Once considered a futuristic fantasy, the smart home has now become a reality for millions of people around the UK. The rise in popularity of smart speakers, lighting and thermostats has opened the door for consumers to enter the connected home and see its true potential. With the growing advancements of smart TVs, laundry products and cooking appliances, we’re only just getting started.
At Samsung, the smart home is something we have always held great belief in, and we are delighted to see how people are bringing these new devices into their homes and getting creative with their connected setup. Our free connected living platform, SmartThings, has experienced exceptional growth since its launch, with over 130 million registered users globally, and is constantly expanding its ecosystem to incorporate the world’s best smart home brands.
As the smart home sector continues to grow, we consider some of the key pillars that will set the foundations for the future.
Understanding our customers
This momentum is built on a concrete understanding of the market and maintaining a clear line of communication with our customers. At Samsung, we are constantly listening to the people that use our products to hear what they want in their smart devices, what they like and what they don’t like. With this insight and understanding, we can design our products to meet their every need.
The first key point to understand is that people buy smart products not because they are smart, but because the added features bring them a benefit they value. Customers want to feel safer, more secure, save time and money, and bring the family together. Helping meet these needs makes the proposition of the smart home important in their eyes and this is what guides us in our innovations.
Smart lighting, is usually the first product customers buy when they start thinking about making their homes smart, this is an excellent example of how connected devices can tap into these human values.
By controlling smart bulbs with SmartThings, we use the simple on/off controls to introduce new benefits. With the easy to use automation builder, users can now set up controls which can turn their lights on and off automatically depending on their needs – when they get home, go to bed, enter a room or leaving the house etc. – allowing them to use energy efficiently, save money and, above all, protect their property.
Consumers also want to stay in control. Jargon, such as AI and Artificial Intelligence, often scares potential consumers can give them the feeling that they have lost command over their own home. Smart devices should be silent assistants that help users take control and achieve the things they want: the homeowner should always have the final say.
We designed SmartThings with this ethos at its core. The platform will never aimlessly guess or predict what the user wants. Instead, it provides the information and options available to help them take control of their home and act in the way they want. For example, with SmartThings Energy Control, users can see their general usage at any given time and receive a recommendation on how best to maximise energy and economic efficiency.
Tapping into trends
Smart Home adoption is growing rapidly, as this continues, we keep in close contact with customers to identify key trends and adapt our products to continue to bring enjoyment as new lifestyle trends emerge.
Let’s take fitness as an example. We recently conducted some consumer research to see how fitness trends have changed in recent months, with the results revealing that over a third people are now focussing more on their wellbeing. People are also turning to technology for their fitness fix, with online workout videos and PE classes online becoming more popular.
In the last months, routines have changed across many aspects of our daily lives as a result of spending more time at home. As people return to work, commuting and other activities outside the home, the time-saving features of connected living and automation such as scheduling tasks, and controlling appliances remotely may see an increase in demand as key timesaving additions to daily life.
When we consider how the smart home can support people achieve their fitness goals and improve their well-being, the potential is endless. We envisage a reality in which somebody’s smart home can support and react to the needs of each individual moment, be it through suggesting a shopping list for meal planning, pre-heating the oven on the way home from work or optimising sleep quality.
When combined with our wider ecosystem – over 250 hours of workout content is now available on the Samsung Health app on our 2020 Smart TV range, for example – consumers have everything they need to seamlessly integrate health and well-being into their daily routines without leaving their home.
Creating an open platform
As people begin to integrate more devices from multiple brands, into their home, the number of different apps they have download begin to build up. Nobody wants to have to juggle multiple control panels to make their smart home tick.
SmartThings is a unified platform that allows homeowners to manage all their devices in one, simple-to-use app. This is the future of smart home control. However, to make this work, industry collaboration is vital.
SmartThings is an open platform and works with 1000's of products from leading consumer brands. whether they’re from Samsung or other brands such as Amazon, Google, Philips Hue, or Ring, and on both iOS and Android. This means users can connect, automate and manage everything in one free-to-download app, regardless of their device, helping them save time, effort and money.
“By combining Samsung products and the best smart home devices around, we create moments of delight for consumers,” said Teg Dosanjh, Director of Connected Services and Technology at Samsung UK & Ireland. “With SmartThings, we bring everybody’s favourite devices together into one platform to enable a smart home ecosystem to work together in harmony.”
Always moving forward
The beauty of the smart home is that it is constantly evolving. With the scale of smart devices now available to consumers, the creativity with which they combine them means there is no set standard for people to follow. Every individual’s ecosystem can be tailor-made for how they live.
At Samsung, we are committed to continuously innovating with our products and services to allow our customers to build their perfect smart home. SmartThings has already started layering unique services and features on top of the platform. SmartThings Energy Control and Smart Home Monitor, for example, allows users to monitor their energy use and home security, respectively, within their own mini ecosystems under the SmartThings platform.
Finally, as more household appliances go smart, we will start to see connected living come into a world of its own. We will reach a point at which washing machines can schedule a laundry cycle based on information it has gathered from an energy control system, or a living room lighting and sound system can combine to embody a dojo in preparation for the homeowner’s virtual yoga class.
“Our number one priority is for our technology to enable our customers to feel happy and safe in their home, whilst making their lives that bit easier. These are the values that sit at the heart of our products and we will continue to drive innovation in our portfolio to make our vision for smart homes a reality,” stated Dosanjh.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions.
For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom.
About Samsung SmartThings
Samsung is committed to delivering valuable experiences for its customers, which is why SmartThings is built into all flagship products. SmartThings is the easiest way to connect and control a wide range of devices from Samsung and other leading smart brands, all from one app - making life simpler, safer and more entertaining.
With expertise and experience across consumer technology and IoT, SmartThings hardware and software validates Samsung’s leadership in offering people a single, seamless and intelligent experience, allowing them to live a smarter, more connected life.
With millions of users on the platform to date, and thousands joining every week, SmartThings is one of the largest open ecosystems of connected devices, available on both Android and iOS, and compatible with the leading voice assistants. By openly publishing APIs and schemas, developers are enabled to utilise and evolve the platform’s offering, supporting SmartThings’ mission to help users save time, effort and money.
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