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You'll soon be able to control your kettle at home from your new Kia

The future of connected cars gets smarterer via Samsung’s, um, SmartThings

Published: 04 Jan 2024

Kia and Hyundai have signed an agreement with Samsung Electronics to integrate the latter’s ‘SmartThings’ platform into their cars. That means in future, you’ll be able to remotely control your kettle from the comfort of your brand new car. What a time to be alive!

Joking aside, Kia reckons initiating the lights to come on, putting on the air-con or heating (depending on the melting point of your part of the world), starting your robot vacuum, or having the convenience to turn it all off remotely is what the future is made of.

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Samsung’s SmartThings currently supports devices like the washer/dryer, fridge, doorbell, blinds, thermostat, lights, locks and cameras. And it’s been integrated into Android Auto for a while.

Nonetheless, this two-way car-to-home, or home-to-car service partnership also means you’ll be able to use stuff in the house – like digital assistants, TVs and smartphone apps – to control functions of the car too.

Yeah, we see all the potential pranks family members will play, too. Fortunately, there is a way of minimising device operation while driving. Safety first, right.

There’s also additional functionality for EV drivers, who will be able to check the energy usage in their homes and optimise charging times for their vehicles. That all seems very sensible.

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Haeyoung Kwon, VP of Hyundai and Kia’s infotainment development centre, said: “This is an opportunity to make the connected car’s Car-to-Home and Home-to-Car services more convenient in various fields. We plan to accelerate our technology development to continuously make global Hyundai and Kia customers’ journeys meaningful."

Chanwoo Park, executive VP at Samsung Electronics, added: “This collaboration will enable communication from Home-to-Car and integrated home energy management services that are optimised for future lifestyles. By connecting the SmartThings platform with vehicles, we’ll be able to significantly enhance the customer experience in both the home and the car.”

Naturally all of this functionality will be supported by over-the-air updates and existing vehicles will have USB-based updates, where required.

This isn’t the first time the Korean brands have provided vehicle-to-home connectivity. Control over gas shut-off valves, plugs, ventilation and boilers – working with telcos and construction firms – is already available in some Kia and Hyundai models. Now to get the robots to throw in some teabags, add a splash of milk and some sugar...

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