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Samsung Acquires SmartThings

by Felix Omondi

Samsung Acquires SmartThings

The futuristic and almost science-fictional smart house is getting more and more realistic by the day in the form of what has become to be referred to as the “Internet of Things.” By this I mean the ability to switch on your front yard lights, turn on your microwave, log into your cooking oven or operate the fridge remotely while you are at work or in a vacation via the internet.

All of your smart electronic devices can be networked to each other, allowing you to operate them via your computer or smartphone remotely over the internet. The reverse is also true; your devices and home appliances can reach out to you in the form of notifications on your PC or smartphone while you are on the move. The future is almost here, by all rights.

In what would seem like a move by the Korean giant manufacturer Samsung’s move to be a key player in this technology revolution, Samsung has made a bold move of acquiring SmartThings.

SmartThings is an open platform for controlling the smart home and the Internet of Things, used by developers to connect various devices and apps through the cloud. The company, founded back in 2012, and can support more than 1,000 devices and 8,000 apps; all developed by its community of developers, inventors and device makers.

SmartThings enables users to control, monitor and automate devices and operations inside their homes from wherever and whenever via a single mobile app. By working with Samsung independently under the Samsung Open Innovation Center (OIC), the two tech-companies are set to revolutionize how Samsung consumers operate their fridges, washing machines, cookers, phones and TVs among other Samsung devices.

The price tag of the Samsung acquisition of SmartThings was not officially disclosed, but some sources indicate that the cost was about $200 million. It has also emerged that SmartThings will remain under the stewardship of its founder and CEO Alex Hawkinson.

As an open, standards-agnostic platform for the Internet of Things, our vision has always been to innovate, build and make the world smarter, together. With Samsung behind us, we will be able to attract more devices makers and developers to unlock the limitless possibilities of the consumer Internet of Things. We are thrilled to become part of the Samsung family and continue our goal in making every home a smart home,” said Hawkinson.

Samsung is one of the worlds’ leading manufacturers of smartphones, TVs, PCs, tablets, home appliances, printers, cameras, semiconductors, medical devices and LED solutions. The company has annual sales of $216.7 billion. The OIC is in charge of running Samsung consumer electronics and mobile business units.

David Eun, Head of OIC, said, “SmartThings has created a remarkable universe of partners and developers and now has the most engagement of any smart home platform in the world. Connected devices have long been strategically important to Samsung and, like Alex and his team, we want to improve the convenience and services in people’s lives by giving their devices and appliances a voice so they can interact more easily with them. We are committed to maintaining SmartThings’ open platform, fostering more explosive growth, and becoming its newest strategic partner.”

Physical Graph Corporation, the company that has been driving SmartThings this far, has over the years been supporting an open and growing ecosystem of over 5,000 developers and inventors. It has so far raised more than $15,5M from VCs like Highland Capital Partners, SV Angel, GreyLock Partners, First Round Capital, Max Levchin, Lerer Ventures, A-Grade, CrunchFund, and David Tisch among others

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