SmartThings Community

SmartThings Open Cloud & the ARTIK Chip

Since acquiring SmartThings, Samsung’s IoT narrative has been very open.

What’s going on here, IMO, is that they don’t want to have to buy chips from some other guy for every product they sell. If you want those chips to meet your own needs, e.g., EnergyStar compliant, better to design them yourself, if you have the capacity.

Assembling other people’s hardware is not a great business play. Being the Dell of the IoT world would suck.

1 Like

Connectivity: Depending on the configuration, the ARTIK family offers all major connectivity protocols including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (including BLE) and ZigBee …

(and THREAD is mentioned). Not Z-Wave. Apple HomeKit is not mentioned, but presume the BLE will make it possible.

It is a hardware platform, consisting of powerful set of MCUs, security / encryption / embedded keys, various communication protocols, development kits (~ Arduino), etc.; but the platform also includes the “SmartThings Open Cloud (powered by SAMI)”. So, as a side benefit, Samsung finally gets to bring the SmartThings brand in-line with their SAMI cloud infrastructure.

Additional Technical Highlights of the Samsung ARTIK Family

1 Like

Branding aside, SAMI and SmartThings are two entirely different platforms. I’m doubtful they can be merged “seamlessly”. I asked the question regarding integration path few days ago, but no one replied.

I thought the whole idea of SmartThings was to be the device cloud.

Also, if ARTIK is so great how come SmartThings hub V2 is not based on it? Something doesn’t line up here.

A “cloud” can have many layers and edges. Integration and or migration of SmartThings current cloud architecture and infrastructure to SAMI can be a gradual process.

I think Hub V2 was too far along development (and needed in the consumer market too urgently) for it to be a candidate for ARTIK.

ARTIK is only in very limited Alpha release at this time. Hub V2 is in late Beta stages. If ARTIK proves stable and cost effective (highly likely), then Hub V3 is likely to be based on ARTIK … and Tizen, I would speculate! SmartThings and partner end-point devices can also take advantage of the low-end ARTIK model 1.

SmartThings generates a lot of consumer media buzz for Samsung, but I suspect all along it’s been a very small part of their technology strategy.

The truth is there’s nothing new, and nothing patentable, about the SmartThings platform itself. Nicely packaged, and a wide vision, but really nothing technical that can’t be easily replicated by anyone else. However, it was a really interesting proof of concept for consumer use of a multi protocol home automation setup.

SAMI, on the other hand, along with Artik, are both really new. They do have some competition because this is a problem yet to be solved, but Samsung will be fighting off rivals on the basis of engineering. Really big company engineering. Intel and TI as competitors, Apple and Sony as customers.

Did you know Samsung is the largest memory chipmaker in the world? And that’s a profitable division.

SmartThings was always likely to have a full technology overhaul, I think. Probably for version 3. But the main business justification for its continuing existence is a combination of name and driving the purchase of other devices.

And if SmartThings eventually proves compatible with Artik-powered devices, Samsung scoops the pot: consumer media buzz and purchases by their real target market: device makers. (Maybe even including HomeKit, eventually.)

From an engineering standpoint, it looks like a very sensible roadmap. If they can make the big pieces work.

We’ll see.


Well… I just applied for an ARTIK Alpha Developer kit, as part of the Makers Against Drought Samsung ARTIK Challenge. If I get selected for a kit, it would be a little validation for my water savings idea.

Guess I’ll know soon if I have set myself up for a lot of work…

1 Like

ARTIK must have been in development long before SmartThings acquisition and the first time we’ve heard about hub V2 was about 6 month ago.

The ARTIK development board has all the radios that V2 has - Zigbee, Z-Wave, BLE, WiFi and even NFC. Check it out:

It’s supposed to “accelerate development”, “shorten time to market” and what not. I’m afraid someone at Sumsung forgot to tell Jeff Hagins that such a great platform is being developed by the parent company and he shouldn’t waste resources inventing a wheel. :smile:


Well, to be fair, we don’t know what will or won’t be in V2 when it does ship. It could still be Artik for antenna management. It would surprise me, but it’s not impossible.

I’m not convinced. SAMI+ARTIK looks like Spark Core or Electric Imp on steroids - an embedded platform tied to a proprietary device cloud. What’s new here? I understand Samsung wants to expand market for their chips. Every chipmaker does. Intel pushes Galileo and Edison. Broadcom pushes WICED. TI and Qualcomm want a piece of the action too. Even Microsoft got its fingers in IoT pie with Windows 10 ported to Raspberry Pi (pun intended). :smile:

The “revolutionary” ARTIK 1 boasts three weeks (!) of battery life. Wow! Now I will only need to replace batteries in my door sensors every tree weeks. :smile:

But of course, the biggest kicker behind SAMI is the Big Data that will give Samsung “new and actionable insights”. But don’t worry, it will only be used to “harness intelligence for a better-integrated global society”. See? Not a word about boosting corporate profits or increasing shareholder value. Next thing you know Samsung will rebrand itself as a charity. :smile:


If, as some analysts have suggested, Artik 1 is intended for wearables, recharging is expected. Then 3 weeks is actually pretty awesome.

