As we gear up for a slew of infotainment, EV and future automotive announcements from the hallowed halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center, Samsung has decided to kick CES proceedings off early with the news that it will bring SmartThings functionality to Kia and Hyundai vehicles, as well as buddy up with Tesla on its energy management systems.
As today's homes and cars are becoming cleverer and generally more connected, introducing Samsung’s SmartThings inside the car (likely in the form of a bespoke infotainment app) will allow drivers to remotely kick-start routines or check the status of pretty much any Samsung IoT device without becoming distracted by a fiddly smartphone.
Digital appliances, such as dishwashers and robotic vacuum cleaners, will be able to be monitored or activated on the way home from work, while Kia gives the example of activating the in-home air conditioning when the temperature outside hits a set threshold and the vehicle reaches a pre-determined geolocation.
Conversely, Car-to-Home can also be flipped on its head, with Home-to-Car services including the ability to check on an EV's charge status via a Samsung Smart TV, or asking your favourite AI assistant or smart speaker to remotely heat or cool a vehicle before setting foot inside of it.
Currently, Kia and Hyundai Motor say that they are currently working on developing "stable service-providing infotainment systems", hinting that things are still very much in the developmental stage.
However, the South Korean automakers were keen to point out that any future updates could easily be applied over-the-air or via USB for older, lesser connected vehicles.
Big Tesla energy
Where Kia and Hyundai are very much centring the experience around connecting the car to the domestic setting, Tesla is enlisting Samsung's assistance in integrating data from its Powerwall, Solar Inverter, Wall Connector charging and EVs into the SmartThings app, making it easier for users to manage and monitor energy usage from these products.
A blog post from Samsung suggested that users can harness SmartThings Energy to "display information relating to users' energy production, storage and usage". What’s more a suggested 'Storm Watch' feature will warn of impending extreme weather events on connected Samsung TVs and mobile devices.
From here, Tesla Energy users can take action and activate an AI Energy Mode that will help eke the most out of Tesla’s Powerwall in the event of a blackout.
"This new collaboration is a key milestone for Samsung Electronics in making our solution more widely available beyond home appliances, " says Chanwoo Park, EVP and Head of IoT Development Team of Device Platform Center at Samsung Electronics.
Again, the tech will be officially unveiled at CES next week, with Samsung claiming its Tesla tie-in should be ready for use by customers in the second quarter of 2024.