In an effort to eliminate dreaded Wi-Fi buffering and prevent streaming latency, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. today announced its new SmartThings Wifi mesh network system. Equipped with AI-based mesh Wi-Fi technology from Plume and a built-in SmartThings Hub, the system delivers an intelligently optimized whole home network with the added value of complete smart home control throughout every room of the home.
Reliable and secure Wi-Fi is a fundamental need for consumers today, and internet use is no longer limited to the home office or location where the router is based. As more connected technologies enter the home, there is a greater need for a stable network that can efficiently support these devices. The SmartThings Wifi system not only delivers this stability, but also delivers fast and consistent coverage that covers the whole home.
“As more people embrace a connected lifestyle, we’re focused on creating the best experiences so they can get more out of their smart home,” said SK Kim, Senior Director, IoT Product Marketing at Samsung Electronics America. “SmartThings Wifi is an intelligent solution that adapts to the many devices in the home, with mesh capability to eliminate coverage gaps plus a built-in SmartThings Hub to easily monitor and control hundreds of compatible smart products.”
Samsung partnered with Plume to integrate its AI-based mesh Wi-Fi optimization into SmartThings Wifi. The Plume platform adapts to internet usage in the home and intelligently allocates bandwidth, mitigates interference, and delivers maximum Wi-Fi capacity across the home, accounting for every connected device and selecting the optimal band and frequency channel so users can get the fastest speed possible. Plume’s technology can optimize a home network across multiple devices so parents working from laptops can download files while kids stream TV, and gamers experience speed and reliability even when others are on the network. Now, Wi-Fi goes where the need is instead of the other way around. Users can also set parental controls to manage screen time and set-up special logins and passwords for guests using the Plume HomePass® feature.
“Integrating our adaptive home Wi-Fi technology and a rich set of consumer features into SmartThings’ large, open ecosystem truly elevates the smart home experience,” said Fahri Diner, co-founder and CEO, Plume. “Samsung gives you myriad devices to consume content and connect, and Plume ensures that your Wi-Fi network delivers a superior user experience to all of those devices.”
SmartThings Wifi works as a SmartThings Hub to serve as the “brain” of the smart home. Samsung’s open SmartThings ecosystem makes it easy to automate and manage the smart home with one hub and the SmartThings app. Compatible with hundreds of third-party devices and services, SmartThings enables users to expand their smart home with lights, door locks, cameras, voice assistants, thermostats and more. SmartThings Wifi delivers a simple, convenient 2-in-1 solution, offering whole-home automation out of the box.
For corner to corner coverage, users can choose the right Wi-Fi configuration to fit their needs, from a home with multiple levels to a small apartment. Each SmartThings Wifi router has a range of 1,500 square feet, with the 3-pack covering 4,500 square feet, and users can expand coverage by adding additional mesh routers to the set-up. It is easily set-up and managed by the Android and iOS compatible SmartThings app.
The SmartThings Wifi 3-pack retails for $279.99 and the single device retails for $119.99. It is available starting today on Samsung.com and at retailers nationwide.
Samsung Introduces New and Improved SmartThings Hub, Sensors and Outlet
In addition to SmartThings Wifi, Samsung is upgrading the performance and connectivity of its SmartThings Hub, Water Leak Sensor, Motion Sensor, Multipurpose Sensor and Smart Outlet to give consumers more choice in their smart home set up. The new, more compact SmartThings Hub has been upgraded with the latest Zigbee, Z-wave, and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity protocols. Now, the Hub can wirelessly connect to a Wi-Fi network, no longer needing a dedicated Ethernet cable, so users have the flexibility to place it anywhere in their home.
The SmartThings Motion Sensor is additionally redesigned with a magnetic ball mount, so consumers can adjust the tilt angle for a wider view range to detect motion and trigger automated events. Samsung is also introducing the new SmartThings Button with programmable triggers that manually control routines around the home – like setting Movie Mode – without having to go into the SmartThings app. The SmartThings Button, like the rest of the SmartThings sensor line, monitors temperature in an area of the home, such as basement or baby’s room, and signals the smart thermostat to adjust automatically.
The new SmartThings Hub ($69.99), sensors ($19.99 – $24.99), Button ($14.99) and Smart Outlet ($34.99) are now available on Samsung.com and at retailers nationwide.
Beeline and Huawei Conduct the First 5G Holographic Call in Russia
VimpelCom (Beeline brand) and Huawei held a demonstration showcasing the latest fifth generation (5G) mobile connection technologies. The Moscow Museum exhibition hall was used as the demonstration zone and the dialogue between the speakers was conducted using a hologram – a digitized image transmitted through Mixed Reality glasses (MR). Holographic communication technology requires high bandwidth and low latency, which will only be made possible by the mass deployment of 5G networks.
During the demonstration, the companies used frequencies between 26,600–27,200 MHz that had been temporarily allocated to Beeline. This spectrum range is within the 3GPP standardized band n258.
A commercially available Huawei 5G base station – the gNodeB – was used to make the holographic call. The base station consists of an active antenna array (HAAU 5213) and a new generation of BBU5900 digital processing module with a 5G board. The radio interface uses TDD mode in the 100 MHz frequency band and MIMO 64×64 technology. One of the first commercially available 5G CPE devices based on the Huawei Balong5G01 chipset is selected as the subscriber terminal, which includes an RF module (ODU) and 5G/WiFi router (IDU).
Beeline and Huawei also demonstrated a practical 5G virtual reality (VR) use case using an online broadcast from a 360-degree camera housed in a VR helmet. The technology can potentially be used to enhance user experience in terms of remote travel. For example, Beeline customers can visit an operator’s shop, acquire a tariff plan, or buy a smartphone, while physically located in the comfort of their own home.
