Samsung has announced their buy-out of startup SmartThings, showing their ambitions to enter into the home controller market.
The price tag on the purchase is speculated to be at $200 million, a rather large sum for a small company of only 55 people.
Alex Hawkinson will continue to act as CEO, but operations will be turned over to Samsung in their Palo Alto, California US base office.
This is a huge step for a company that has only been in existence for two years. In 2012, they opened a Kickstarter campaign that created an app for various operations within a consumer’s home.
Using their smartphone, they could monitor what was happening in their house, turn on lights and TV to make it seem like people were home during trips away, take action when weather impacts functions like sprinklers, and control automated locks and security systems.
It has since expanded to be an adaptable application that learns your patterns and habits, then acts accordingly.
The fact that Samsung would go after a home controller is no surprise. They have repeatedly exposed their ambitions to become a more rounded life b rand that touches into every focus of their customers lives, much the way Apple and Google are attempting to do.
Based on their purchase of a smart app company, rather than an official product line such as Nest, it also gives an idea of the future. They will probably integrate the home control application into their software, making it a basic feature of future mobile devices and existing products.
Hawkinson released a statement about the buy-out, and the future of his place in the company. He states that this has always been the hope of SmartThings; to become a much bigger product that goes world wide.
Under the banner of Samsung, there is no doubt that they will achieve that dream. The South Korean mobile manufacturer is one of the three biggest in the world, and have established themselves with a stronger foothold in more countries than any other brand.
They will probably be more successful than Nest, which has been bought out by Google. Already. Nest devices have been controversial for their high brick rate, and a questionable customer service model that set them back significantly both before and after the acquisition.
Now that Samsung is funding the product, SmartThings intends to move to an open platform with a much wider range of possibilities. They have a chance to revolutionize the home controller market, that is for sure.