Never mind that Google took over the week with its Pixel device announcements. Samsung held a keynote for its developer’s conference today, and it announced its new soundbar, the HW-Q900C, which can act as a centralised SmartThings smart home hub.
The HW-Q900C—catchy name, isn’t it?—is one of Samsung’s premium soundbars that debuted earlier this year. An update will add Samsung’s SmartThings Hub built right in. You can use it to add and connect devices or trigger the launch of an action. It’s compatible with Matter, Thread, and ZigBee connectivity, still the most used standards in the smart home.
Of course, the HW-Q900C soundbar is also a soundbar. It features 7.1.2 channels and wireless Dolby Atmos sound, which most premium speakers offer, including the Apple HomePod and Sonos Era series. It also employs Samsung’s SpaceFit Sound Pro, which works much like Sonos’ Trueplay, optimizing audio based on the acoustics of the room it’s playing in.
This soundbar is only one of many devices getting SmartThings built into it. Samsung plans to embed SmartThings compatibility into other new and existing sound bars and smart TVs, too, including the CU8000 and CU7000 smart TVs, M80C smart monitor, and MNA89MS1BA, according to The Verge. You can easily create a multi-hub mesh network of Samsung-made devices. It’s the Samsung home of the future, as foretold by Samsung’s “hub everywhere” initiative.
Regardless of how you might feel about the smart home, this is great news for Samsung, even if the product category has gotten a little tepid in recent years despite the launch of the universal Matter status. It makes it easier for the connected home-curious to buy one device and unlock a secondary function later—and to choose Samsung’s smart home services as a primary controller.
We’d been waiting for Samsung to explain what it would do with that so-called Home Hub that it announced a few years back. The only thing Samsung released since then that was within its wheelhouse is the SmartThings Station, which launched around the time of the Samsung Galaxy S23 series. It’s an $US80 wireless charger that enables Matter connectivity in your smart home via SmartThings, though it’s also a wireless charger for your stuff.
As part of this announcement, Samsung also announced the Galaxy SmartTag2, the successor to its first-gen smart tracker. Not only can you track things with Samsung SmartThings, but there’s also a compass functionality inside the SmartThings app, which physically points you to where your device is as you near it.
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