Great New Upgrade To SmartThings Hub

  

From the SmartThings Blog:

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.

Belkin WeMo home automation line expands with family of new sensors

 

Belkin WeMo home automation line expands with family of new sensors | TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004:

Belkin’s iOS-friendly WeMo home automation line took another big step forward today with the announcement at CES in Las Vegas of a new line of sensors. For those who want to create a subscription-free security system, the new devices are just what the doctor ordered. The sensors are battery-powered with a one-year battery life, perfect for easy installation by anyone. Pricing at this time is undetermined, and Belkin says that the new products will arrive in the second half of 2015.
First up is the WeMo Door and Window Sensor, which is a magnetic contact switch used to determine if a door is opened or closed. This is perfect for making sure that doors and windows are closed when leaving the house, or for setting up rules to automate other processes when a door or window is opened or closed. Need to find out if a specific window or door is open or closed? Just use the free WeMo app to find out.

Next is the WeMo Keychain Sensor, a keychain fob that tells the system when someone arrives at or leaves a home. A button on the sensor can be set up to control any other WeMo device when pressed – perfect if you’ve set up a WeMo Maker Switch to open your garage door.

The WeMo Alarm Sensor is designed to listen for other battery-powered alarms – smoke or fire sensors, CO monitors, water leak detectors – and then notify you via the app, notifications, or text alerts when those devices are beeping. With the proper alarms, the sensor, and the WeMo app, homeowners can contact emergency responders or neighbors immediately in case of fires or leaks.

A popular device for home security system is a room motion sensor using infrared heat signatures to detect human movement in a room. The WeMo Room Motion Sensor is immune to pets, designed to reduce the possibility of false alarms, and can be set to work with other WeMo devices when motion is detected.

Finally, the WeMo Water with Echo Technology is quite intriguing. The device is attached to one point on a home plumbing system and senses and analyzes the pressure change vibrations caused by turning on a faucet or flushing a toilet. WeMo water is designed to calculate home water consumption, duration and cost, and can alert users to leaks in a plumbing system. WeMo Water is current undergoing field trials and will be on display at the 2015 Internation CES.

As always, TUAW will be reviewing the new devices when they become available as part of our continuing – and growing – coverage of connected devices in the Apple ecosystem.

Belkin’s Wemo products already integrate with SmartThings but these new product announcements look like they want to expand and control your control your house to the level of SmartThings. All good for the consumer either way.

New Hardware, Premium Services, and Integrations Coming to SmartThings

Announced on SmartThings Blog:

To kick off this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show, SmartThings CEO, Alex Hawkinson, joined Samsung’s president and CEO, BK Yoon, on stage to deliver an opening keynote address focused on the future of the Internet of Things.

Today, on behalf of Samsung, I’m making a promise: Our IoT components and devices will be open.”
Yoon began by reaffirming Samsung’s commitment to help SmartThings build a completely open smart home platform, stating, “Today, on behalf of Samsung, I’m making a promise: Our IoT components and devices will be open. We will ensure that others can easily connect to our devices. That’s why last August, when SmartThings became a member of the Samsung family, we promised to keep its platform open.”
Hawkinson then took the stage to unveil some exciting new announcements for SmartThings customers, developers, and anyone who’d like to easily turn their home into a smart home. Here are three things to expect:

New SmartThings Hub and Sensors
In Q2 of this year, we’ll begin selling the next generation of the SmartThings Hub and sensors.

The new SmartThings Hub includes a more powerful processor and local app engine, built-in backup battery power, and expanded cellular connectivity. This will enable SmartThings to continue operating in the event of a power or Internet outage.

The new Hub also expands connectivity options to include additional wireless protocols such as Bluetooth Smart, providing customers with the widest range of devices supported by any smart home platform.

