Samsung unveils next-gen smart home hub and monitoring service

Looks like you didn't have to wait long to see what Samsung would do in the smart home world after acquiring SmartThings -- it just unveiled a new version of the SmartThings Hub that automates your household with fewer hiccups. The new version is faster, and can run apps locally instead of farming them out to other devices. It also has a battery backup and more cellular data options, so your intricate network of lights and security systems won't fall into disarray just because of a momentary power outage.

The Hub isn't launching by itself. SmartThings is rolling out a new subscription home monitoring service (SmartThings Premium) that calls or texts certain people as soon as your smart home detects a problem. You can tell it to reach your neighbors when there's flooding, for example. It will also save footage from connected cameras to provide evidence of break-ins. Samsung hasn't said how much the Hub or the service will cost, but they'll both be available in North America this April.