SmartThings Hub

At IFA, Samsung unveiled the second-generation SmartThings smart home automation hub, which will be available from later today in the US. The open ecosystem allows the SmartThings Hub to connect to a variety of sensors and accessories from a range of manufacturers.

The Hub has a beefier processor that allows it to handle video monitoring, with Samsung introducing a service that allows you to monitor video feeds from a connected camera remotely through the SmartThings app on Android and iOS. Dubbed Smart Home Monitor, the feature shows a continuous video livestream, also delivering real-time notifications and recorded content from connected cameras when it senses activity, smoke, fire, leaks and floods.

The new hub does not need to be connected to the Internet to function, and comes with built-in 10-hour battery backup in the event of power failure. Samsung will sell the hub from later today in the US for $99, with a range of sensors also available for around $30 each. The hub and sensors will be making their way to the UK next week, with availability in other regions in Europe slated to commence in 2016.

The Hub is integral to Samsung's IoT ambitions, with the vendor stating that within five years, all of its products, including TVs, soundbars, washing machines and fridges, will be able to integrate with the SmartThings Hub.

We'll let you know once the new hub goes up for sale.