Google and NVIDIA made a big splash when it announced that Google Assistant has just landed on Android TVs and, specifically, the NVIDIA SHIELD. But that’s really only part of the equation. Sure, you’ll be able control your NVIDIA SHIELD with just your voice, but if you want to do anything beyond the TV, you’ll need another piece of the puzzle. That piece is Samsung’s SmartThings Link that transforms the SHIELD into a makeshift SmartThings Hub. And while that dongle won’t ship until next month, you can already pre-order one right now.
It might come as a surprise to all but devouted Samsung followers, but the Korean manufacturer actually has its own smart home platform. Or rather, it inherited one when it acquired SmartThings. It already supports quite a good number of smart home appliances, so it’s off to a good start.
Like most smart home platforms, however, you will need a hub to make them all work together in harmony. You could go out and buy one for $99. Or, if you already have a NVIDIA SHIELD, you can just get this new USB dongle for $15-$40 only.
With the SmartThings Link for the SHIELD, you can simply tell your Android TV console to turn off the lights, turn up the heat, or get the party started. Or you can do all of those with a single command or even automatically, using SmartThings Routines. The NVIDIA SHIELD SmartThings integration actually works with Google Assistant as your voice agent, so no waiting for something like Bixby to roll around. All at the expense of one of two USB ports on the SHIELD.
You will, however, have to wait for the Link to actually start shipping. It’s on pre-order now, but won’t launch until October 22, or so says Amazon, where it is selling for $39.99. Curiously, if you pre-order directly from Samsung, you can get the same dongle for only $14.99.