We’re also updating our family of sensors with modified versions of the SmartSense Presence, SmartSense Motion, and SmartSense Multi sensors. At roughly one-third the size of our first-generation devices, the new SmartSense Motion sensor and SmartSense Multi sensor pack all of the power of SmartThings’ current devices, while offering a more minimal presence in your smart home.  And the new SmartSense Presence sensor features a more durable and compact plastic enclosure.

New Optional Premium Service

We’re also launching an optional premium service that will offer customers advanced incident management control, and improved home monitoring through DVR video streaming.

This new service enables SmartThings customers to automatically send a text to or call friends, neighbors, or loved ones they pre-select whenever a problem is detected that needs immediate attention–such as a flood or fire. Customers will be able to grant trusted contacts access to their smart devices so that these friends or neighbors will be automatically notified of a problem requiring attention at the customer’s home, and also able to easily resolve it.

The premium service will also allow customers the option to see what’s happening inside their home 24/7 by offering live DVR video captured by SmartThings-compatible cameras. Customers can keep track of activity happening in certain areas of their home, or opt to receive video clips whenever certain events take place in or around their home.

New Integrations on the Open Platform
A plethora of new devices will soon join the many connected products that already work on SmartThings’ open platform. These include:

• Netgear and D-Link cameras

• Somfy window shades

• Racchio water irrigation system

• Chamberlain garage door openers

• August locks

• Weatherbug climate data

• Samsung smart appliances

I am looking forward to seeing how SmartThings integrates with these 3rd party manufacturers and although Samsung recently purchased the company, SmartThings continues to develop for multiple platforms.

SmartThings to Control Samsung’s Smart Appliances

Ry Crist Reporting for CNET:

With a SmartThings hub plugged into your home router, you’ll be able to monitor the status of your Samsung smart appliances right on your phone via the SmartThings app. If you’ve got a Samsung smart refrigerator in your kitchen, you’ll be able to check the temperature or humidity level, or receive an alert if the door gets left open. Additionally, you’ll be able to broadcast important smart home alerts to the screen that’s built into the refrigerator door. For instance, if a SmartThings moisture sensor detects a leak in the basement, the fridge will give you a heads up.

The washing machine and air conditioner integrations are more focused on saving energy – and money. With Samsung’s air conditioner in your window, you’ll be able to track your energy usage and control the temperature remotely or automatically – similar to what you’ll find with the Quirky Aros. You’ll enjoy remote control and alerts for the washing machine, too, along with the ability to set it to run overnight, when energy rates are the least expensive.

As for Samsung’s robot vacuum, SmartThings is promising a smart scheduling feature, along with push alerts whenever a cycle is complete, or when the dust bin needs emptying. Samsung’s also promising to leverage the vacuum’s integrated camera and microphone for smart security purposes. If SmartThings detects unexpected motion somewhere in your home, it can send the vacuum to investigate.

So with Samsung starting to integrate SmartThings technology with their own products now, Samsung are all in with the notion of connecting your home appliances together to make them smarter and to make them work for you – with their recent capture of SmartThings, they certainly have a good software team behind them to make this happen.

[Link] Elgato’s HomeKit-ready sensors automate your entire home

 

Elgato’s HomeKit-ready sensors automate your entire home | Cult of Mac

The latest of these is Elgato’s new line of “Eve” connected home sensors, which debuted at the IFA 2014 trade show in Berlin, Germany. The range of Bluetooth accessories are able to monitor air quality, detect smoke, and track humidity, energy used, air pressure and water consumption – then feeding all of this data back to your iPhone or iPad.

The Elgato app will additionally offer suggestions and tips designed to let users better improve the environment, thereby living up to Apple’s ideal as a sustainable eco-friendly company.

Elgato also announced new $50 Avea smart lightbulbs, which will let users set up custom profiles, colors and alarms using a dedicated iOS app. Unlike the most established product in this category, Philips’ Hue smart bulbs, the Avea can connect directly via Bluetooth and doesn’t require a hub.

