As we’ve announced, the new SmartThings Hub will come equipped with “AppEngine” functionality. This means that much of the processing that has previously existed in the cloud (ie: SmartApps and device types) can now automatically occur locally in the Hub. Circumventing the cloud will result in a much faster response time with automations.
It will also mean that certain automations (SmartApps; Hello, Home actions, etc.) driven by ZigBee, Z-Wave, or LAN-connected devices will continue to work even if you lose your Internet connection. And because the new Hub contains battery backup capability, certain automations can continue to work for awhile even without power.
Sounds like a fantastic upgrade of the SmartThings hub – having the individual programs work locally via the hub rather than in the cloud will definitely improve the speed and reliability of lights and appliances.