Samsung is killing the first-generation SmartThings Hub at the end of the month, kicking off phase two of its plan to shut down the SmartThings ecosystem and force users over to in-house Samsung infrastructure. “Phase one was in October, when Samsung killed the Classic SmartThings app and replaced it with a byzantine disaster of an app that it developed in house,” writes Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo. “Phase three will see the shutdown of the SmartThings Groovy IDE, an excellent feature that lets members of the community develop SmartThings device handlers and complicated automation apps.” From the report: The SmartThings Hub is basically a Wi-Fi access point — but for your smart home stuff instead of your phones and laptops. Instead of Wi-Fi, SmartThings is the access point for a Zigbee and Z-Wave network, two ultra low-power mesh networks used by smart home devices. […] The Hub connects your smart home network to the Internet, giving you access to a control app and connecting to other services like your favorite voice assistant. You might think that killing the old Hub could be a ploy to sell more hardware, but Samsung — a hardware company — is actually no longer interested in making SmartThings hardware. The company passed manufacturing for the latest “SmartThings Hub (v3)” to German Internet-of-things company Aeotec. The new Hub is normally $125, but Samsung is offering existing users a dirt-cheat $35 upgrade price.
For users who have to buy a new hub, migrating between hubs in the SmartThings ecosystem is a nightmare. Samsung doesn’t provide any kind of migration program, so you have to unpair every single individual smart device from your old hub to pair it to the new one. This means you’ll need to perform some kind of task on every light switch, bulb, outlet, and sensor, and you’ll have to do the same for any other smart thing you’ve bought over the years. Doing this on each device is a hassle that usually involves finding the manual to look up the secret “exclusion” input, which is often some arcane Konami code. Picture holding the top button on a paddle light for seven seconds until a status light starts blinking and then opening up the SmartThings app to unpair it. Samsung is also killing the “SmartThings Link for Nvidia Shield” dongle, which let users turn Android TV devices into SmartThings Hubs.