Samsung SmartThings Embracing Software, Abandoning Hardware

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For anyone watching Samsung SmartThings it's impossible not to notice that the platform has experienced a substantial shift in identity. While the platform was once developed upon physical hardware, that is no longer the case, as SmartThings is now largely built around intangible software.

This change in focus can be seen in multiple facets of SmartThings. The legacy "Classic" SmartThings App has been left behind, and developers have instead put their resources into SmartThings Labs and the recently re-titled Matter initiative, which was previously known as Project CHIP. It's obvious that Samsung still sees value in the SmartThings platform, if only from a virtual aspect. This can be especially seen in Matter, as initial Matter-speaking devices are set to release later in 2021.

But while Samsung clearly has interest in the software side of SmartThings, the hardware side has been relatively quiet. The original 1st-gen SmartThings Hub stopped working nearly a year ago. Meanwhile, Samsung has been attempting to pass the hardware development side to others, as Aeotec has released the first third-party SmartThings Hub. Stock for SmartThings hardware is down, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find basic equipment. What it all suggests is that Samsung wants its focus to be on their SmartThings ecosystem, not on the equipment itself.

To make this possible, Samsung is pushing the SmartThings platform to rely even more heavily on the wireless protocols that allow for connectivity and communication between the different equipment. These wireless protocols include WIFI, Z-Wave Plus, Zigbee, and even more obscure wireless networks like Thread, and their own pet-project, Matter. Simply put, Samsung wants to focus on building the smart wireless ecosystem making automations possible, and not necessarily on the sensors and smart hubs that users physically set up and hold in their hands. Apparently its in the intangible aspects of a smart home where Samsung feels they can bring the most value.

SmartThing users often say that the platform is one of the easiest and most proficient ways to design and maintain a smart home. It's obvious that Samsung still views SmartThings as a crucial component of their brand. However, while the SmartThings division was once largely an endeavor of tangible hardware, that appears to no longer be the case. The future of SmartThings as developed by first-party Samsung appears to be that of a virtual focus, in which software development reins supreme. Elsewhere, the actual legwork of building the physical hardware components can apparently be left to whomever will step up in their place.

What do you think about this change of focus for Samsung? Do you think this is a good move for the company to primarily focus on the intangible software components of SmartThings? Do you believe that other third-party companies can properly step-up and handle the hardware development and manufacturing steps of the process in their place? Also are you a fan of SmartThings in general, or do you prefer other smart home automation platforms? Let us know your thoughts in a comment down below. And stay tuned to the Alarm Grid Blog for more security and automation discussions coming soon!

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