June 23, 2021

Samsung is about to kill the SmartThings Link for NVIDIA Shield and original SmartThings Hub


Change is an inevitability in life, and unfortunately for those of us who invest in various product ecosystems, change ultimately means having to upgrade. Right now, Samsung is transitioning to a next-gen platform for its SmartThings smart home system. And while newer devices are coming along for the ride, some older components are going to need to be replaced before they stop working. Samsung’s been sharing news of this transition with owners of these devices, including the SmartThings Link USB dongle that lets it integrate with the Nvidia Shield, as well as the original SmartThings Hub.

Info was first sent to SmartThings Link owners, including our tipster, via email back in March. Without support for SmartThings Link, Samsung’s smart home system won’t be able to access the Shield, and vice versa. That’s bad news for users who’ve built their home integration around SmartThings, though that’s probably a tiny number of people compared to those who’ve done the same with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Apple HomeKit. Shield’s integration with Assistant for voice commands and smart home functionality is extensive.

Users of the SmartThings Link will also lose direct access to Zigbee and Z-Wave devices. Samsung is offering discounts to some users for a new third-gen SmartThings Hub for their trouble, but there’s no indication of when (or if) support for the new API system will come to the Shield.

When Samsung first announced word of this transition back in 2020, it mentioned that “select legacy hubs” would also be retired in the pursuit of progress. We’ve since learned that this means that Samsung’s first-generation SmartThings Hub will be shut down alongside the Link dongle at the end of June. Like those users, owners of the Hub are being given the opportunity to upgrade to more modern hardware at a discount.

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