Samsung Launches Mesh WiFi System With Built-In SmartThings Hub

The Samsung SmartThings WiFi system uses AI-based mesh WiFi technology from Plume. The company has also updated its SmartThings hub with new protocols and sensors.

Samsung Launches Mesh WiFi System With Built-In SmartThings Hub

Samsung's new SmartThings WiFi blends Plume's AI-enabled mesh wireless technology with a complete ZigBee and Z-Wave home automation hub. Samsung also unveils new sensors, including a ZigBee button.

As the concept of mesh WiFi networks begins to become more common in consumer electronics, Samsung introduces SmartThings WiFi, a wireless mesh networking system with a full-fledged SmartThings home automation hub built in.

So while it controls smart home devices via ZigBee, Z-Wave, IP and Bluetooth, it also extends WiFi signals around the house with Plume AI technology.

Plume, which sells its own WiFi mesh networking products called Pods and SuperPods, says it uses Cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) to provide “stable and consistent WiFi coverage and speed in every room within your home using blazing fast tri-band SuperPods coupled with auto-channel hop technology.”

The company claims its adaptive WiFi technology “learns your environment and optimizes performance for a powerful, reliable home WiFi experience.”

The system reportedly “allocates more capacity to the devices that need it most.”

If it sounds familiar, it’s because SmartThings WiFi is pretty much the exact same product as Samsung Connect Home, introduced last year. That system is now selling for about $150 for a three-pack. The new version retails for $280. A three-pack can cover a 4,500-square-foot home.

SmartThings Wifi/Plume networking app

Asked about the difference between the two products, a Samsung spokesperson tells SSI sister publication CE Pro, “SmartThings WiFi is the next iteration of Samsung Connect Home, with added AI-based mesh WiFi technology from Plume.”

AI-Based Mesh Wi-Fi

Here’s how Samsung describes the WiFi learning and optimization features of its Plume-powered SmartThings WiFi system.

Out of the box

After following a simple setup process, mesh WiFi will optimize home will be covered with good WiFi connectivity within 30 minutes. Some SmartThings WiFi hubs may be disconnected briefly for optimization.

Within 24 hours

SmartThings WiFi will perform optimizations that improve network speeds as it learns more about network environment.

The next few weeks

SmartThings WiFi will continue optimizing, allocating capacity to the rooms and devices that need it the most.

As with the original Connect Home system, the new Plume-powered model offers parental controls and configurable guest WiFi access. The new system provides connected-device monitoring and performance tracking.

Unlike Plume, which charges $200 for lifetime “membership,” Samsung charges no fees for Cloud-based WiFi services.

Upgraded SmartThings Hub & Home Automation Devices

In addition to launching SmartThings WiFi, Samsung is “upgrading the performance and connectivity” of its SmartThings hub ($70 as a stand-alone product), water leak sensor, motion sensor, multipurpose sensor and smart outlet.

The hub has been “upgraded with the latest Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity protocols” and now can be connected via WiFi, not restricted to hardwired Ethernet.

The SmartThings motion sensor has been redesigned with a magnetic ball mount, so consumers can adjust the tilt angle for a wider view range.

Samsung is also introducing the new ZigBee-enabled SmartThings Button ($15) with programmable triggers that manually control routines around the home, avoiding the need to open up an app.

The SmartThings Button, like the rest of the SmartThings sensor line, monitors temperature in an area of the home, and can trigger a smart thermostat to adjust automatically.

Samsung redesigns SmartThings hub (now WiFi enabled), home automation sensors and smart outlet; launches ZigBee Button.

Editor’s Note: This story first ran in Security Sales and Integration’s sister publication CE Pro.

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About the Author


Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration.

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