Hello home automation: Samsung is reportedly in talks to buy home automation company Smart Things.The deal is said to be worth US$200 million, reports TechCrunch.
SmartThings app turns a smartphone or tablet into a remote control of all smart devices at home including appliances, tablets, lights and switches, doors and locks. It also makes affordable multi-sensors, smart hubs, ‘sump pumps’ and ‘Know Who’s Home When You’re Not’ monitoring solution for US$60.
The Washington-based home automation company was founded by seven entrepreneurs including CEO Alex Hawkinson.
Local analysts Telsyte predicts $160 million smart home automation devices will be sold in Oz this year and is expected to grow to just under $1 billion by 2017.
Click to enlarge
But “when large players like Apple and Samsung move into the market we could see it expand much quicker,” according to analyst Foad Fadaghi who says the reported move by Samsung into home automation is in lieu of similar moves by Apple, who just announced HomeKit, and Google who bought into Nest.
Home automation is a “hot space and will be for the next number of years.” Its also becoming cheaper and more universal.
“The next battleground for tech companies is how to extend control of devices and its clear Samsung wants a strong hand in the market.”
The Korean giant already has strong presence in the home – TV’s microwaves and fridges – so to have a strong home automation offerings is “critical.”
Ownership of SmartThings would have a strong ‘halo effect’ for Samsung, so would be a huge asset.
Google’s recently acquired home automation company, Nest, is also one to keep an eye on in the future, says the Telsyte analyst. It just purchased DropCam and may have a number of offerings in the future – far beyond smoke alarms.
A matrix of other companies also have a vested interest in the home automation market – including Philips who make light bulbs, home appliance makers and smart electronics companies.