Starting in South Korea and the U.S. on Tuesday but soon rolling out globally, consumers will be able to connect and control appliances, TVs, smartphones, and tablets with little more than an app.
Samsung first demonstrated the system and its possibilities at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and while it has taken the company only three months to go from showcase to showroom, the future of the connected home isn’t here just yet.
Although downloading and setting up the Android smartphone app will give consumers control over a host of devices, said devices need to be compatible; the app won’t start magically controlling the refrigerator that’s been standing in the kitchen for the past five years.
However, if you’re prepared to upgrade to the latest Samsung double-door smart fridge (the T9000), then you’ll be able to operate it while at work, shut it down remotely while on holiday, and adjust its temperature. Likewise, if your washing machine is the latest Samsung model, then you’ll be able to program wash and spin cycles to coincide with arriving home from the office.
Samsung says all of its 2014 model smart TVs will also work with the app and that before the end of the year, functionality will extend to cover its new range of smart lightbulbs and its upcoming smart oven, too.
“We are excited that the launch of Samsung Smart Home makes the connected home a reality today and allows our customers to live a smarter life,” said Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, president and head of the Media Solutions Center at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung Smart Home lets people live better, worry less, and be smarter with their devices and appliances. We also have grand plans to enhance more and more parts of the home experience, especially with a view of expanding it to areas with high-growth potential such as home safety and energy management.”
However, that’s for the future. The development of the connected home and its supporting technologies is still at a very early stage, yet, unlike a lot of other tech developments on the horizon — such as Google Glass — consumers appear to be excited about the prospect of the Internet of Things and about homes filled with smarter appliances.
According to a Wi-Fi Alliance report into the subject published in January to coincide with CES, three-quarters of U.S. consumers believe that all homes will soon be equipped with smart technology, and 93 percent believe that having full remote control of the appliances and systems in their homes will have a positive impact on their daily lives.