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Adding intelligence to everyday things in your world, so that your life can be more awesome.
Adding intelligence to everyday things in your world, so that your life can be more awesome.
5,694 backers pledged $1,209,423 to help bring this project to life.

Making It All Happen

Wow, it’s been almost 2 weeks since funding closed on the SmartThings project! Time really does fly when you’re hard at work building something you love. So much is going on, and we’re making a ton of progress on a lot of different things. We can’t fit everything into our updates, but here are a few highlights that we wanted to share (and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more).

SmartThings is about much more than hardware, and we’re working hard to ensure that it “just works”, right out of the box. 

SmartThings software - both our applications on mobile devices as well as the SmartThings cloud platform - are so important to delivering an experience that you’ll enjoy. It may be a little bit geeky, but we like to measure and track things. Here’s a quick look at some of the hard work our developers have been up to recently. 

  • We’ve completed 10 iterations and internal releases of our SmartThings mobile apps over the past 2 weeks focused on new features, testing, speed, and responsiveness.
  • We use an agile development approach, and create “stories” for all of the features that we’re adding to our software and platform. We’ve worked through 207 stories so far.
  • We have 60 stories (and more every day) in our product development backlog.
  • We’ve grown our software team in Minneapolis to 10 developers focused full-time on making SmartThings as awesome as possible.

We’ve also been focused on SmartThings hardware design. 

We’re huge fans of 3D printing for rapid prototyping of the devices that we’re designing and building, and we’ve been using it from the start. The ability to iterate designs quickly and test assumptions is super valuable, and is important for keeping the project running smoothly and without delays. To make this process even more efficient and precise, we’re excited that a MakerBot Replicator 2 is now on its way to our team. We’ll be sure to have it running non-stop.

Stay tuned to see examples of what we’re doing with the new MakerBot in future updates, as we continue to refine enclosure designs for SmartTags, Contact Sensors and more. 

We’re living in smart times! 

Some of you have noticed interesting projects and announcements around the Web, and shared them with us. We appreciate it! Whether it’s Lockitron, Ube, the latest Nest thermostat or others, we couldn’t be more excited about what their successes (and our own community) say about how ready the world is, right now, for smarter things. 

It’s too early to say exactly which of these SmartThings will be compatible with, but our unique, open approach will ensure that SmartThings works with the widest variety of devices and technology possible, both now and in the future. And SmartApps will allow developers to easily bring intelligence and programmability to almost any Internet-connected service or technology you can imagine.

Duncan McKee, one of the newest members of the SmartThings team, spends all of his time testing existing off-the-shelf devices to be sure that they can work with SmartThings, and it’s going great so far. Please keep the suggestions and ideas rolling in, we’re listening. 

We’re thrilled to share our journey with you. Thanks again for your support! 

- The SmartThings Team

Comments

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    1. Craig Dunn
      Superbacker
      on October 28, 2012

      Thanks Jay! I've experimented with Nexia back when it was really Schlage equipment that I pieced together. They have definitely kept at it constantly improving the software capabilities and adding compatible products. And I've don't plenty of X-10 stuff in the past....which was a royal pain. My house has aluminum wiring AND its wiring is split across phases, so I had to get one of those gadgets that plugs into your 220v dryer outlet in order to bridge the two sides for X-10 to talk to everything. Ultimately, with aluminum wiring I couldn't take advantage of a lot of "installed" X-10 products because I didn't want to risk problems with devices not meant to interface with aluminum wire connections. Given that plus all the spotty connections between devices and controllers, I gave up on power line based automation a long time ago. Anything I do now is going to have an RF component to it. I backed at the enthusiast tier, so I am definitely interested in finding what will be compatible as a complete ecosystem that is easy to install, setup, and maintain.

