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Samsung SmartThings learns a bunch of useful new tricks at CES 2024

A person sitting on a couch with SmartThings products in the foreground.
Samsung

Samsung SmartThings — an application designed to connect and control your smart home devices — doesn’t quite get the same attention as platforms like Google Home or Apple HomeKit. However, it made some big announcements at CES 2024, and it’s shaping up to be a big year for Samsung’s first-party platform. Along with enhanced support for TVs and new uses for QR codes, SmartThings is rolling out a brilliant Map View feature, which creates a digital map of your home and shows you exactly where all your connected devices are located.

Here’s how it works. Instead of scrolling through a list of all your devices or jumping between groups in your smartphone app, Map View lets you see a 3D representation of your home on your smartphone. Inside this map, you’ll find icons for all your smart home gadgets corresponding to their actual physical location. That means you can quickly find exactly which device you want to control without needing to scroll through a long list.

Need to flip on the lights in the dining room? Open Map View, then look for the icon for your lights in the location of your dining room. Need to check in on your smart lock? Open Map View and look for the icon near your front door. The idea is to make navigation and using your smart home more intuitive — looking at a map and clicking on your desired device is about as easy as it gets.

Map View supports real-time monitoring of cameras, temperature, remaining laundry time, and other key info from your devices. It also tracks energy usage, which should help you find ways to cut down your monthly bills.

Generating a Map View version of your home requires a Samsung lidar device (such as the Jet Bot vacuum), though you can use a physical copy of your floorplan to generate a map or pull up digital maps online if they’re available for your property.

Map View is the most compelling SmartThings announcement coming out of CES 2024, though the team did have a few other features to reveal. This includes using QR codes to share device access with family and friends, as well as enhancements to SmartThings on your TV. Specifically, certain TV models can now serve as a SmartThings Hub, allowing you to access your devices on the big screen.

Samsung will reveal more details about its SmartThings plans later this year.

Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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