Vasyl Latsanych, CEO of PJSC VimpelCom, said, “The rapid development of modern technologies sets a precedence for operators to provide subscribers with high-quality mobile communications at high speeds. That’s why Beeline is already preparing its network infrastructure and is conducting research on how to make a rational transition to 5G technologies. We simply wish to offer our subscribers an understanding of how such technologies can become an integral part of their daily lives, and how they can simplify and improve their user experience. That is why it is growing increasingly important for Beeline to test real business use cases and explore the potential client capabilities of fifth-generation mobile technologies.”
Aiden Wu, CEO of Huawei in Russia, said, “This May 2018, Beeline and Huawei signed an agreement to pursue the joint development of 5G in Russia. Our cooperation has been extremely productive, which today’s demonstration has quite clearly shown. We will continue working together to bring the implementation of a new communication standard closer to becoming a worldwide phenomenon and speed up the process of creating new technologies and services based on this standard.”
Samsung AKG N700NC Wireless Headphones Now Available in the US
Following the launch of a new lineup of first-class wireless AKG headphones last month, Samsung Electronics America today announced the new AKG N700NC Wireless Headphones are now available for purchase just in time for the holiday season.
Combining the best in design with AKG’s award-winning sound technology, the AKG N700NC Wireless are the ideal over-ear headphones for music lovers who want best-in-class audio.
With adaptive noise cancelling, users can control how much surrounding noise they want to let in – so they can immerse themselves in the music or keep an ear open to the world around them – all with the push of a button.
World-class audio technology eliminates echoes, striking the perfect balance between noise cancellation and ambient awareness and resulting in crystal clear voice calls. And with battery life that lasts up to 20 hours, users can listen to music throughout the day without having to worry about charging.
The Inside Story of Hilton’s New High-Tech Hotel Rooms – And What It Will Mean For Travelers
Imagine being able to set your favorite TV channels, optimal room temperature and turn the lights off from the comfort of your hotel room bed, all on your own mobile device. It’s not a pipe dream: Welcome to Hilton’s Connected Room.
Through the award-winning Hilton Honors app, guests can use their mobile device as the in-room remote to control their television programming, lighting, and temperature controls –personalizing their preferences just as they do at home.
Josh Weiss, Vice President of Brand and Guest Technology at Hilton, explains how and why Connected Room came to life and where it’s going next:
Q: What inspired the Connected Room concept?
Global travel is growing, and travelers increasingly expect an experience as good as, and ideally better than, what they are accustomed to at home. Hospitality companies have an exciting challenge to find new ways to offer guests the control, connectivity and personalization they increasingly want when they’re on the road. Hilton has answered the call with our Connected Room platform, which is rooted in the unique needs of each guest. Guests in a Connected Room can:
- Click on “favorites” – and their preferred viewing channels and streaming apps will appear first in the Hilton Honors app.
- Set their preferred temperature, so when they return to their room they’re not too cold or hot.
- Access their favorite streaming media brands from their in-room TV to continue watching the show or movie they were streaming before their trip, for example. Through our industry-first relationship with SHOWTIME, guests don’t need any credentials to stream hundreds of hours of shows and movies.
Q: Who came up with the Connected Room concept?
Connected Room was created by Hilton’s IT and Digital team to address a wide range of opportunities. These include delivering an outstanding guest experience, providing operational efficiencies to hotel owners and operators, and enabling better troubleshooting and support, including pushing software updates through the platform to create new experiences and offer new features.
Q: Where can I find a property with Connected Room technology?
We have deployed the technology in nearly 500 rooms to date across four hotels near Memphis, and we will soon expand to thousands of additional rooms across five more brands, in multiple locations.
While some of the features are immediately available, we’re taking a dynamic approach to identify, create, and deliver many others in the future, based on what’s most important to our guests. The platform was designed to evolve throughout its rollout and will ultimately scale to Hilton’s global operation across more than 100 countries and 14 current brands.
Q: Hilton recently announced that it will cut its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact investment by 2030 through its Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility strategy. Does Connected Room have an environmental benefit?
Absolutely. For example, when guests aren’t physically in their booked rooms – typically around 70% of the time – hotels can power down devices such as the television, HVAC, and lights, dramatically reducing energy consumption.
We apply AI and machine learning to optimize energy efficiency and guest comfort; we do not view these as a tradeoff. We believe that through Connected Room, we can open up new, advanced ways of tracking and reducing energy consumption around the world, and continue to be a leader in sustainability.
Q: Do I need the Hilton Honors app to access Connected Room functions and features?
The Hilton Honors app is the only way to access Connected Room controls and other technology conveniences from your mobile device. For example, Hilton Honors members are already able to use the app to check in digitally before arrival, select their room from a digital map, and open their hotel room’s door with their mobile phone thanks to the app’s Digital Key function. In addition, Hilton Honors members can also enjoy instant benefits, including an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi.
However, the app isn’t mandatory to enjoy Connected Room TV features – Hilton will continue to enhance the television remote and TV user experience and build room controls into the TV so all guests can access all features of Connected Room.
Q: How does Connected Room technology influence future innovations?
Hilton began beta testing Connected Room in 2017 and it will evolve throughout its rollout. Because it is a platform, much like with an Apple or Android mobile device, we can push new features, apps, and functionality to existing devices over time without the need to deploy additional hardware. For guests, this means that in the longer term they’ll be able to do things such as upload their photos and art to display digitally in the room, or connect to new devices. They’ll also be able to enjoy new features much faster than we could roll out these capabilities today. They may also be able to use voice commands to control their room’s features or to access their content.
There’s a benefit to Hilton franchise owners too, who sometimes face challenges implementing new technology due to high costs and operational challenges. Connected Room will make it easier for them to keep pace with the rapid change in technology and easily integrate new innovations seamlessly into the guest experience.
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