    2. Missing avatar

      Jay on October 28, 2012

      @Craig this Homematic is hardly the only company doing this, there are many more, and most are much more international, to name a few: http://www.nexiahome.com/NexiaHome.aspx , http://www.insteon.net/ and http://www.tricktv.com/

    3. Markus Knopp on October 28, 2012

      Oh, that's right. I thought it's an international company, but eQ-3 (www.eq-3.de) only has resellers in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Well then, nevermind, maybe in an update later on. Their products work really well, but you're right, it's no use for the majority of users.
      But I keep my HTTP and RedEye wishes up. :)
      And I'd like to get a list of compatible devices/product families as well.

    4. Craig Dunn
      Superbacker
      on October 27, 2012

      @Markus Knopp - I was interested in checking out the Homematic you spoke so highly of, but everything seems to ONLY be in German? Is this product only available in Deutschland or to German-speakers? If so, it seems like a niche product that wouldn't benefit the great majority of Smart Things backers.

      If somehow there is availability in North America and English-based websites, please let me know....the pictures sure look interesting. :-)

    5. Missing avatar

      Steven Mar on October 18, 2012

      Is there a list of products that has been tested with smart things hub?

    6. Missing avatar

      Andrew Sullivan on October 17, 2012

      These aren't really gonna ship in December, are they?

    7. Missing avatar

      Roger Kibbe on October 17, 2012

      I'll second the idea of being able to send HTTP requests - that would be really, really useful

    8. Paul Burden on October 16, 2012

      I second David Topper's suggestion there. I can't wait until there's a forum on the Smart Things website so people can layout what they are doing/will be doing with their Smart Things.

    9. David Topper on October 15, 2012

      Is there a list (or going to be a list) of suggestions of what can be done with these SmartThings.

      Between your customers and the folks at SmartThings, there are bound to be very creative ideas floating about and a collective list would be awesome.

    10. Markus Knopp on October 13, 2012

      I'd like to suggest three things I'd love the SmartThings Universe be able to do:

      1) Connect/Control/send Commands to the home automation devices of the HomeMatic family - www.homematic.com
      These things work like a charm, are programmable and are able to do awesome stuff. Controlling all this using SmartThings without having to get a HomaMatic Central would be great!

      2) Interoperate with RedEye - http://thinkflood.com/products/redeye/
      It's a great infrared device controller, programmable using a smartphone, tablets or a browser, and it supports basically every infrared device you can image.

      3) Send HTTP requests.
      Sounds easy, but this can be very useful. Two examples: RedEye commands (as in (2)) can be issued over the network be simply querying a certain unique url. So even if there is no direct support for RedEye, you could allow the user to configure these custom URLs into a set of commands, which can then be used in the SmartThings App. Second example: I currently use a Raspberry Pi as my center of home automation (until SmartThings takes over... at least thats what I expect :) ). It's my code, so it's programmable, configurable, able to execute macros and scheduled jobs, and it receives commands, surprise, using URLs issued by any device in the network (Browser, App, whatever). It also hosts a website for all its commands. What I'm saying is: URLs as a type of command issued by the SmartThings App might be useful to many/some people.

      Awesome project! I can't wait to see how this turns out to be - I expect nothing less than a revolution of home automation. :)

      Thanks for making Things Smarter!

    11. Missing avatar

      Chris B on October 9, 2012

      In case anyone missed it:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch…

      Hour long hang out on google+ with Alex Hawkinson. Not a ton of new info for us normal end users, but some insight for developers and/or makers. Some background info on Alex and the company though. Unfortunately no free Things given away. :) :)

    12. Jeremy Shorr on October 8, 2012

      I just got off the phone with both Sonos and Nest. Some of this might be lip-service, but both said that SmartThings are on their radar and that they consider things like this largely based on contact from their customers. So, please, if you would like Sonos or Nest integration, send an email or a tweet (or several) to those companies.

