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Samsung unveils smart-home hub, pushing deeper into Amazon turf



Samsung Electronics Co. announced a smart-home control device that doubles as a wireless charger at the CES conference in Las Vegas, pushing deeper into a market led by Amazon.com Inc.
The new hub, called the SmartThings Station, allows users to remotely operate accessories such as lights, locks and thermostats in their homes, the company said at the electronics event. A user’s phone or tablet can connect over the internet to the $80 hub, which can then operate the smart-home accessories wirelessly.
The SmartThings capabilities are similar to features long offered by Amazon, as well as Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. But Samsung’s new device differs from the competition — and its own existing hub — by doubling as a 15-watt wireless charging pad for phones, earbuds and other compatible items.
The accessory also has a button that can activate what’s known as a SmartThings routine. For example, a user can set up a sleep sequence that turns off lights and TVs and locks the door. And the new device supports the Matter smart-home protocol, letting it work with a range of technology from other companies.

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