Samsung Newsroom Interview: Federico Casalegno, Executive Vice President of Design; Mark Benson, Head of SmartThings US; Inhee Chung, Vice President of Corporate
Following Samsung’s CES 2023 press conference that focused on its philosophy of prioritizing more seamless connected experiences, Samsung Newsroom caught up with Federico Casalegno, Executive Vice President of Design; Mark Benson, Head of SmartThings U.S.; and Inhee Chung, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability Center, to talk about how the company’s approach is bringing calm to our connected world. In this article, we will discuss about Interview Samsung Fastcompany vp Jaeyeon Smartthings.
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What’s new with Galaxy SmartTag?
When Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S21 range during the first half of 2021 we also got to see a pair of new SmartTags that let you leverage the full might of its ever-growing SmartThings Find network. Designed to take on the likes of Tile and Apple’s AirTag, both the standard SmartTag and its UWB-enabled cousin offer varying degrees of finding ability to help keep track of your prized possessions and people (with their permission, of course).
Similar to AirTag and Tile, Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag utilises crowdsourcing to locate a tag, with information from nearby Galaxy phones piped back to you via its cloud service. This means you’ll have to have a recent Samsung phone with Bluetooth Low Energy capability to set up the device and use it.
The device is a little rectangle pebble with a soft-touch plastic finish and an action button on one side. The button can be used to activate a speaker inside the device, and it’s also configured to control compatible smart home gadgets.
It’s a bit larger than rival coin-sized tags from Apple and Tile, but it’s surprisingly lightweight, weighing just 15 grams. It’s small enough to fit on a keyring and the built-in loop helps make it easy to attach to your bag without adding a lot of bulk.
As with other location-based trackers, the battery life of the SmartTag is a limiting factor. Thankfully, the SmartThings app provides battery level indicators to tell you when it’s time for a recharge.
There’s a slight privacy concern with Samsung SmartTags, as they could be used to track someone in the wrong hands. However, the company added an anti-stalking feature to its SmartThings Find app that runs a manual scan for nearby unregistered devices.
This isn’t quite up to the standard of Apple’s AirTags, which offer comprehensive anti-stalking features and automatically detect unregistered tags in a variety of situations. The Galaxy SmartTag is also a good deal more limited when it comes to its smart home capabilities, as the device must be linked to a compatible Samsung device in order to work.
Galaxy System Savvy Tag
Samsung has announced a new version of its SmartThings Find platform which can detect and alert you to an unknown Galaxy SmartTag or Tile-like tracker that is moving along with you. Called Unknown Tag Search, this anti-stalking feature aims to protect you from strangers who may have slipped one into your bag or vehicle as a nefarious way of tracking your location.
It works with short-range Bluetooth and UWB signals to pinpoint the position of a tag. It also allows for other Samsung devices nearby to anonymously locate a tag and let you know it’s there. This is done in the background and encrypted to ensure privacy.
The SmartThings Find app can also use a dedicated AR mode to help you see a tag’s real-world location. This is a useful feature for those who have lost something in the real world but can’t find it.
You can also control your SmartThings devices from the app, which is a great way to quickly switch between locations and automate certain tasks. For example, if you want to change the temperature of your home you can press a button on a smart thermostat or turn off your lights with a single touch.
Another major update for the SmartThings Find app is the ability to set up custom voices for Bixby voice commands, so you can find your items with just a couple of words. As you say these voice commands, the Bixby voice assistant will share the object’s location with you.
In the app you can see a map of your area and where other nearby tags are located. You can also view a tag’s battery level and how long it will last when left alone.
Aside from this, the SmartTag Plus comes with a couple of extra features that aren’t found on other SmartTags, such as ultra-wideband tracking for precise location tracking and a special AR mode to find your tag in the real world. However, it costs slightly more than the regular model, so you should probably save up if you need ultra-wideband tracking and other SmartTag features.
Universe Show Tag
The Galaxy Universe Show Tag is a new smarttag for use with the Samsung SmartThings platform. It uses BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to communicate with nearby Galaxy devices, helping users find lost items and track progress on their purchases.
The tag is easy to install and works with the Samsung SmartThings app, which offers a range of other functions including energy management, cooking, air quality, and pet care. It also has Bixby voice control and is a great way to set up routines that can save you money on your electricity bills.
One of the biggest drawbacks to the standard SmartTag is that it only works when you’re within a few meters of the device. If you’re not close enough, you won’t be able to track it in real time, which means it might take longer for you to locate a missing item.
Samsung has taken a different approach to the Galaxy SmartTag with its new “SmartTag Plus.” It uses Bluetooth Low Energy and ultrawideband to connect to other devices, which can include smartphones. This gives it extra features, like a dedicated AR mode in the SmartThings Find app that lets you see where the tag is in the real world rather than using a gauge.
However, the UWB connection does require a special phone with the appropriate hardware. Samsung doesn’t list all the phones that support it yet, but a few models — such as the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra — do have this capability.
It also comes with a new feature that lets you search for an unknown SmartTag that might have slipped into your bag or pocket as a nefarious ploy to keep tabs on your movements. This can be helpful if someone stole your car or a valuable item, but it could also pose a security risk if the person who tucks the tag in your bag leaves it somewhere you can’t find it later.
The Galaxy SmartTags also let you locate a lost item using other Samsung devices in the area, anonymously pinging the device’s location to you and sharing that information on your smartphone. You can also find your tags using Bixby voice commands, which can be particularly useful if you need to relocate an item quickly.