      They both seem to be a great fit. Imagine your Sonos music turning on based on a proximity tag and temperature adjusting when you get home (instead of just relying on Nest's motion sensors)

    13. Missing avatar

      Chris B on October 8, 2012

      And while I'm thinking of it (can you tell I'm excited about getting this?!? Why does December have to be so far away!!! :)

      We've discussed 'buttons' before. Essentially just a push button that would run events/actions assigned to it (from as simple as turning on/off a light to as complex as locking doors, turning off lights, sending an alert if any window is open and activating an 'alarm' setting so if any open/close sensors are opened a text to email alert is sent).

      And I know you've hinted that they may be in the works. Just for the record, I can believe that if you make them that I would probably buy 5 buttons right away and probably 3 or 4 more SmartOutlets too! As someone with a wife and two kids who don't have smartphones/tablets, the ability to access SmartThings functionality outside of a computerized environment would be huge.

    14. Missing avatar

      Chris B on October 8, 2012

      Okay, another thought on door locks.

      Ideally I'd prefer a lever/knob vs. a deadbolt. (See example here: http://www.kwikset.com/smartsecurity/electronic-locks/electronic-lever.aspx)

      We don't have a deadbolt on our door, and while I could add one, the problem with a deadbolt is that it needs to be locked from the outside when leaving. My wife, who doesn't have a cell phone of any type and has no desire to get one, would have to close the door, then put in her key, lock it, and then leave. Not a huge deal, but when you're used to just pulling the door closed behind you, this would be more of a pain to her.

    15. Missing avatar

      Jay on October 6, 2012

      Awesome update! From the picture, looks like Duncan is focusing on testing off-the-shelf Z-Wave devices! Compatibility with Z-Wave devices will definitely pave the way for great automation possibilities ! keep us posted!

    16. pclabtech on October 6, 2012

      You could have the smart tag (proximity) like the "Dog has left the yard" well have one in your car. As the car approaches within range of the base unit, it will open the garage door for you.

    17. Missing avatar

      Ken Hillblom on October 5, 2012

      Another good idea from @Chris B +1

    18. Missing avatar

      Chris B on October 5, 2012

      And while we're talking about things that just make too much sense NOT to happen, I think an Garage Door opener makes a lot of sense as well.

      Not something that will transmit the signal to the door, rather just a little "button" that I would wire in next to my push button in my garage that would send a signal over the wires.

    19. Missing avatar

      Chris B on October 5, 2012

      Correct Brian. And SmartThings already has an open/close sensor as one of their Things, so it would be easy enough for them to add it to the SmartThings version of a deadbolt lock or even using an open/close sensor separately.

      I guess my point for the second problem is still related to the first problem then. If I'm paying $150 for a remote deadbolt lock, not only am I paying a lot for that system, but then I also need to get the SmartThings open/close sensor on my door as well, another expense.

      Worst case scenario I could use SmartThings open/close sensor to know if my door is open or not, and then use Lockitron (with or without compatibility with SmartThings) to lock or unlock my door. But again, this means $150 *just* for the lock portion. Also, does anyone know if Lockitron has a monthly fee for their service?

      I have to think that SmartThings can make something like this cheaper because they don't have to provide a path for the lock mechanism to get online. That already exists with my SmartHub.

      Maybe the smarted thing to do is partner with Lockitron (if possible). Have Lockitron create the hardware, but with just the bluetooth/WiFi/whatever communication back to the Hub. This way SmartThings doesn't have to re-invent the wheel so to speak, Lockitron gets more business, and we get access to a new Thing that's less expensive than a standalone device.

      Obviously this is something that SmartThings has to figure out. I'm quite confident that a door lock is in the works someway, somehow. Whether that's via a partnership with someone like Lockitron, developed in house, or a partnership with an independent Maker, I'm not sure. But it just makes too much sense for something like this to be available for the SmartThings family for it not to happen eventually.

    20. pclabtech on October 5, 2012

      That would be as easy as having a magnet on the door frame, and a magnetic switch built into the door mechanism to indicate the door is closed / open. This state of the switch can be transmitted to Smart things to indicate door open / closed.

