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Networking & Communications

Samsung Pays Its Way into Future of Smart Homes

The smart home might be the biggest new market in domestic infrastructure since electricity and gas central heating and the news today that Samsung is buying Smart Things for about $200m only underlines the scale of the opportunity. The sale price isn’t bad for a company that started as a Kickstarter crowdfunded startup just two years ago: in fact, that’s a growing valuation rate of about $8.3m per month or a few hundred thousands of dollars per day.

Nice work if you can get it and you can get if you try and have the right people and strategy for rewiring the way that homes and offices interact with their occupants. That’s effectively what the likes of Nest, Smart Things and Apple with HomeKit are doing when using sensor computing, apps, smartpones, and wireless networks to create new ways for us to protect our homes, set our heating and lighting and so on.

Or, as Smart Things CEO Alex Hawkinson has put it, “We’re looking at debugging how you want your house to respond around your life.”

The fat sum for such a young company is, of course, an indicator of how highly desirable it is to stake a place in the whole smart home and Internet of Things segment. It’s an infant market but one with enormous potential. Samsung is effectively paying a large stake to get in the game, just as Google did when buying Nest for a remarkable $3.2bn in January of this year.

Consumers and office owners get the chance to save money on utilities and get the peace of mind afforded by always being able to see what’s going on back at the ranch, even if they’re thousands of miles away. The only concern might be that a standards war will force us to choose camps or live with the snags caused by apps and devices only working optimally with certain platforms. But even that might prove a minor complaint given the undoubted benefits available in our homes of the future.

Martin Veitch is Editorial Director at IDG Connect

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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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