If you're familiar with the phrase "Internet of Things," you probably also recognize the name SmartThings. The small startup is creating a cloud-based platform that works with low-power, smartphone-controlled sensors to automate most everything about your home and life. SmartThings's sensors can be hooked up to switch your coffeepot on when your alarm clock rings in the morning, or lock the front door when the garage closes.
Now, the 20,000 or so people who have reserved their own SmartThings starter kits since SmartThings ended its wildly successful Kickstarter campaign can finally claim kits of their own. SmartThings starts shipping today.
Don't have a kit reserved? Today SmartThings is also opening up its first shop, which features a small, curated selection of products. Among the items for purchase are two basic starter kits; a la carte devices produced by both SmartThings and third-party manufacturers like GE and Schlage; and 11 different "solutions sets," from $59 to $235, that box up all the sensors and devices users need to set up their homes for particular use cases. SmartThings will initially offer tailored solution sets for locking and unlocking doors, detecting leaks and floods, protecting valuables, and other home needs.
The solutions set in particular marks a shift for SmartThings, which has enjoyed the enthusiasm and unbridled creativity of its 10,000 early adopters. To its Kickstarter backers, CEO Alex Hawkinson purposefully offered very general kits, rather than tailored solutions for specific problems, like home security, or flooding. He says this allows developers and tinkerers to dream up ideas without constraints. But to get consumers to actually purchase SmartThings devices and sensors for their own homes, Hawkinson says offering them solutions to specific problems makes the idea of a house in which every single device can "talk" to one another much more appealing.
A redesigned version of the SmartThings app is coming within the next couple of months, and Hawkinson says the next 10 solution sets will roll out in the coming weeks and months. As SmartThings continues to create more of these pre-packaged, event-specific solution sets, he says the sets will "hit all facets of life" and become more tailored to users' specific needs and interests. That should work out nicely for users—although about 1,000 devices already work within the SmartThings platform, the number one customer feedback Hawkinson and his team get is: "More! More! More!"