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Samsung confirms SmartThings purchase, set to tackle the smart home

SmartThings is officially been acquired by Samsung, marking the company's latest venture into the smart home

Samsung has officially purchased SmartThings, the home automation startup company working on developing an open platform for smart gadgets and software, for an undisclosed sum. As rumoured earlier this year, the acquisition now puts Samsung in the race to develop the first widely accepted Smart Home system and potentially take on Google’s Nest and Apple’s Homekit initiative.

SmartThings founder Alex Hawkinson confirmed the purchase in an official statement on the SmartThings blog, pledging to continue to run the company in the same way and keep the entire team onboard, while relocating to a new HQ in Palo Alto – conveniently located for Samsung’s Accelerator programme, which nurtures startups and entrepreneurs close to the heart of Silicon Valley.

Although neither company is talking specifics just yet, according to TechCrunch the Korean manufacturer paid $200 million for the fledgling startup. That might sound like a lot, but considering SmartThings got noticed from a Kickstarter campaign that raised $1.2 million after asking for $250,000 and has raised over $15 million in capital to date, it’s clear that it isn’t just big name brands interested in adding some automation to their home; there’s a growing audience and no accepted standard for the technology, leaving a real gap in the market waiting to be filled.

Having already developed smart light switches, door locks and water sensors, which can be controlled through a wireless hub connected to a home router and a smartphone app for iOS and Android, it’s unclear what SmartThings will work on next or whether future products will be branded as Samsung devices instead.

We don’t know when we’ll see the first results of Samsung’s latest purchase, and with IFA in Berlin being so close we don’t expect to see anything this year, but with CES 2015 set for January we may not have long to wait.

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