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Smart Home

SmartThings updates its sensors, hub

Smart-home company SmartThings is integrating itself more into parent Samsung and rolling out a new subscription service.

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SmartThings, a smart-home company owned by Samsung, announced Monday a new set of sensors and a hub, as well as a new home-monitoring subscription service.

Samsung in August acquired the smart-home startup to help with its push into the Internet of Things, a concept of connecting all kinds of objects to the Web. SmartThings' technology allows consumers to easily control their appliances with their smartphones, smartwatches and other devices, and SmartThings has been viewed as key to Samsung's smart-home and Internet of Things efforts.

SmartThings/Samsung

The new smart-home hub -- the nerve center that connects to all the sensors placed around a home -- includes a stronger processor, built-in backup battery power, and expanded cellular connectivity options, allowing the SmartThings system to keep operating even in a power or Internet outage.

The home-monitoring subscription service will send immediate texts or calls to the smartphone of a user or designated contacts about problems or emergencies at their home -- such as a flood, fire, plumbing leak or a pet is out in the yard when a storm is starting. The premium service also includes built-in DVR services for cameras.

"It's really starting to solve real problems," Alex Hawkinson, founder and CEO of SmartThings, said at a Samsung presentation Monday at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

He added that his company's platform is now compatible with more devices than any other Internet of Things platform, and the number of developers using the SmartThings platform has doubled since the Samsung partnership started.

The new SmartThings hub, sensors and subscription service will be available throughout in the US and Canada in April.