Samsung announces SmartThings Cloud

Heare is another article about Samsung’s plans:

hope the new cloud can deal with sunrise/sunset better and consistently

I’m just praying this is not the beginning of a required cloud subscription service for all/advanced Smartthings features. After the crap that the Canary video company recently pulled, I can’t take another huge Home automation disappointment.

I’d be fine with a paid subscription model… If things worked, got updated frequently, local processing, better interfaces, and on and on and on. I believe in paying for quality. Would I pay monthly for what I have now, most likely not.

Im mostly upset that we have not heard any updates or announcements here on this forum. That the only way we know anything about it is third party reporting. Once again showing that the company does not understand ‘community’ Casey Niestat just did a video on how the value of YouTube is the Community. I dont think ST is any different. I’d bet a good 60% of the DTH, SmartApps, and other novel ways of using the system have been from the community not internal to ST. So you’d think they’d maybe consider us as a place to invest in, not ignore…which it feels like anymore.


This is something that needs to be asked by everyone to and on the Play/Apple Store ratings, since that’s what we have been told influence development priorities.

The new SmartThings Cloud is a major Samsung initiative that will bring great benefits for developers and customers, but those benefits won’t materialize overnight. The new API is more “industry standard” (hey… industry leading) and lays the foundation for more powerful device types and automations than the current “Groovy + IDE”. Like any foundation, I think there will be a little soil-settling that needs to take place; i.e., feedback from real developers with real-world applications expressing their needs. The difference this time? The entire “weight” of Samsung’s IoT divisions are committed to this; they can leverage resources at greater scale than when SmartThings was more … isolated.

What does this mean for SHM? Not much at all in the short term at all. But in the longer term, there is a greater chance that 3rd party developed apps can deliver “monitoring & alarm” functionality that far exceeds any of our imaginations - or even just replicates SHM and adds basic entry/exit grace delays :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.


I attended a variety of sessions at SDC, but there were zero sessions that discussed monetization of IoT Cloud services (as opposed to making devices smarter).

So the truth is that there was “no” information shared. A couple questions were asked here and there; but the focus was on the technology and its benefits, not on Samsung profit.

That leaves us speculating as has been done dozens and dozens of times in this Forum of “how does / will Samsung SmartThings make (big) money”? The most likely answer remains that by becoming the top platform in the industry (in all layers from edge hardware like ARTIK, nodes (hubs) and node software, event management, cloud services, big data, security …)… the possibilities are endless. But it is a basic industry fact that the big money is in B2B (business to business) services, not B2C (business to consumer). In other words, SmartThings Cloud Platform will hopefully be seen as an efficient, excellent, and cost-effective way for all sorts of product developers and commercial applications, healthcare, hotel management, data mining, product usage and reliability measurement leading to product improvement, AI, etc., etc., that they will fund this infrastructure.

I don’t know it for a fact, but I believe that Amazon Web Services (computing, data storage, - used by millions(?) of businesses) are more profitable than Amazon consumer product sales of all kinds. While Amazon is getting really, really good at logistics (shipping) and virtual goods (music and video); it can’t compare to the “ease” of selling computing power to other businesses.

“Samsung SmartThings IoT Cloud Services” (not the official name) has the potential to be the “AWS” of IoT. Just like Amazon uses their own AWS to run their stores and virtual goods, Samsung will certainly leverage SmartThings Cloud to improve the power and sales of phones and TVs and appliances and new features like Bixby, (etc., etc.), and sure, may dabble in some subscription services; but the big money will come from commercial applications or from smart device and smart services that will pay to use the ST Cloud.

It sure would be nice if this didn’t have to be speculation. We all know that Google’s profit comes nearly entirely from advertising (and thus, nearly or entirely all of their other initiatives solely exist to eventually improve advertising revenue). Why did Google build “Google Maps” and buy “Waze”? Why is Google designing self-driving cars? Exact same answer; because when you know a consumer’s travel patterns, you have the opportunity to monetize that via paid sponsorship. You, a consumer, ask your self-driving car to take you to a restaurant, but the car says there are no reservations available and offers you an alternative sponsored dining choice. Ka-ching! :moneybag:


I relayed exactly this in various friendly informal off-the-record chats to various ST staff attending SDC.

To protect the innocent and to try to sound smart, at least a third of this I’m pulling out of my donkey.

