Samsung’s making another push into the IoT market, and at SDC 21, the company revealed its latest plans to make SmartThings the go-to IoT platform thanks to additions such as the Matter protocol and SmartThings Build. The company also announced a few improvements to Bixby and the Bixby Home Platform, which Samsung describes as “an intelligent layer between Bixby’s natural language processing and SmartThings.”
But despite these recent announcements, Samsung appears to have given up on its original plans surrounding IoT, Bixby, and smart homes.
What was the initial vision? Well, it was never entirely clear, but Samsung spent a few years developing the Galaxy Home and Galaxy Home Mini smart speakers, which were supposed to become the centerpiece of Samsung’s growing IoT landscape at one point.
The Galaxy Home smart speakers are some of the rarest Samsung consumer devices known to man
In reality, Samsung never got to sell the Galaxy Home and Galaxy Home Mini, but the latter version was offered as a Galaxy S20 pre-order bonus to select customers in South Korea. It received a few firmware updates since, which probably makes it one of Samsung’s rarest consumer devices in existence, next to the original Galaxy Fold.
SDC 21 came and went earlier this week, and although we got some exciting news about the future of IoT and SmartThings, there was no mention of the Galaxy Home / Home Mini speakers or any similar hardware products.
Samsung’s vision to develop a Bixby-powered home hub for SmartThings seems to have been scrapped. Or at the very least, that vision looks very different, in my eyes, compared to a couple of years ago. There are no Samsung smart speakers or smart screens coming for Bixby and SmartThings — not that we know of — but at least the latter platform now supports the Matter protocol, which guarantees cross-compatibility with many more smart home and IoT devices that are planned for release in 2022.