I’m just going to come out and say it: Alex Hawkinson is one of the top leaders in the Internet of Things space. Meet the Samsung SmartThings. Hawkinson is the founder of SmartThings, a company he created with the belief that everyday objects can work harder to make life easier. SmartThings was created just a few years ago in 2012. It was launched on Kickstarter and raised an impressive $1.2 million. Today, SmartThings is one of the leading home automation systems. It’s so good that Samsung recently acquired the company in 2014.
The simple equation behind SmartThings is “one app + one hub + all your things.” I like to think that all adds up to “life made easier.” SmartThings is genius. First, you buy the hub, which is the brains behind it all. You connect the hub to your Internet router so it can communicate with all of your connected products, whether you have one or 50 devices.
To control them all, you just need the SmartThings app. With the app, you get notifications about the happenings at home, you can control all smart devices, and you can automate your devices to react to your preferences. You can even create rules for each device, so it will turn off when you go to sleep or turn on at 7am.
SmartThings also offers its own sensors to transform the normal device to the smart device. With the SmartThings outlet, you can turn your coffee maker or lamp into a smart device and control it via the app. SmartThings also offers a water leak sensor, motion sensor, arrival sensor, and multipurpose sensor. All of these are connected with the hub and controlled by the app.
In addition to SmartThings’ own family of sensors, you can also control hundreds of connected devices from other brands through the SmartThings open platform. SmartThings is compatible with several hundred other products from popular brands like, Samsung, D-Link, Bose, Honeywell, Ecobee, Philips, and more.
Can it get any better? It sure can. I am very impressed with SmartThings’ pricing. The hub comes in just under $100 and the app is free to download. Other items, like sensors, are under $50 on average. Currently, the second generation of the hub is available, which features some upgrades, including battery-backup and standalone use. This means that even if you lose power or an Internet connection, your smart home won’t entirely revert to the stone ages. SmartThings is remaining secretive on their next projects, but we can be sure to expect more in the near future, especially since they’ve teamed up with Samsung.
Photo by: Kārlis Dambrāns