Whether its Microsoft, Apple of Google they all want to ‘own’ our living rooms. All these players have one device to ensure their presence in our living rooms – while Microsoft is betting big on Xbox (which is a loss making unit and is limited only to gamers, Apple has Apple TV and Google has Chromecast as well as Google TV. All these players use TV as an idiot box. Ironically all traditional electronics players, despite there very presence at the center of our living rooms _the TV set or AV systems_ have not shown a strong desire to own the living room. Companies like Samsung, Sony or LG do offer ‘smart’ TVs or AV player but they are more or less half-hearted efforts.
Now Sammy is getting aggressive in the living room. The company has become a very strong brand against Apple, thanks to Android. Samsung has announced Smart Home at CES which aims to bring together Samsung portfolio of devices – Smart TVs, mobile devices and appliance.
A the center of this ‘one ring to rule them all’ is an app which will control all your device. So let’s say you are driving out and you can issue a command ‘going out’ on your Samsung watch and it will turn off all your lights, and electronics at home.
The smart home concept is not new and companies keep trying to bring an ‘ecosystem’, but Samsung is in a unique position as it dominates the mobile space and it won’t be hard for the company to drive users to ‘upgrade’ to Samsung’s smart devices.
One problem with Samsung so far has been that the company, like Apple, creates a walled garden locking all other non-Samsung user out. For example if you have a Samsung smart TV, Samsung won’t let you install the remote app for your Android device from Play Store. Only Samsung Galaxy users can download the app – which kind of sucks for a user.
It seems Samsung is opening up and may extend the support for devices outside those carried Samsung logo on them.
As I said above Samsung is now in a stronger position and now they really have the (Apple-like) influence to turn our homes into smart homes. I just wish Samsung would open its ecosystem and let other users from Android family to ‘talk’ to their smart homes.
Darshak Parikh contributed to this story