    21. Missing avatar

      Dustin on October 5, 2012

      ++1 with Chris B as well!!

    22. Kent Hambrock on October 5, 2012

      Will 3D object files be available if we wish to print our own enclosures instead of using the ones provided?

    23. Missing avatar

      Ken Hillblom on October 5, 2012

      +1 with @Chris B

    24. Missing avatar

      Chris B on October 5, 2012

      I saw the info on Lockitron before, and while it's pretty sweet, I hope that SmartThings develops their own version rather than just creating compatibility with Lockitron.

      The first problem with Lockitron: Price! At $150 (for a limited time only) that's pretty dang expensive. I'm sure a lot of that expense to to connect Lockitron to the the cloud/internet so it can be accessed. If I've already got that path through SmartThings, I don't want to pay for it again with another device.

      The second problem: Is my door open or closed? What's the good of being able to lock my door anywhere in the world if I don't have confidence that my door is closed to begin with? If I try to lock my door remotely but the door itself is ajar, "closing" the deadbolt does nothing. This is where an open/closed sensor (either build into the lock mechanism itself or as a separate 'thing') becomes vital.

    25. Missing avatar

      Rince on October 5, 2012

      If not yet done, please test with HomeMatic (www.homematic.com); I'd love to control them via SmartThings ;)

    26. fmotta on October 5, 2012

      Hehe - I have the replicator 2 on my list of purchases. I need to get rid of 2 other 3dprinters to make room for it :)

      It's nice to see informational updates - thanks!

    27. Missing avatar

      John Ford
      Superbacker
      on October 5, 2012

      Will you be releasing a list of the products you've tested with SmartThings so I can compare to products I own now?

    28. Chris St.Germain on October 5, 2012

      Curious - do you think the Nest thermostat will work with SmartThings?

    29. Aaron Barnette on October 5, 2012

      I have a inground swimming pool at my house with small children. It would be great to have a sensor that would detect when something goes into the pool.

    30. Missing avatar

      Nate on October 5, 2012

      Love the picture, pretty hilarious little jab at the latest Kickstarter "developments" that have been implemented.

    31. Missing avatar

      Wayne on October 5, 2012

      Could you elaborate on what you mean by the "stories" for feature development?

      Are these to describe what you want automated and why? LIke, "I drive up to my house and I want the garage door to open for me. I get out of my car, step into the house and the garage closes and the lights turn on."

      If so, can we submit simple "high-level" scenario's of what we want/hope that the SmartThings system will be able to do?

    32. Nat Fairbanks on October 5, 2012

      I'd love to see ecobee working with smartthings. Nest has a nice design but Ecobee has been around longer and Nest seems to have had some problems that have prevented me from buying so far. (Namely short cycling systems without a 24V AC Common wire to charge the battery and thermostats dropping off the network on a regular basis).

    33. Paul Monroy on October 5, 2012

      I want SmartThings to control the calender so I can make December arrive faster. I can't wait. Seriously though, I am interested in what people are using to deadbolts, garage doors, water heaters and sprinkler systems.

    34. David Page on October 5, 2012

      +3 for Locktron integration. Interesting that the first two comments are about this and that's why I was planning on commenting about.

    35. Mark M on October 5, 2012

      I vote Schlage LiNK because I already own one and have been waiting to control this damn thing remotely.

    36. Missing avatar

      Darlin on October 5, 2012

      SmartThings + Lockitron = Awesome
      Apparently, Lockitron will have an API, so conceivably it wouldn't be too difficult to integrate the two.

    37. Juan Jaramillo on October 5, 2012

      You guys really need to talk to these other guys: lockitron.com

      make it happen :)

    38. Richard Young on October 5, 2012

      Cool. So will you guys post a list of existing devices SmartThings is compatible with, somewhere on your website?

    39. Joshua Ryan on October 5, 2012

      Awesome! Can't wait to see all the fun we are going to have with this!