Samsung's new smart home features include household maps with 'AI characters'


Samsung wants to make the smart home smarter — if your home’s a Samsung home, that is.

During its CES 2024 keynote in Las Vegas tonight, the company announced a range of additions to — and capabilities for — its SmartThings home automation platform. A new dashboard screen, Now Plus, is headed to select Samsung TVs, programmed to turn on as you approach to display info about smart home devices and stats like the current indoor temperature. Accompanying it is a new “quick panel” with access to shortcuts for controlling connected devices, as well as functions like finding misplaced smartphones and other mobile gadgets.

Samsung SmartThings

Image Credits: Samsung

Elsewhere, Samsung launched a new “map view” for SmartThings similar to Amazon’s recently launched Map View. Samsung’s take shows an interactive map of your home complete with the location of any smart home devices (e.g. washing machines, refrigerators and so on) within. Maps can be created manually or automatically with the help of a photo of an existing floor plan or with a lidar-enabled Samsung device, like the company’s forthcoming Ballie robot or new JetBot robot vacuum.

In a cute (or creepy, depending on your point of view) touch, the new SmartThings maps show “AI characters” that stand in for family members and pets inside the home. The animated avatars “respond” to real-time conditions, for example appearing to sweat if the house gets too warm.

Samsung SmartThings

Image Credits: Samsung

Maps have to be generated using the SmartThings app on a smartphone or tablet. But once that’s done, they’ll display on supported Samsung TVs, the screen of the Samsung Family Hub smart fridge and Samsung’s M8 monitors.

Read more about CES 2024 on TechCrunch


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