It’s been a busy week of product announcements at IFA 2015 and Samsung this morning held a highly anticipated press event where it announced several new products that revolved around the so-called “Internet of Things,” which is basically an industry buzzword for connected devices throughout our home. We’ve recapped the highlights below.
A next-generation Samsung SmartThings Hub
What it is: A central hub from which you can control all of your home’s connected devices and appliances.
What Samsung says:
"The new Samsung SmartThings Hub is equipped with a more powerful processor that enables video monitoring and a battery backup that lasts up to 10 hours in case of a power outage. The Hub is also able to process some automations locally, meaning it can operate without an internet connection. The collection of Samsung SmartThings sensors are now smaller and have been redesigned with a sleeker, more contemporary look.
The Hub’s video monitoring capability, launching in beta, is unique in that it allows people to improve peace of mind while maintaining their privacy. A livestream can be accessed at any time, but video is only recorded when an unexpected event, such as motion by the front door, is detected. With this new feature, SmartThings is introducing a solution called Smart Home Monitor, which provides unified access and control against intrusion, smoke and fire, leaks and floods, and other common household issues by delivering real-time notifications and video clips from multiple cameras via the SmartThings app. Intelligent buffering enables video clip recording to start prior to the event so users can see what caused the incident.
The SmartThings app has also been redesigned for iOS and Android to include easier navigation and a more intuitive experience. Users can now directly organize and control devices by room, and customize actions to occur automatically based on preset routines. With the additions of Smart Home Monitor and new features that enable SmartThings to perform certain functions without power or Internet, the offering has evolved into a solution for real life problems – a testament to the promise of the smart home and the IoT."
Pricing and availability: You can buy the SmartThings Hub for $99 right now through Shop.SmartThings.com and Samsung.com. Samsung says it will be rolling out to Amazon and to U.S. retail stores shortly.
What it is: A sleep tracker that will hopefully help you get more restful nights.
What Samsung says:
"SamsungSleepSense is a new type of personal healthcare device that helps people improve the quality of their sleep.
Sleep is essential for our general wellbeing, but as busy and stressed professionals and parents, many of us struggle to achieve the recommended seven to nine hours sleep a night, putting our health at risk.
Too little sleep is associated with a host of very real problems, from weak performance and increased errors to a greater risk of accidents.
Now with Samsung’s new SleepSense,* you can quickly and easily understand your sleep patterns and learn how to improve it without having to seek advice. SamsungSleepSense can be your personal sleep consultant. This sleep monitoring device uses patented technology to analyse your sleep quantity and quality, provides personalised sleep reports and gives you expert recommendations on how to improve your sleep – all through a mobile app."
Pricing and availability: No information on pricing or release date has been revealed yet.
Samsung WW8500 AddWash
What it is: A smart washing machine and an… yawn… exciting new twist.
What Samsung says:
"We’ve all been there: We’ve just started the washing machine, only to discover that we forgot to put a child’s uniform into the wash for football practice tomorrow. Or we’ve just set the weekly wash to go, and then find one sock or a few towels lying on the bathroom floor.
According to the research conducted by Samsung, about 90% of consumers in Europe say that they wanted to put more clothes in the washing machine after a wash cycle had started. But with the front-loading washing machines so popular in Europe, it’s not the easiest thing to do; the door is opened only when the water level inside the drum is low enough, and most people are unsure how to go about it. Indeed, more than half of the consumers surveyed were concerned that opening the washer door might cause a water spill or even cause the washing machine to break down.
Samsung has come up with a unique and painless solution that tackles this annoying problem: The innovative Samsung WW8500 AddWash.
The Samsung AddWash has an extra door located on the upper part of the main door; that makes it possible to add any missed or urgent piece of clothing – and even extra detergent or fabric softener – at any point during the wash cycle. It’s just another example of Samsung’s innovation that makes people’s lives easier."
Pricing and availability: Pricing and release date information have not been announced.
Car Mode for Galaxy
What it is: An app for Galaxy smartphones designed specifically to make them safer and more easy to use in cars.
What Samsung says:
"Car Mode for Galaxy is an app that enhances your driving experience by allowing you to use key smartphone features safely in your car. It offers seamless connectivity between a smartphone and an in-vehicle entertainment system powered by MirrorLink, an industry-leading standard for connected cars.
CarMode for Galaxy lets you take calls so that you can catch up with friends during the long drive. You can also listen to your favorite playlist or get directions to your destination. It even reads incoming text messages to you. And even in a car without MirrorLink functionality, you can still enjoy all these features thanks to a standalone mode."
Pricing and availability: The app is a free download that will be available to download on various Samsung Galaxy devices starting on Friday, September 4th.