Samsung ups the Internet of Things ante by snapping up SmartThings

Samsung continued its home automation drive with SmartThings acquisition
Smart: SmartThings sales are increasing 20% each month

Samsung has once again signaled its intentions to be a big player in the burgeoning Internet of Things market by agreeing on a deal to acquire one of the sector's hottest start ups.

Following reports it had tabled a $200 million offer (about £116m, AU$213m) last month, Samsung confirmed it has bought the Washington DC-based SmartThings for an undisclosed fee.

The two-year-old firm sells smart home kits which work around a central Wi-Fi hub, allowing users to control various household appliances, doors, windows and thermostats.

The company sells motion, temperature and location sensors as well as smart locks, light fittings, alarms and power outlets, all of which can be controlled by an iOS and Android app.

Realising the vision

"From the beginning, our goal has been to make a platform every human being could use - and to make every home a smart home," said SmartThings Co-Founder and CEO Alex Hawkinson told Forbes.

"This will help us reach a massive scale. We saw an opportunity to bring SmartThing's vision to hundreds of millions of customers."

SmartThings and its 55 employees will up sticks to Samsung's Open Innovation Centre in Palo Alto, but will continue to operate as an independent company, at least for the time being.

Samsung's acquisition augments the Smart Home initiative it announced at CES in January and allows the company to rival the likes of Google and Apple, both of whom are making major plays in the home automation arena.

Google spent $3.2 billion (around £1.9b, AU$3.4) on the company behind the Nest thermostat, which in turn spent hundreds of millions on the Dropcam start-up. Apple, of course, will begin its drive in earnest with HomeKit for iOS 8.

Via Wall Street Journal

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.