If you’re a Kia or Hyundai owner, your car may soon get a little smarter. Thanks to a new partnership between Hyundai (which owns a portion of Kia) and Samsung, SmartThings connectivity will soon be available for certain vehicles.
At present, SmartThings operates much like other smart home hubs. You can set routines for devices (say, your super fancy ice maker) to turn on each morning at a set time, optimize energy use, open your curtains when your phone alarm goes off, and more.
But when this new connectivity rolls out, the company says, users will be able to do things like raise or lower their car’s windows from inside the house, set the inside to a certain temperature each morning, check the charging status of their electric vehicle and more.
Of course, the technology isn’t just home-to-car, it’s car-to-home, meaning you’ll be able to control your connected smart devices from your car’s infotainment system — like turning down your thermostat when you start towards home or creating an “Away Mode” that raises the thermostat, starts up your robot vacuum and turns off lights.
It’s true that the option to control your smart home devices is available from an existing app on your phone, but having it available directly from your car’s display screen is certainly more convenient. And being able to set a routine for your vehicle’s smart features is a big convenience.
The technology will also let users have better control over how their electric vehicle charges. Along with letting users know when the best time to charge their vehicle will be, Samsung says EV owners will have the option to only charge their vehicle during off-peak hours, saving money in the process.
The app will be made available through over-the-air for vehicles that support it, and through USB-based updates for vehicles that don’t.
Unfortunately, there’s no timeline for when this technology will become available or what markets it will be coming to first. Kia Connect and Hyundai Bluelink are available on most vehicles 2020 or later.
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