Samsung to Buy SmartThings
Samsung said it has agreed to purchase a startup called SmartThings. SmartThings, which is based in Washington, develops technology for the Internet of Things. It sells a home controller device for $99, but has also created an online service to help developers design and create their own internet-enabled and smartphone-controlled gadgets. The company claims 8,000 apps and 1,000 devices use its platform. SmartThings will move its operations to Palo Alto, Calif., where Samsung has a developer facility, but SmartThings' CEO Alex Hawkinson said the company will be run independently. The move is largely seen as a way for Samsung to counter steps made by Google and Apple to expand the functionality of their smartphones and tablets to control household items. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Memoji Lets iPhone Users Make their Own, Self-Styled Animoji
iOS 12 will make iMessage more fun, says Apple, thanks to the addition of Memoji. Similar to the way Samsung's AR Emoji work, the iOS 12 Memoji will let people customize an animated emoji sticker that resembles their face.
Google Home Gains More Home Automation Powers
Google today expanded the number of third-party smart home apps that can be controlled by its Google Home product. Owners of Google Home can now control Belkin Wemo and Honeywell smart home products via Google Home.
Samsung Connect Tag Lets You Track Your Stuff
Samsung today announced the Connect Tag, a wireless fob that you can attach to just about anything to monitor its location. Samsung envisions the Connect Tag will work best on kids' backpacks, car keys, dog collars, or even tossed inside cars.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ Offer Refined Hardware, Improved Camera, AR Emoji
Samsung today announced the Galaxy S9 and S9+ phones, updates to last year's S8 models. The devices bear a striking resemblance to their predecessors and make only modest changes to the hardware.
I'd be disappointed if they bought dumb things...