If you are interested in home automation, but don’t want to commit to a large company or monthly fees, SmartThings might be for you. SmartThings is at the other end of systems, where you can build your own (or have someone do it for you) that does not require you to use proprietary technology. Their open platform supports hundreds of devices from ZigBee, Z-Wave, and others, including smart outlets, locks, lights and more. This means you can control the devices of your choice with the SmartThings app.
SmartThings has been getting a lot of attention as of late. Mainly, due to the user-friendly approach to home automation and the incredible number of devices you can use. They have been covered in Business Week, GigaOm, TechCrunch, Business Insider, Fast Company and more.
Scenes, which are predetermined reactions by the system to an event, can be programmed with SmartThings. You can see these in action in the first video below. For example, using the Jawbone wristband, you can wake the house up, causing the lights to come on, the coffee to start brewing and music start playing on the Sonos system.
You can learn more about SmartThings on their website.
This video is from the SmartThings House at CES 2014. During CES 2014, SmartThings announced the SmartThings Labs, where users can get advance access to third-party apps and devices. Their first partners to announce support of Labs were Philips Hue, Belkin WeMo and Sonos.
This is a humorous look at home automation from SmartThings and provides a very brief view of some of the possibilities from the system.
Obviously, these open type systems are geared towards those that want a DIY home automation system. These systems differ from proprietary systems from large companies in the fact that you create the system you want, with the devices you want with no involvement from anyone else. There are several new promising companies with products on the market now that provide this type of open system, which we hope to cover soon.