At this year’s Bespoke Home 2022 event, Samsung showcased its vision for smart home products. As the name of the event implies, Samsung is attempting to disrupt the home appliance market by offering smart home appliances with the added benefit of a wide array of ‘mix-and-match’ colors and finishes for several of its products. It is also pushing its sustainability credentials. Last year’s inaugural Bespoke event received a lot of positive responses from the industry, and it encouraged Samsung to introduce SmartThings Home Life app this year. This app and associated services will be available across 97 countries around the world by end of June, but Samsung’s Bespoke products are currently available in around 50 countries, indicating a likely expansion path.
Looking at Samsung’s key products announced at the event.
The AI powered Bespoke oven will be initially available in European markets by the second half of this year. “AI Pro Cooking” feature helps to monitor the food while it is being prepared, while “Dual Cook Steam” enables different cooking methods simultaneously.
SmartThings Cooking app can adapt to users’ tastes and preferences according to their dietary restrictions or preferences. This can also be beneficial for non-smart appliance owners for selecting recipe ingredients through associated retailer apps like Walmart, Instacart, Amazon Fresh, and Kroger.
Samsung is expanding its SmartThings product lines by adding dishwashers and induction cooktops which are expected to be available by end of this year.
SmartThings Clothing Care
After the COVID-19 outbreak, people are putting more priority on their health and hygiene. Keeping this in mind, Samsung launched Bespoke AI laundry which will be available in the US and Europe. Bespoke AI washer and AI dryer can ready the garments to wear within an hour. AI Optiwash feature will optimize load size and sense parameters such as water level, fabric, soil level and detergent.
These devices include ‘AI Ecobubble’ functionality that reflects the company’s vision for smart home products. Samsung claims it is making a strong effort to create more sustainable product lifecycles by minimizing waste and using greener production methods. However, it is difficult to verify these claims.
SmartThings Home Life App
Artificial intelligence (AI) can provide more convenience to users of smart home products through customization. Samsung is bringing AI capabilities to SmartThings Home Life app by integrating six services covering, Pet Care, Air Care, Cooking, Energy, Clothing Care and Home Care. The centralized control of all devices can enhance customers’ experience in using smart home products. Samsung already has more than 200 global partners and 250 million registered users on SmartThings. The collected user data over the period will also help to customize the newly designed SmartThings Home Life app.
Samsung has partnered with ABB, a Swiss multinational company, to help it improve its automation and integration. ABB has considerable experience in the digitalization and automation of industrial processes.
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant apps are dominating the voice assistant space. However, there will be a chance for Samsung to capitalize on its voice assistant app, Bixby, through SmartThings app. Bixby is generally considered to be inferior to its competitors, so its performance will need to improve substantially before consumers make more consistent use of it.
Samsung is diversifying product offerings under the smart home categories. Samsung is also focusing on services as these can provide recurring revenues. Samsung already had SmartThings Hub app for connecting devices but the specifically designed SmartThings Home Life app is expected to provide greater convenience and efficiency in smart home applications.
With these several launches, Samsung wants to add more convenience to consumers’ daily routines by harnessing connectivity among smart devices.
We expect the global smart home device shipments to exceed 1.4 billion units by 2025 with a CAGR of 21% from 2021. The market is fragmented though, so a company with the scale and scope of Samsung is in a strong position to offer a comprehensive range of products that work well together via a central point of control.
The smartphone market is maturing and smartphone players are looking for alternative business opportunities. Xiaomi is also aiming to take a significant share of the smart home market, although its approach is different.