Without repeating specifics, here’s what I “learned”:

  • Many, many, ST employees from the top to the bottom of the organization regularly read this Community Forum. Some of them more than others. But among those that do read are high-level folks who read thoroughly. So we are being heard, even if it not “active listening” with instant feedback.

  • The Community doesn’t like to hear the word “no” - and engineers hate to say it too. Samsung is a huge company. While no ST employee would say that Community opinion doesn’t matter, the fact is that the decisions are made by folks who are at least a few layers isolated from us. Ironically, that includes the decision not to interactively communicate here, of course. Oh well: Gotta accept the fact that “Samsung SmartThings” is definitely not a little startup company.

  • Samsung SmartThings has become a company like many other large consumer tech companies (obvious example: Apple) that no longer “leaks” information. It is difficult (and distracting) for engineers to participate actively in discussions here, as it is too tempting and too easy to slip and leak accurate or inaccurate information ahead of official PR.

  • Nobody offered a simple explanation for why there isn’t a significantly resourced PR or Community Relations, or Evangelism, or Developer Advocacy Team assigned to answering questions and fostering discussion after major news has come out like this week (or even items like the ADT Panel-Hub, etc.). Well… the simple explanation is probably that management does not consider such resource allocation to be a worthwhile expense; or that the risks and challenges of addressing the community directly are just easier to avoid by doing traditional PR (i.e., Press Releases and other official media communications and marketing).


Still waiting on cell backup for the hubs…nest and ring did it

Is Samsung planning to pull out of S3 and host this cloud themselves?

Terry, this is all REALLY great insight, and I thank you for sharing it with the community here!

For ALL companies these days, the challenge of how to engage appropriately in wide-access social-media channels (whether facebook, twitter, reddit, app-store reviews, etc etc or just online support communities/forums like this one) is daunting and rarely ever a consistent win-win for all parties…

If companies engage actively/directly/regularly, that introduces some unfortunate risks, since more engagement = more people involved… When more people are involved, then it’s inherently harder to control the uniformity of responses and the accuracy of shared information (all despite best intentions).

The resulting “he said, she said” can become very thorny very quickly.

But if companies don’t actively engage enough in these social channels, then they are seen as detached, uncaring, or just plain out-of-touch. Which may be true, or may not be!

So, does a company dedicate a team of folks to deal exclusively with an important resource such as this forum? That sounds great, but for a whole slew of reasons, it’s WAY harder to do than it sounds!

I don’t know of any company (tech or otherwise) that has really & truly cracked that whole nut yet. I doubt it’s even possible - I think the landscape of these social channels is simply too dynamic.

FWIW, I think the ST employees who post in the community here do a nice job overall of being transparent and helpful. I’m guessing a lot of them would like to engage more, but are apprehensive about their responses being misconstrued, and are thus understandably gun-shy about being more active here.

As community members, I think we can help by understanding that the ST employees here are honestly doing their best to be helpful and as transparent as possible, and unless they are sharing what is very obviously official news, then we need to be considerate about how vehemently we interpret the info they share here.

After all, no matter what job you yourself have, you know that things change - what seems like a done deal today can quickly go an altogether different direction tomorrow!

ALL of us here (lurkers or participants, ST employees or ST consumers) need to do our respective part in being cooperative & understanding players in this support community :+1:

Cheers, Chris


Nice having you in there asking some of the harder questions, Terry. And everything you said makes ‘perfect’ sense in this post. And add in the fact that ST is no longer a ‘startup’, whatever that means really… That places like this forum become less of a requirement on a marketing slide in a presentation to investors.

I fully understand why the ST employee’s stay quiet on the forum. I too used to work at a VERY hot topic public facing communications technology company. We didn’t have an ‘official’ community but there were large bases in many communities where I frequented. There was no way I’d even label myself as an employee because I know that just leads to tons of PM’s asking questions. Most I had 0 insight into since I was the SysAdmin. So I dont fault the employees that are in the trenches.

I do fault that they dont have that horribly named ‘evangelism team’, I still hate Robert Scoble ;). Old ST wasn’t so tone deaf to the forum. New ST I think sees 90% of the users here as a headache. I barely call myself an ‘old timer’ but going on 2 years, starting with the v1, but not a Kickstarter person I do still feel I’ve been around longer than most. Enough to know there’s a basic 2 type of users here, ones asking for basic support that yes should have went to the support email…or now the phone support that never existed before. Or the other type that is digging into the system either width or depth. Myself, I try to stay very thin and keep it 'stock. I do have a very wide install where there are devices in every room now. They should have at least tier 1 type people in a sub section of the forum answering basic questions. Then a few tier 3/engineers that actively want to participate helping out with the deep dives without the fear of saying the wrong thing…something very tough in a big company.