Connected via Bluetooth is different to most competitors like SmartThings and Philips HUE but that’s because they don’t need to rely on a device being at home to be controlled but having said that, these products will be interesting to look at in more detail prior to their release though.

[Link] Eve Irrigation System hopes to make your garden perfect

 

Plaid Systems Eve Ecosystem Preview – CNET

Hop over to Kickstarter this morning and you’ll see the smart gardening platform the Eve Ecosystem launched its crowd-funding campaign. Built specifically to work with the SmartThings home automation hub, Eve is designed as an irrigation controller that automatically adapts to the conditions of your yard. It can manage up to 16 different watering zones of your home’s existing sprinkler system. You can control each zone individually from your smart phone or tablet, or let Eve do the scheduling for you. It’ll process data from its moisture sensor — called Adam — placed in your yard, and take into account any weather info gathered by the SmartThings hub, to give your lawn the exact amount of water it needs.

Love the integration with SmartThings and quite a similar product to Edyn but this has the integration that Edyn currently does not so I will certainly keep an eye out for this.

[Link] Samsung Buys SmartThings for $200 Million

 

Internet of Bling: Samsung Buys SmartThings for $200 Million | Re/code

SmartThings will continue to be run by CEO and founder Alex Hawkinson and operate independently, Samsung said. But most of its operations — which now include 55 employees in Washington, D.C., and also offices in San Francisco and Minnesota — will be moved to Palo Alto, Calif., to become part of Samsung’s Open Innovation Center (OIC) there.

It was only a matter of time before SmartThings got bought out – their hub, devices and 3rd party control of other smartphone-controlled products stood head and shoulders above their competitors. Samsung you would think, would try and include SmartThings technology into their devices but as long as SmartThings remain separate as they have stated, then with Samsung’s backing they can improve their products so that they become more mainstream and integrate with even more 3rd party device companies.

Honeywell turns up the heat with the Lyric smart thermostat

 

John Callaham:

Lyric’s biggest bullet point is its use of geofencing. In basic terms, when a person leaves their home with their smartphone, the Lyric senses when they depart and adjusts the temperature inside to a level designed to save money. When that same person makes the return trip home, the Lyric again detects when the person is getting close and adjusts the temperature again to make sure that the home is comfortable again when the home owner enters.

So we have Nest, Hive and now Honeywell’s Lyric battling to be king of the thermostat. It’s like this – whoever opens up their API’s so that they may work with other applications like SmartThings and now Apple will get my cash..

SmartThings iPhone-controlled Home

SmartThings Founder Sees a Limitless Internet of Things

Patrick Thibodeau:

SmartThings builds a hub that connects to a home router and to sensors that can detect states like motion, moisture, temperature, or presence, such as the comings and goings of pets. But more important, it’s building an open development platform for independent developers and device makers developing tools for the Internet of Things.

For instance, in SmartThings offices, a Sonos wireless speaker suddenly blares with the sound of a barking dog. It sounds very real. A developer created a connection between a door bell and a virtual guard dog that will bark if no one is home.

Why stop at a barking dog?

The wireless speaker can be linked to network enabled smoke detector, which can be used to help spread the alarm and even relay pre-recorded instructions to a child in an emergency.

The possibilities expand creatively.

You wake up, walk into kitchen, where a motion detector senses your presence and knows, because you gave an audible ‘good morning’ signal to your smart phone, that it’s time for you start getting ready for work. A weather app announces the forecast over the speaker and then shifts to the type of music you like at that hour. All are integrated into the SmartThing’s app platform.

You wake up, walk into kitchen, where a motion detector senses your presence and knows, because you gave an audible ‘good morning’ signal to your smart phone, that it’s time for you start getting ready for work. A weather app announces the forecast over the speaker and then shifts to the type of music you like at that hour. All are integrated into the SmartThing’s app platform.

SmartThings, Wemo, Sonos, Philips HUE – They are all embracing the new age of wireless, mobile device managed automation. I am all onboard and will post thoughts and reviews soon.