Samsung’s big news Wednesday surrounded the launch of its new Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones.
But Samsung unveiled other products at its packed Lincoln Center press event here, one of the most intriguing of which is the Samsung Connect Home Smart Wi-Fi system. It combines a “mesh networking” type Wi-Fi router with a hub for Samsung’s SmartThings home-automation platform, which lets you connect and control a gaggle of SmartThings-capable gadgets in your house.
Samsung bought SmartThings in August 2014 for $200 million.
The mesh type router solutions on the market, notably eero and Google Wi-Fi, help consumers tackle poor or nonexistent Internet connectivity in parts of the house by intelligently distributing a wireless signal throughout the home. You strategically place individual routers or Wi-Fi points in different rooms, so that the boxes can communicate with one another to manage bandwidth.
Samsung plans to sell Samsung Connect Home in three offerings: as a single Samsung Connect Home box (for up to 1,500 feet), in a three-pack (4,500 feet), or via a version known as Samsung Connect Home Pro, which has a more powerful antenna. The company has not revealed pricing, or when its router/hub combo will be available.
It’s not likely to be cheap. Current three-packs from eero and Google fetch $399 and $299, respectively. By itself, a SmartThings hub costs $99; prices for the SmartThings sensors you use to connect various household gadgets vary.
Samsung Connect Home Smart Wi-Fi is compatible with the Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity standards, as well as Wi-Fi.
Folks who buy the router/hub can tap into the new Samsung Connect app in the S8 and S8+ to control connected Samsung products, and hundreds of third-party smart home devices, Philips Hue Lights, Netgear Arlo Camera, and Ring Video Doorbell, among them. There are no monthly fees or subscriptions.