Over all the issue that we didnt even get a copy paste of a news release from someone with a blue badge on their avatar is a huge mistake. I saw the articles and came here for the insider look, saw 0. I know people like Tim have kinda moved on/up in the company and have less time…but him and all the ‘old timer staff’ used to be a bellwether for the company. We had a sense of what was going on but now this place feels like it shouldnt be on the domain.

I dont think any of us are asking for insider info of upcoming releases, but at one point we knew this boat was being navigated by a solid team that communicated fairly well.

This forum has gone just like Samsungs other forums.
Loads of people asking for help and info. But no ones at home.

Most companies with great support sing about what new things are coming out.
ST\Samsung shout about products that never come out.
And both SC\Samsung support are rubbish.

Just curious: Has anyone compared Support interaction quality experience of Wink, Iris, Amazon, Google, Nest, Apple?

Indeed, this is off-topic. The new SmartThings Cloud is not something that consumers care about as long as it works. Yet customer support is an essential “soft” component to the overall platform.

As is Developer support! It can’t just be API documentation and peer forums; or true developer support is limited to “substantial” partners only?

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As for smart home. For me Amazon wins hands down in the support department.

If you want to know how bad Samsung is then go to their EU\UK forums and see loads of
people asking for help get unnoticed.

Samsung’s TV sales was down in the EU\UK because no one trusts them any more.
And then you will have the knock on effect. Smartthings Extend is the biggest joke going.

Easy to understand. My Samsung TV has a number of issues. Support & their forums seem to indicate I’m SOL because it isn’t the current model…

i have a samsung 2017 Tv, its brilliant !! i can even watch the Tv on my Samsung phone using the connect app, i have no use for this feature tbh but it works and very easily, it turns on and off Via ST and Amazon echo although i have no control over volume but thats no big deal, i dont actually see any real benifit yet of switching my ST V2 hub over to the connect app even though i really want to, my take on tech is… if it can then i want to try it but right now ST with Amazon echo is wife friendly and mostly reliable, my one gripe is the cost of new appliances that are SMART they are wayyy over priced, we wanted a new freezer but i was never going to pay £400 more for the priveledge

On a side note, why does the Samsung Tv have something called a smart hub in it ?? i think the terminology is misused as it hardly a smart hub, if it is where is the smart app to control it on the Tv, there isnt one, i think its just the Tv arm of Samsung using a term that is attractive to consumers but can easily confuse buyers into thinking they are getting a ST hub intergrated into the Tv… which is actually a good idea !!.. SAMSUNG !

Any word on dates? I just got an S8 and was keen to give Bixby a go, but obviously Samsung Connect doesnt work with SmartThings hence removed Bixby and replaced it with Google Now. Id be keen on giving it a go if it was soonish, but if too long then I might not escape the Google Now option…

I’ve had nothing BUT great support from ST, so I’m not sure what you’re referring to. I’ve had prompt responses and actual help hands on anytime I’ve had an issue. The latest being a follow up email I received this weekend to a support issue I had months ago.

Do I still have some issues occasionally with ST? Features I wish would be prioritized? More transparency into what comes next?

Sure. But when it comes to actual product support, I’ve had nothing but good experiences.


I’ll tell you mine in the UK.

I tried to delete my location on my ST app and not matter what I tried it wouldn’t work.
I posted here=no help from ST
I chatted to ST support UK= Sorry we can’t help you!

Mine and other multi sensor users battery stays at 100%
It’s been posted on this forum and no fix in site.
I asked ST UK support and they couldn’t help in anyway.
I’ve now took my ST system off line as it can’t be trusted till they fix the battery problem.

I asked about the ST Extend
Will it coming out\has it been shelved?
UK ST support=It’s been in beta testing a year and we have no further information.
But if you have a NVidia shield 2017 you can get the ST Link(extend hardware) soon.(rubbish support)

I bought a £7000 Qled TV. On day one a line of black pixels could be seen the full length of the screen.
Samsung UK support= We will try to get some one out to you in about 6 days!
I called J Lewis UK. They changed it the next day.

I don’t understand this.

SmartThings Support can surely delete or reset a Location (and also assist you in resetting and rejoining your Hub). How did you resolve this without Support’s assistance? :confused: