could potentially switch off lights and the TV if the user says “going out” in to a smartwatch app.
The company are expected to demo the system at CES in Las Vegas on Tuesday, however it is thought that other companies will be showcasing similar products.
Samsung has said that Smart Home will initially work only with its own products but the plan is to eventually support third party devices.
To start with the new system would offer three features:
The first is Device Control, which includes air conditioners and lights that can be turned on or off through a smart device app, either at home or while the owner is out. It will also support voice commands that can be spoken in to Samsung’s new TV remote controls.
The Home View feature means that cameras built in to TVs or other appliances will provide real-time video feeds to a smartphone, giving the user an on-the-go security system.
Finally appliances will have a built in Customer Service, whereby they will notify the app if they need cleaning or replacing. So if the washing machine filter is clogged, it will alert the app and inform the owner.
Samsung has said the Smart Home app will initially be compatible be selected Samsung TVs, smartphones, tablets and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
In the future it hopes to expand the platform to support healthcare products, door locks and “eco-home appliances” and hopes to release a software protocol so that other companies can link to their machines.
However Martin Garner of CCS Insight is skeptical about whether Samsung’s rivals will support its big plans. “Samsung is the most aggressive competitor that exists,” he said. “So, why would another manufacturer want to use its platform?”
He continued that the big worry for the company is that “brand loyalty across appliance categories isn’t strong – research suggests if you buy a Samsung TV you don’t become more likely to buy a Samsung fridge rather than one from another manufacturer”.