The Nvidia Shield is one of our favorite set top boxes and smart home controllers. But if you use it as a hub to control Samsung's SmartThings smart home devices, you may soon have some trouble.
Samsung has been emailing customers to tell them that its SmartThings Link USB dongle will stop working with the Nvidia Shield from this June, preventing the Shield from controlling devices like smart bulbs, smart plugs and more that connect to the device through the platform.
The devices will stop being able to communicate with each other from June 30, 2021 as Samsung updates its SmartThings smart home platform, and will also mean that any Zigbee or Z-Wave product previously connected to the Shield through the dongle will no longer work, either.
Google Assistant will still work through the Android TV set top box, and some devices may be able to be set up anew using that method – but it's unlikely every device will continue to be supported, not to mention the hassle of resetting the devices in the first place.
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A smart home danger
The Samsung / Shield snafu here works to highlight one of the oldest fears about the smart home concept in general – future-proofed compatibility.
A device and company may promise the world from their connected smart home devices at launch, but there's nothing to stop them moving on to pastures new as new fads or technologies prove more efficient or valuable over time.
Consumer technology has a shelf life, with technological advances happening at a speedy rate. But your home is a relatively static object that changes more slowly over time.
Committing to building your home around one smart home ecosystem can prove dangerous and costly if the manufacturer and platform you've jumped in bed with decides it no longer wishes to support your devices – suddenly, your smart lights once again only work at a wall switch, and you're pushing physical buttons to keep thermostat at the right temperature, unless you make the the investment of time and money to move to another smart home platform.
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