SmartThings Inc. is a technology company headquartered in Mountain View, CA. SmartThings is building an open platform for smart homes and the consumer Internet of Things. The company was bought by Samsung Electronics in 2014. However, they operate as an independent company within Samsung's Open Innovation Center.
SmartThings has now partnered with Nvidia to integrate their Smart Home Hub into the famed Shield TV. They announced a USB stick, called the SmartThings Link for NVIDIA SHIELD, that works with the NVIDIA Shield streaming box to create a smart home hub. This means the user can control the different smart locks, lights, outlets, and thermostats in the home. It is also possible to remotely control the home's security, energy usage, lighting, and much more through the SmartThings App.
Nvidia has released a new update for their Shield TV. With Shield Experience 6.0, the Shield TV set-top box will also get Google Assistant. This was first announced at CES back in January. Google Assistant will allow hands-free control of media playback, voice search, and smart home control for the Shield TV. The Shield TV will also be the first Android TV device to get the full Google Assistant experience. The device will become a control center for the entire home when paired with the SmartThings Link dongle.
Together with Google Assistant, Nvidia Shield TV, SmartThings Link, and compatible IoT products, you can create a number of possibilities and triggers using the IFTTT service. The custom triggers include when you wake up, leave the house, or head out on vacation, so SmartThings will remember all the actions you’ve personalized and perform them exactly when you say so, automatically or with a single command without having to leave the couch.
One of SmartThings’ many strengths is its broad compatibility. Thanks to its support for both Z-Wave and Zigbee wireless protocols, many partner products work with the hub including Lutron, Schlage, Honeywell, Leviton, Ecobee, Arlo, Ring, Philips Hue, Yale, among several others. This expands the smart home functionality of Shield TV over your home, without cluttering your living room with additional products.
The Link will be the key to unlocking Shield TV as a SmartThings Hub and will be available for pre-sale starting today here, and will ship in late October. It costs only $39.99, though it’s on sale for pre-order on the Amazon for a very reasonable $14.99 (a discount of $25 over its original price).
It’s unclear whether the SmartThings USB stick has identical functionality to the actual SmartThings Hub. If it does, then this is a very low-cost way for existing Shield owners to add a smart home hub. Currently, the Hub costs $50. So for only $15 you presumably get the same functionality for a lot less money.