Samsung wants to improve the SmartThings experience and eliminate standalone smart home hubs in 2024

Samsung SmartThings
(Image credit: Samsung)

CES 2024 is a veritable hotbed for exciting smart home developments, and chief among these are the latest announcements from Samsung, demonstrating a keen focus on improving the smart home user experience.

While Matter is already doing much of the legwork to consolidate and simplify the smart home experience, all of the different ecosystems are nonetheless rife with friction and clunky processes. 

To counter some of these challenges, Samsung has unveiled three new developments: an upgraded TV smart home hub experience that can serve to "eliminate" the need for a standalone hub; a new Map View feature for smart home management; and QR code access sharing. With these latest features, SmartThings is set to offer a revitalized, more user-friendly experience.

A truly smart TV

The living room is the beating heart of the home, and thanks to SmartThings’ new TV-centered smart home experience, some of the best TVs can be the heart of your smart home too, transforming your television into a seamless control center for connected smart home devices and doing away with separate smart hubs altogether. 

Its new quick panel allows you to quickly access core functions without compromising your favorite TV shows and movies, including managing devices, viewing cameras, and helping you find misplaced mobiles around the home by giving them a call.

A similar experience is mirrored in the main TV hub, which will now present key information and insights into your connected devices at a glance. Speaking of ringers, the new SmartThings for TV experience will also enable TVs to connect to smartphones, allowing users to use their handhelds as secondary remote controllers. 

Samsung Ballie

(Image credit: Future)

Map it out

Another feature coming to SmartThings is the new Map View, which can be synchronized across mobile phones, tablets, TVs, and refrigerators, and aims to offer greater smart home control and thus easier smart home management.

Using either a TV or mobile, users will now be able to use Map View to monitor energy usage, security cameras, room temperature, and other data in real time. Map View can integrate actual floor plans, or utilize new AI technology, to create a 3D layout of users’ homes. If your home layout is freely available online it’s as simple as putting in your address and watching it go. Magic. 

The AI fun doesn’t stop there; users can also create new AI characters representing household members and even pets, which will respond to your home’s conditions. 

LiDAR-enabled devices like the Samsung Jet Bot robot vacuum or the freshly demonstrated Ballie AI will also be able to scan the home and create floor plans, with Ballie even identifying and placing compatible devices in the right position on the map. 

The last of Samsung’s new developments is its new QR code access-sharing feature, which will allow users to create customized QR codes that grant access to devices around the home and create their personalized routines. These can be set up to limit device control to specific times, and each QR code can only be used once to prevent bad actors from meddling with your smart home devices. 

We’re covering all of the latest CES news from the show as it happens. We'll be covering everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops, smart home gadgets, and the latest in AI, so stick with us for the big stories.

And don’t forget to follow us on TikTok for the latest from the CES show floor!

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Josephine Watson
Managing Editor, Lifestyle

Josephine Watson (@JosieWatson) is TechRadar's Managing Editor - Lifestyle. Josephine has previously written on a variety of topics, from pop culture to gaming and even the energy industry, joining TechRadar to support general site management. She is a smart home nerd, as well as an advocate for internet safety and education, and has also made a point of using her position to fight for progression in the treatment of diversity and inclusion, mental health, and neurodiversity in corporate settings. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, playing on her Switch, or showing people pictures of her cats, Mr. Smith and Heady.