The "Internet of Things," or "IoT" as it is often talked about, is purportedly one of those next big things that your first experience may be with something relatively small. This technology is likely to be a framework that binds a collection of many different devices and services together: the Internet of Things is the name given to the framework of many, many devices (forecast to number in the billions by the end of the decade) that will connect to one another and to their respective services by an Internet connection. This may be a WiFi or LTE radio, but many devices are expected to require a high performance, low latency network so that they are able to quickly respond to requests and provide data. The volume of data expected to be transferred between the device and the host service is expected to be relatively small.
In support of the anticipated explosion of Internet-connected devices, we are seeing many companies develop and refine existing technologies, including the chipmakers, both application processor manufacturers and networking businesses, develop the technologies. We have also seen larger businesses acquire smaller businesses that are currently operating in something of a niche, but could be a neat fit in their wider business structure. To this end, last year Samsung bought SmartThings for $200 as a relatively easy way into the home automation market. Since then, Samsung has announced big plans for the Internet of Things, home automation, the Tizen operating system and SmartThings. Samsung has also announced a significant upgrade to the Smart Home platform and it may now cooperate with third party hardware, including Internet-aware cameras and door locks. The key product in Samsung's home automation product line is the Hub, which sits between the smartphone application and the number of smart devices in and around the home. It's the Hub that allows customers to automate a huge number of in-home features, from locking doors to controlling light switches.
Now, Samsung SmartThings have announced that the next generation Hub will be available to purchase early next month and that from today, customers can pre-order the product from the SmartThings online store, at Samsung's website and on Amazon. SmartThings have also announced that they are preparing a range of new Samsung SmartThings products and will be improving the mobile experience in the coming few weeks. The press announcement excitedly explains that customers should stay tuned for another update soon. SmartThings' press announcement explains that customers will not need to purchase the new Hub in order to continue using their products, but should customers upgrade from their old Hub, it appears that SmartThings is offering a discount. The SmartThings website provides detail guidance on how to connect the new devices.