Samsung SmartThings users can get an early hands on with some features that the company is testing. Through SmartThings Labs, you can try experimental functions in the SmartThings app and provide Samsung engineers with real-time feedback.
There are eight experiments to check out, including a universal remote control, with which you can manage a variety of connected home devices from a single screen. With TV Quick Control, you can add a TV remote widget to your phone's lock screen and notification panel. You can also use your phone as a Bluetooth keyboard for your TV and accompanying apps or create virtual switches for your smart devices.
Other features include a gentle wake up function and the ability to automatically turn off lights and other devices when you leave your home. While these aren’t the most groundbreaking features, they’d all come in handy.
“We are committed to enhancing our user experience and SmartThings Labs allows users to be actively engaged in our testing process, providing valuable feedback for our engineers,” Samsung Electronics corporate vice president Jaeyeon Jung said in a statement. “The goal is to allow SmartThings users to enjoy useful and practical features, which may join the commercial SmartThings app one day.”
For now, only SmartThings Android app users in the US and South Korea have access to SmartThings Labs. You can access the experiments by selecting SmartApps in the menu, then tapping "More" and the SmartThings Labs option. Samsung plans to test other features in SmartThings Labs in the coming months, such as a way to turn old Galaxy devices into cameras and monitors as part of the company's upcycling strategy.