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Samsung To Buy SmartThings, Raising Home-Automation Profile

Washington — Samsung Electronics entered into an agreement to purchase mass-market home-automation supplier SmartThings, whose founder and CEO maintained the company will continue to offer a “totally open smart-home platform.”

“Samsung fully supports this vision,” said Alex Hawkinson.

The 2012 start-up, which sells its own products on Amazon and through its own web ite, has developed a platform that supports more than 1,000 devices and 8,000 apps created by device makers, inventors and developers, the company said.

“We believe that there is an enormous opportunity to leverage Samsung’s global scale to help us realize our long-term vision,” Hawkinson said. “While we will remain operationally independent, joining forces with Samsung will enable us to support all of the leading smartphone vendors, devices and applications; expand our base of developers and enhance the tools and programs that they rely on; and help many more people around the world easily control and monitor their homes using SmartThings.”

The Washington company will operate independently under Hawkinson but will become part of the Samsung Open Innovation Center (OIC), which develops software and services for Samsung Electronics. OIC also invests in U.S. start-ups. SmartThings will move to Palo Alto, Calif.

“As an open, standards-agnostic platform for the Internet of Things, our vision has always been to innovate, build, and make the world smarter, together,” said Hawkinson. “With Samsung behind us, we will be able to attract more device makers and developers to unlock the limitless possibilities of the consumer Internet of Things.”

For his part, Samsung OIC head David Eun said connected devices “have long been strategically important to Samsung,” and Samsung wants to “improve the convenience and services in people’s lives by giving their devices and appliances a voice so they can interact more easily with them.”

Nonetheless, he said, Samsung is “committed to maintaining SmartThings’ open platform, fostering more explosive growth, and becoming its newest strategic partner.”