Where will the future of the smart home take us?

Bill Lee: Now that more and more smart devices are available, it’s about making them all work together seamlessly. Interoperability and openness are central to our smart home ecosystem because people just want their connected home to work. No subscriptions, no clunky setup. From our smart appliances, TVs, home audio and mobile products, to hundreds of devices that are compatible with the SmartThings platform, we want to make it easy for consumers to set up their own smart home. As time goes on, I think consumers can expect to see more essential products that streamline many smart home tasks and combine them into one device.

What are the first steps for those looking to implement smart technology in the home?

There is a common misconception that you have to suddenly install a multitude of tech products to make your home “smart.” This isn’t the case. If you have just one smart device, congratulations – you have officially begun to build your very own smart home ecosystem. I always suggest that people start small with just a Samsung SmartThings Hub and Multipurpose Sensor. With those in place, you can do so many things – get notifications if a door is opened, know if movement is detected in the garage, see when your elderly parent opens the medicine cabinet.

As you get more comfortable, you’ll be surprised at what other automations you can set up in your home. Between Samsung’s connected products and the SmartThings ecosystem, you can control hundreds of compatible smart devices within the home, like Philips Hue light bulbs, Arlo cameras, Ring doorbells and voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home. The SmartThings platform is leading the category with the largest network of compatible partner devices and apps. Via just a single app, you can turn on the lights, turn up the music and manage everything in between – whether at home or away from the house.

How should homeowners go about upgrading and securing their Wi-Fi networks in the home to prepare for “Internet of Things” integration?

As homeowners look to integrate more smart home products and increase security, I recommend considering a device that can both control connected devices and offer fast, secure Wi-Fi under one roof. We recently launched Samsung Connect Home. It’s a Wi-Fi router and SmartThings hub all in one. Aside from faster Wi-Fi speeds, consumers can rest easy knowing that the device is protected by hardware-based security technologies while automatic firmware updates provide additional safeguards that keep smart devices secure. Plus, it’s the industry’s first Smart Wi-Fi System so it combines fast, reliable Wi-Fi mesh networking for coverage in every room in a home while also working as a SmartThings hub.

What are the key issues that smart home devices can address in your daily life?

The better question may be, “What issues can’t smart home devices address?” One of the best parts of my job is hearing from people whose lives have been changed or improved by our technology.  A recent example comes from a family who used our Samsung SmartThings products to help their father stay in his home comfortably and safely after the onset of dementia caused him to wander. We also worked with a family in San Francisco to outfit their home with smart home products. Seeing their faces light up when we showed them how the lights turned on when they walked in the door and how they could turn off the Wi-Fi in the kids’ rooms when it was time for bed was amazing. The possibilities really are endless, and that is the magic of the smart home ecosystem that we’ve created.