Smart Home: Expectation, Current State and the Near Future

on September 6, 2014
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Place all the world’s latest and most advanced smart devices at your home, it still wouldn’t make your home a Smart Home. For a home to be called a Smart Home, it actually needs to be smart. As the growing trend of urbanization, aging and individual-oriented lifestyle continues, the expectation for Smart Home is higher than ever. 




The high expectation of Samsung’s Smart Home is a fair one.


Considering the fact that Samsung has been on the cutting edge of Smart Home for a while with its aggressive investment in IoT, such as the acquisition of SmartThings, the high expectation of Samsung’s Smart Home is a fair one. Smart Home, a ‘connectivity’ based service, is basically a home version of IoT. Therefore, Samsung putting heavy emphasis on Smart Home at IFA 2014 serves as a statement that it has established a foundation in this field, especially for the ‘Home of the Future’.


But not just that. As BK Yoon pointed out during his IFA 2014 Opening Keynote, “technical details are not important… the Home of the Future is NOT about the technology. It’s about working in a way so that you don’t notice it at work.” Samsung wants you to have the best experience, tailored to your needs. Here are a few of the things it does:


Smart Home- Mobile Devices and Washing machine


Connectivity, to give you peace of mind


First of all, Smart Home Users can control various home appliances including refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, and robot cleaner through an integrated application installed in your smartphone, smart TV or gear devices. Smart Home can also give users peace of mind, because it allows users to stay connected to their home. Home is the most valuable asset for many people, therefore, we want to keep it as safe as possible. Since users can monitor and control home away from home with Smart Home, they don’t have to worry about thawing frozen pipes after coming back from a long vacation; you can always have peace of mind. (Reference: Alex Hawkinson, CEO, SmartThings. Check out the keynote:



But not just that. By having your home connected, you can see what’s going on in your home via the IP camera, check who went in and out when by checking the logs on your digital door lock. You can also get notifications about who’s at your door so you can open the door for them, even if you’re away.



Location-based services


Who likes coming home to a hot sticky sweaty house on a scorching hot day? Who wants to come home shivering to an ice-cold, pitch-dark living room? Samsung Smart Home at IFA 2014 also shows off location-based services. So, it detects where you are and if it seems your coming home, it asks if you would like the A/C and the lights on, and when you get closer, asks if you want to unlock the door. All in all, the Smart Home is ready to greet you every time you come home from a long day.


Smart Home- TV (2)


A Home that adapts to you


So all in all, by connecting all home devices and bridging it with other technologies, Smart Home creates an interactive environment that adapts to you. For example, if you select ‘Movie Mode’, it automatically dims the lamp lights and activates the surround sound system to make an optimized environment for movie watching. While you’re watching your movie, get notifications on your screen about laundry being done, or people at your doorstep – so you can open the door or um… ignore – your choice =P



App and Voice-Control


Modern day human beings can universally agree on one thing – we want more time. And Smart Home can give us that. Samsung Smart Home App, a unified mobile app, allows users to control or monitor their home appliances in and out of the house. The fact that you can take care of certain chores, such as swiping the room, or laundry, away from home saves you tremendous amount of time and effort. All in one single app.


But not only the app, you can use your devices to activate voice control. Simply say “clean the house” and your robot cleaner will start working. Say “Light up bedroom” and the lights go on. Say “I’m going to bed” and the whole house will dim down automatically to get you ready for bed. A responsive home, for your convenience.



Energy Management


One not so obvious benefit of Smart Home is its ability to make us be more eco-friendly. For example, you can reduce food waste with Smart Home. Since the refrigerator can tell you what is in your fridge and how much have, you could avoid buying extra food when you are at the market; thus, less to waste. You can also check how much electricity your appliances are consuming on the Smart Home app, which enables you to see how you might be able to save electricity. Compare to the previous months or years to see how you’re doing, and how much you can save on energy costs.



Openness – compatibility is a must


If you think about it, it is the app that ultimately connects all home appliances. But it’s very, very hard to find homes equipped with appliances all from a single brand, making it harder and harder to connect these devices. To overcome this, Samsung is developing a special eco-system where devices can communicate with other devices. Smart Home SDK (full version) is coming shortly at Samsung Developer Conference 2014(link), and the alpha version is actually already out at Also, recent acquisitions and partnerships definitely weren’t out of context either. (Open Interconnect Consortium and SmartThings, remember?)



Together, this will eventually bring the biggest change and transformation at home. As Dr. Wonpyo Hong, President, Media Solutions Center “(Samsung) plans to build a truly open smart home ecosystem by actively incorporating a variety of services and platforms in the cloud, as well as by opening Samsung’s platform to developers.” At the least, Smart Home will change the way we live at home. And now that Smart Home has become more a tangible than ever, it will be exciting to see how people will find the way to creatively use Smart Home to make their lives smarter. 



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