1 Like

I think that’s what the 3 weeks estimate is in context. Battery life for a chip is meaningless, as the ARTIK 1 could be used in a big GoPro or a passive NFC card reader or something with a substantial battery.

As for profit motivations, that’s what concerns me regarding the $100k “Makers Against Drought” challenge. That’s a small price for Samsung to pay if they get any intellectual property rights for the submitted ideas.

The first details about Hub v2 were made public in September 2014.

Hub v2 was in development before Samsung acquired SmartThings.


Whilst Samsung may have shared details and/or early access to Artik with some close partners prior to it’s public release (speculation on my part), I wouldn’t have thought that SmartThings would have qualified for such access prior to their acquisition. Before the acquisition was agreed they remained a potential takeover target for Samsung’s competitors.


I’m not so much concerned with ARTIK or V2 hardware. I doesn’t really matter to me what processor they run on or what OS they use. What worries me most is the desire of large corporations to grab as much private user data as they can get their hands on.

Their “privacy” policy pretty much sums it up:

we will not share your information with third parties. However, we may share your information with:
Service providers – companies that provide services for or on behalf of Samsung; and
Law enforcement – when we are required to do so or to protect Samsung and our users.

Which basically means that you private data may and will be used agains you.

Samsung in particular is notorious for abusing user’s privacy.

1 Like

I would say rather that Samsung is notorious for not writing feel good versions of their legal policies.

The Verge article provoked a lot of outrage, but when it came down to it, Samsung’s television policy turned out to be the same as Amazon
Echo’s, Apple’s Siri, Window’s Cortana, and pretty much everyone else who uses an awake word to trigger voice recognition. The device is always listening for the awake word.

It’s just that the other brands added a couple of extra sentences to reassure customers they were only listening for the awake word.

Meaningless distinction, really, as was discussed when Echo was first announced, there’s no question that law enforcement will eventually abuse it. But Amazon wrote their terms so that it seems clear that they care that you care about your privacy. Samsung terms generally skip that step. However, they have since added it for the TV. :wink:

Note that they didn’t change what they do–only their explanation of it. Feel good language.

1 Like

Somehow the country has managed to destroy the 4th Amendment. To me, the 4th and 5th are inextricably linked. You can refuse to testify against yourself (verbally), and you should also be legally protected from your “private” storage devices and services indirectly providing evidence against yourself. Unfortunately, the courts have disagreed.


Hi Jody, good questions.

SAMI is different from Firebase in the sense that it enables you to do a number of things such as sharing data among appliations and send messages to other devices. As an application you can request access to data that users generated from different devices or even other applications and do what we call “data fusion”. Imagine bringing together data from SmartThings devices that monitor your home, your phone, a weather station, etc. Firebase, at least in my understand is more like a storage for your application where each application or service is a “silo”.

Not sure I understand what you mean here. SAMI uses OAuth2 to authenticate and you must use a Samsung account. What are you looking for exactly? Can you give more information?

I’d be keen to hear more about where and how we can improve our docs. You can follow up with me directly or use the “feedback” button on any page on our documentation.

SAMI does not support pubsub at this time, but we provide WebSockets and you can use the /live endpoint to read data as it comes in. The way SAMI works is a little different from pubsub where we see devices and sensors sending data to the cloud and either other devices or applications either fetching that data asynchronously or reading from the WebSocket server. In either case you always need to specify either a user or a device you want to listen to (as opposed to a class of devices or type of data).

At this stage SAMI is free, but we have rate limiting. If you need to exceed past those limits let us know and we can discuss how to approach it.

I hope this helps.


You don’t need a firebase account. You can authenticate your users with your own authentication method or you can create usernames and passwords for your users in firebase.

Depends on how I set it up. There are many native api clients for firebase. I could use android or IOS to make an app that pushed info into firebase and then any connected client I specify could recieve the data in real time. Firebase is just a realtime storage backend that accepts json payloads.

1 Like

SAMI is at its heart a “data exchange platform”, this means that if a user wants he can expose data from different devices to different application developers. Data generated by the SmartThings Motion sensor can for example be used by Spotify to turn the radio on when you walk in the living room and Smart Things and Spotify don’t need to talk, all they need to do is use the SAMI APIs. The control over the data is in the hands of the user and it’s not stuck in the Firebase silo.

1 Like

Hey @andrea, I recon you work for SAMI. It looks to me SAMI is more traditional “device cloud” platform, similar to Xively, 2lemetry, Arayent, etc. as opposed to ST proprietary “app service”. Could you share what are the integration plans with ST, if any. If the motion sensor can talk to Spotify via SAMI, why does anyone need SmartThings cloud anyway?


I get that part. My question is as a developer with an app already using firebase as a backend, what benefits would I see moving to SAMI? How would it make integration with SmartThings easier/better? Firebase is just a real-time backend for an app I created, so the users data is not locked up in the firebase silo, the same data is still in the ST cloud floating around and it would be available to any other app that wrote integration with ST.

From my reading of the docs: I would need to write to SAMI apis, ST would need to write for the SAMI apis, the user would need a Samsung account, and then they could share their data with my app. The only thing firebase is doing for me is receiving and sending real time event notifications between users of my app and their own devices.