Samsung announced a ton of things at its annual developer conference today in San Francisco. Including one that is going to make it easier for smart home people to get more products that work with SmartThings. Samsung announced the "Works With SmartThings" certification program at SDC today. Now this program is not actually new. Samsung debuted this program a few years ago. But this time around it has upgraded the program, and is making it easier and faster for developers to connect their devices and services to the SmartThings platform. There's a new suite of tools that are going to be available in the SmartThings Developer Workspace. That includes the SmartThings Cloud Connector, SmartThings Device Kit and SmartThings Hub Connector. With these tools, developers are going to be able to build and launch on the SmartThings platform. And also work with Zigbee and Z-Wave devices through the cloud.
The company is looking to make things easier for everyone to adopt the SmartThings platform, and with the upgrades to Works With SmartThings, Samsung is also adding direct access to SmartThings experts and resources, so that developers can get things done and find out what they are doing wrong with their products and services. SmartThings is Samsung's connected living future, and it is putting everything through that platform. So it makes sense for the company to continue to expand it and get more people to use it. Like other platforms out there, Samsung wants everyone to use their platform, and they are making it easier than ever for everyone to use it. Not to mention the fact that SmartThings also works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Background: Samsung debuted SmartThings a few years ago, as their platform for Smart Home products. And while Samsung doesn't make a whole lot of smart home products, there are a ton that work with its platform. It's essentially an easy way for users to add smart home products to their home and instead of needing to use a ton of different apps to get things to work and control them, it can all be done with the SmartThings app, or better yet, with their voice. SmartThings has slowly, but surely become one of the biggest smart home products platforms out there right now. Surpassing Zigbee and Z-Wave even. Though those two do use somewhat older technologies and aren't really needed in the smart home space anymore. SmartThings does include support for both platforms, if you do use them.
Works With SmartThings is a certification program that developers can use to promote their products. If a customers sees that the particular device they are looking at works with SmartThings – a platform they have already invested in – then they are more likely to buy it. Of course, it also means that the device is going to work with SmartThings which can be a big selling point for customers. But for Samsung, it means that they can showcase these products on its website as part of the SmartThings family, which is an important aspect of all of this as well. Samsung isn't the first company to do a program like this, Nest and others have done something similar. Nest has the "Works With Nest" program which showcases different devices that work with the Nest Learning Thermostat, or the Nest Cam or Nest Detect. And now Samsung has something similar, though it'll be more broad since SmartThings does have more options to choose from when it comes to products. It's going to make it much easier for everyone to purchase more smart home products to put in their homes, and without needing to use a new platform, it makes it simpler to control all of them as well.
Impact: SmartThings is a platform that Samsung is using to control everything. It is included in all of its appliances, including its refrigerators as well. So that you are going to be able control your refrigerator with your voice – in fact, using Bixby you can tell her to close your refrigerator for you, which is pretty neat. It's something that Samsung is heavily invested in, and with today's enhancements to the Works with SmartThings platform, it's clear that Samsung is taking it really seriously. Of course, part of that is because the smart home industry is really taking everything seriously and it is also growing pretty rapidly. In the past few quarters, the smart home industry has grown in double digits, and that is only going to continue, with more people transitioning over to a smart home.
Samsung is aiming to make SmartThings the go-to platform for the smart home. It isn't aiming to replace Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, at least not yet, seeing as it does work with both. But it may be able to replace those rather soon. Samsung is using SmartThings as a way to unify all of the smart home products in your home. And since there are hundreds of companies making smart home products, it is much easier to use a single app to control your home, instead of a handful of apps. That is one hurdle that the smart home industry needs to get past as well. Which is making it easier for devices to work with each other. Currently, if you have different smart lights from different companies, you need different apps for each one. Which can be a bit of an annoyance, especially if you forget which is which. But with SmartThings, you can get that taken care of and use the SmartThings app to control it all. That's the beauty of buying smart home products that work with the same platform. Having one place that you can control them all. Samsung's changes to the Works With SmartThings certification program is beginning to roll out now. So if you are a developer and working on SmartThings products, you are going to want to take advantage of these new tools for the Works With SmartThings program, as it is going to make everything much easier.