Network Your House with SmartThings: Rule Your Home with Your Phone

smart thingsSmartThings has a pretty lofty goal. They want to be the hub to control everything in your home. While some companies and apps today control various aspects, like lights or air conditioning or security systems, SmartThings thinks that’s just child’s play. Actually, children are the only thing SmartThings can’t control.

From cabinets being open to clothing recommendations based on weather to lights turning on when you get out of bed, SmartThings is central command for every exiguous aspect of your home in the palm of your hand. Sounds complicated? Surprisingly, the concept is simple. By attaching custom sensors to objects you want to control, it then sends signal to a SmartThings hub that looks as innocuous as a WiFi router which then communicates with your iPhone for alerts and to adjust various settings.

Apparently the demand to literally be master of your domain is quite high. The SmartThings page on (Kickstarter is a site for funding new ideas & companies) shows that the funding for this product has already exceeded its first round goal by 82% making it well on its way to mass production.

The interesting part for me is there is a potential here to create a new ecosystem for developers and even home owners to build on. Through what they are calling their SmartApps platform, I envision 3rd parties will eventually be able to create their own custom features that can be integrated with the SmartThings hub. The Kickstarter page lists the following as existing enhancements to the platform:

  • Get notified immediately if your pet runs out of your yard without you with the “Oh No, My Pet Is Loose!” SmartApp.
  • Get an early warning or directly contact a plumber when there is a leak somewhere (bathroom, basement), before damage gets out of hand with the “It’s Leaking!”  SmartApp.
  • Monitor drawers and cabinets that contain precious or dangerous items with the “My Stuff is Secure” SmartApp.

The day of the truly smart house is incredibly close. For homeowners, a system like this can help the increasingly busy life of a homeowner be on top of the general upkeep and maintenance of their home.

For me the only question is how much angrier I would be when I lost my phone? Check out the demo video for SmartThings below and visit their page on Kickstarter to get more details.

8 Hot Gadgets for Your High-Tech Home

Nest Thermostat

Home thermostat that learns your behavior and adjusts itself accordingly. The Nest Thermostat has been called the “iPod of thermostats,” because it was designed by the same man who helped design the iPod. That means it also has the same elegant design and easy user interface we’ve come to know. It has a round shape with colors that are designed to blend into whatever color wall you install it on.

The thermostat is intended to save you energy and money by automatically learning your patterns and behavior and adjusting itself accordingly. For instance, if you regularly come downstairs at 8 a.m. every day and set the temp to 70 degrees, it stores and learns that info. Then, using motion sensor technology, if it doesn’t sense your presence every morning, it will figure out you’re away and will adjust the temp to save on energy.

Nespresso Maestria

The Nespresso Maestria is a single-serve coffee machine that uses a high-pressure pump and Thermoblock heating element to deliver a perfect cup of coffee each time you use it. Barista wannabes will enjoy the professional-style steam wand that lets you control the temperature and frothiness of the steamed milk in your cappuccino. The Maestria will automatically test the water and adjust it for hard or soft, and will shut itself off after a certain period of inactivity.

Roku 2

An incredibly simple way to stream video to your TV. The Roku 2 is one of the easiest ways to stream media to your television. It’s a tiny box that connects to your home’s Wi-Fi, letting you watch both free and paid (subscription) content, ranging from Netflix to Hulu to news and tech TV channels. The remotes that come with the Roku 2 feature bluetooth, something that previous models were lacking.

iRobot Roomba 790

This vacuum has a wireless command center that schedules cleanings and allows users to control the device from anywhere in the house. This is one high-priced vacuum, but oh, the things it can do! Using a touchscreen remote, you can steer your Roomba to any spot in the house. The remote is called a Wireless Command Center, but works much like an RC toy, meaning it might make cleaning fun for the videogame set. You can also use the Command Center to schedule cleaning for when you’re not home, or on a different floor of your home. Roomba can handle most any job; it has a three-stage cleaning process to vacuum carpets, hardwood, tile and linoleum floors, and it will automatically adjust to the different floor surfaces. Unlike you, who may be easily distracted, Roomba will thoroughly clean each room in the home before moving on to the next.

Sonos Play:3

Powerful all-in-one wireless speaker for the home. The Sonos Play: 3 is a smaller, less expensive version of Sonos’ Play: 5 wireless speaker system, which makes it a great fit for the home. Sonos speakers stream your music library throughout your house using a wireless Internet connection, meaning you can control the music from one room, via an iOS or Android app, while sending it to a different room in the house.

The Sonos speaker can also connect with iOS devices, mobile phones, music players, Android phones and tablets. The Play: 3 come in black or white and has a sleek design that lets it fit in tight spaces. The Play: 3 is rocking three drivers inside; two woofers and a tweeter, along with three digital amplifiers.

Belkin WeMo Switch

WeMo uses Wi-Fi to turn an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch into a remote control for household devices. WeMo makes home automation simple. The WeMo switch, used in conjunction with the free WeMo app, lets you control any appliance that plugs into an electrical outlet. It runs over your home’s Wi-Fi network and can be controlled with any iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. You can use your phone to start your coffee maker as you come down the stairs in the morning, or turn on the lights before you get home. The app will also let you schedule devices to go on and off at pre-set times.

RoomMates Augmented Reality Wall Decals

These wall decals feature special augmented reality technology. You’ve heard the saying, ‘if walls could talk?’ Well what happens when walls can play games and interact? It’s all possible with the introduction of Augmented Reality Wall Decals from RoomMates. They’re removable, reusable peel-and-stick wall decals your kids can play with. They can be removed without damaging the walls, and they can we wiped clean. Download the BoostAR app from the iTunes store or Google Play and then point your phone or tablet up to the wall decal. The device will unlock and display interactive features and videos or games. There are six AR-enabled Disney wall decals to choose from and more on the way.

Logitech Alert 750n Indoor Master System

Video security system with wide-angle night vision and remote viewing. With all the electronic goodies in your home, you’re going to want to keep a watchful eye on things 24/7. The Logitech Alert 750n Indoor Master System offers powerful wide-angle night vision and a free remote viewing account so you can check in from afar. Motion-triggered recording can be set up to send you notification via email or SMS if movement is sensed. If you do get an alert, you can use the Logitech Alert Web and Mobile Commander service to access all the controls, as if you were running on a home PC. Logitech Alert is easily expandable, so you can add cameras throughout your home, inside and out.

Source: Mashable

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