Samsung is opening up its fast-growing SmartThings platform to user feedback
Acquired by Samsung back in 2014 for an estimated $200 million, the SmartThings platform had an unusually strong presence at last month's Consumer Electronics Show, gaining aptly named new Cooking, Pet, and Find services in its bold endeavor to "drive the future of IoT" and take home automation to new heights and connected living areas.
Impressively enough, Samsung is not done enriching the functionality and versatility of its "premier technology" for your smart home this beginning of the year, with SmartThings Labs unveiled today in an attempt to better respond to actual customer needs.
The idea is to basically offer advanced access to unfinished features and tools for people who would like to bring their contribution to the development of said features and provide valuable feedback while trying out new things before the masses. In other words, you're looking at a public beta testing program of sorts for stuff like Universal Remote Control, Virtual Switch, TV Quick Control, and Device as a Bluetooth Keyboard functionality.
Those are just four of the eight experimental features available right off the bat within the official SmartThings Android app stateside for your early testing pleasure, with a bunch of unspecified "additional features" and the ability to use old Galaxy devices as monitors and cameras as part of Samsung's "upcycling" program set to arrive in the "coming months."
Of the four beta capabilities listed above, Universal Remote Control arguably looks the closest to something that should already be a widely available thing, bringing multiple compatible devices together on a single screen so you can operate everything from your air conditioner and air purifier to your home surveillance camera, smart speaker, set-top box, and TV with minimal effort.
If you want to take part in the newly launched SmartThings Labs program, all you have to do is install the aforementioned app on your Android phone, open it, tap the menu bar, select SmartApps, and finally SmartThings Labs, which will introduce you to a comprehensive roundup of all experimental features you can test and evaluate before their public and stable rollout.