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August 15, 2014

Samsung buys a way into your home, acquires SmartThings

Knock knock. Who's there? It's Samsung, tell Apple and Google to get out.

By Ben Sullivan

Samsung has taken a step closer to becoming household smarthome name, acquiring Internet of Things experts SmartThings.

The firm, snapped up for a reported $200m, lets people sync their devices and IoT gadgets with a standalone smartphone application.

SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson said: "From the beginning, our goal has been to make a platform every human being could use — and to make every home a smart home."

"This will help us reach a massive scale. We saw an opportunity to bring SmartThing’s vision to hundreds of millions of customers."
The firm was started in 2012, and will now be relocating to Samsung’s Open Innovation Center in Palo Alto.

Samsung VP David Eun said: "We want to people to understand how important it is that they will stay independent. SmartThings will continue to work with its developer community and business partners. In the meantime, we’ll be exploring ways to partner with them."

In January, Google bought Nest Labs for $3.2bn, a maker of ‘smart’ thermostats and smoke alarms. Samsung will also be competing with Apple’s HomeKit smarthome services.

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Hawkinson said in a blog post: "We believe that there is an enormous opportunity to leverage Samsung’s global scale to help us realise our long-term vision. While we will remain operationally independent, joining forces with Samsung will enable us to support all of the leading smartphone vendors, devices, and applications; expand our base of developers and enhance the tools and programs that they rely on; and help many more people around the world easily control and monitor their homes using SmartThings."

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