The Nvidia Shield is one of our favorite set top boxes and smart home controllers. But if you’re using it as a hub to control Samsung’s SmartThings smart home devices, you may soon have some problems.
Samsung has emailed customers to tell them that starting this June, its SmartThings Link USB dongle will no longer work with the Nvidia Shield, preventing the Shield from controlling devices like smart lights, smart plugs and more that connect to the device through the platform.
The devices will no longer be able to communicate with each other as of June 30, 2021, when Samsung updates its SmartThings smart home platform, and that also means that any Zigbee or Z-Wave product previously connected to the Shield via the dongle will also no longer work.
Google Assistant will still work through the Android TV set-top box, and some devices may be able to be reset through that method – but it’s unlikely that every device will remain supported, not to mention the hassle of resetting the devices in the first place.
The Samsung / Shield snafu here works to highlight one of the oldest fears about the smart home concept in general – future-proof compatibility.
A device and company may promise the world of their connected smart home devices at launch, but there is nothing to stop them from moving on to pastures new if new fads or technologies prove more efficient or valuable over time.
Consumer technology has an expiration date, and technological advances follow each other in rapid succession. But your home is a relatively static object that changes more slowly over time.
It can be dangerous and costly to build your home around one smart home ecosystem if the manufacturer and platform you’ve partnered with decides it no longer wants to support your devices – suddenly your smart lights are working only through a wall switch again and you have to push physical buttons to keep the thermostat at the right temperature, unless you make the investment of time and money to switch to another smart home platform.
Nvidia Shield will soon lose some key smart home features