Obstacles hinder the progress towards a seamless smart living revolution on the verge of transforming our lives.The rising popularity of smart home appliances has created a demand for a digital home hub that serves as a gateway, connecting diverse Internet of Things [IoT] devices with effortless integration.
Samsung unveiled SmartThings Station at CES 2023, a groundbreaking smart home hub supporting Matter, the home IoT compatibility standard. This platform facilitates extensive connectivity, empowering users to synchronize smart products regardless of their manufacturer. The SmartThings Station garnered significant media attention for breaking down the barriers to entry for IoT.
Samsung discussed the development of SmartThings Station with Eugene Park and Kiyoung Kwon 100 days after its release.
What Does Smart Living Entail?
Imagine returning home after a long day and finding your home already catering to your needs. As you enter, the curtains gracefully close, and the bathroom lights automatically illuminate, allowing you to freshen up. Your favorite music softly fills the background. While you prepare dinner, the air purifier activates to maintain a clean environment. When you open the windows for ventilation, the air conditioner intuitively powers down.
Is it Possible for a Home to Handle Our Entire Daily Routine?
This dream home scenario is no longer a mere fantasy. With the SmartThings Station, you can customize your smart home to align with your family’s routines. The hub connects Samsung products and unifies devices through Matter IoT standards, regardless of the manufacturer.
“When developing the SmartThings Station, our focus was on enabling users to effortlessly connect a wide range of devices, ensuring a smart home experience without any barriers,” shared product planner Kiyoung Kwon.
“Our aim with the SmartThings Station was to create a product that takes center stage in your home,” explained Kwon. Typically, most hub products are set up in a corner and quickly forgotten. “Our challenge was to design a product that serves not only as a hub but also as a device people actively want to use,” he added. This objective remained a significant focal point for the team throughout the product planning phase.
By incorporating beloved features such as wireless charging and the Find My Mobile functionality, Kwon enhanced the product’s usability and encouraged users to integrate the hub seamlessly into their daily routines.
“A great deal of thought went into eliminating entry barriers for IoT. That’s how the Smart Button came to be,” shared developer Eugene Park. “By simply touching the Smart Button, users can activate pre-configured automated routines.”
The SmartThings Station development team successfully tackled this challenge through a “Calm Onboarding” strategy. “We’ve minimized any inconveniences users may encounter by simplifying the onboarding process. In just three simple steps, users can register the product on the cloud and control it using a mobile device,” explained Kwon. “Additionally, we’ve enabled users to trigger routines through three different touch methods—short tap, double tap, and hold—eliminating the need to open an app. Since users can access various hub features while wirelessly charging, the product serves multiple purposes.”
What are the Security Features of the SmartThings Station?
According to Park, the SmartThings Station exhibits enhanced security in two key aspects: the inclusion of a product key feature within the product itself and the encryption feature for secure cloud communication. “The SmartThings Station comes with a unique product key. Therefore, users must undergo identity verification to access the product when connecting it to the cloud,” Park explained. “This brings us to the crucial aspect—cloud communication data security. All data transferred between the cloud and the Station is encrypted through the embedded Secure Element [eSE], ensuring secure communication.”
Thanks to the home IoT compatibility standard called Matter, nearly all major and minor home IoT products, whether from Samsung or other brands, can be connected to the SmartThings Station. Samsung is an active member of the Connectivity Standards Alliance [CSA], an organization that unifies the various communication languages used by IoT manufacturers. After three years of extensive discussions with over 280 member companies, the protocol standard Matter v1.0 was released.
The expansion of the smart home ecosystem is only at its inception. The SmartThings Station development team sees the 100-day milestone as a new starting point. “The SmartThings Station will continue to offer more convenience at home,” stated Park and Kwon.
“We plan to provide ongoing software updates for the SmartThings Station, ensuring that each update brings satisfying improvements,” affirmed the SmartThings Station team.
Kwon appreciates user feedback and sees the SmartThings Station launch as just the beginning of popularizing smart home ecosystems. Their next goal is to develop and introduce various IoT products that adhere to the Matter standard, enabling users to fully leverage their smart home hub.
Samsung, along with other global companies, envisions a world where more users can enjoy the convenience of an unrestricted home IoT experience. Stay tuned to Samsung Newsroom to discover what lies ahead for the SmartThings Station and its development team.