At CES next week, we’re assuredly going to see loads of new televisions from Samsung. Thing is, picture resolution on televisions has hit its ceiling at 4k (anything past 4k isn’t noticeable on anything but the very largest of screens) and, with Samsung’s SUHD TVs and Nano Crystal technology from last year, color contrast, fidelity, and range can only be improved so much more before the human eye fails to appreciate the difference there, too. In other words, it’s probably never been more difficult to differentiate new televisions from their counterparts from the previous year. It looks like in 2016, one way Samsung will manage to do that is by making IoT control part of all of their televisions, in a push to turn smart televisions into home automation hubs in addition to media centers.
To do so, Samsung will use SmartThings, the company they acquired in August 2014 for $200 million. SmartThings provides a platform that can be used to control many different smart home devices, like thermostats, locks, and lights, from one app. The biggest roadblock to smart home device growth has been the need to control each gadget with a different app, so the importance of the simplicity that SmartThings provides can’t be understated. Of course, they aren’t the only ones to make a dashboard like this (there are plenty of open source apps out there, too), but with support for multiple connectivity standards like ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, theirs is one of the most robust.
Samsung spent 2015 building out a line of smart home products and hubs using their new acquisition, and it looks like 2016 will see their smart televisions become the ultimate hub to control all of those devices, plus third party smart home gadgets that work with the SmartThings app. The company has revealed that all SUHD smart televisions in 2016 will have SmartThings integration, allowing users to control all of their smart home devices from one place.
You’ve been able to do that on smartphones and tablets for a while, but the bet is that with so many smart home devices on the market, the benefit of a larger screen to control all of those things will be considerable. They’re probably right — with a large screen television, you should be able to view and control most of your smart home gadgets while getting sensor readings and alerts at a glance, without having to navigate any menus. As a home screen, a smart home dashboard seems like a no-brainer for increasingly large televisions. We’ll find out exactly how Samsung has implemented SmartThings into their televisions next week, when CES kicks off in Las Vegas.