Why compatibility is so important
Samsung is keeping the SmartThings platform purposely and forever 'open' so that everyone can mix and match SmartThings compatibility with other manufacturers' products.
So you've read a little about the Internet of Things and the idea of having a smart home filled with appliances and services that you can command, personalise and tweak remotely from your smartphone sounds all sorts of appealing.
ｩ Shutterstock / wavebreakmedia
But when it comes to being an early adopter this isn't your first rodeo, and you're understandably cautious. After all, with loads of big-name companies jumping on the smart home bandwagon, IoT is definitely the next big thing, but how can you be sure you're choosing a platform that's going to last? Nobody wants to be left holding the Laser Disc equivalent of the Internet of Things do they?
The key to success is compatibility. Samsung has started out strongly with a commitment to make 90% of its products SmartThings-compatible by 2017, and 100% of them compatible by 2020. 100%!
But nobody fills their homes with just one manufacturer's products. Which is why Samsung's approach with SmartThings is so refreshing. Rather than create a closed platform and be the only manufacturer of SmartThings-compatible devices, Samsung is keeping the platform purposely and forever 'open'. This means that anyone is free to incorporate SmartThings compatibility into their products. And, well, it's working.
In addition to Samsung's own SmartThings range there are already over 100 third-party products that have compatibility built in – everything from fitness bands, to thermostats, door locks to lightbulbs. Factor in clever apps such as IFTTT (If This Then That), which make it super-simple to bridge all sorts of third-party software with the SmartThings app and the potential for cool and creative connectivity is huge.
Z-Wave and ZigBee
And then there's the technology inside the SmartThings Hub. Without getting too technical, there are two cutting-edge ways the latest generation of smart devices can talk to one another – Z-Wave and ZigBee. Most manufacturers choose one of these and necessarily limit the spread of smart products theirs can talk to. But, cannily, the SmartThings Hub is fluent in both Z-Wave and ZigBee so, once again, by embracing SmartThings you're maximising the number of products you can add to your network.
Last but by no means least there's the beating heart of SmartThings and the most compelling reason why its future looks so bright – the SmartThings Community. This group of over 100,000 developers, both clever creative individuals and boffins from major companies, is constantly talking to one another, sharing discoveries and new SmartThings applications, forging collaborations and having fun with the platform. There's a palpable buzz as developers overcome obstacles and hit on new ways to use the SmartThings platform. It's an energy that's seen the likes of BMW and Volkswagen embrace the SmartThings platform for their cars, and as new companies continue to come on board, the creative possibilities just snowball. It's tremendously exciting and all SmartThings users will benefit.
So choose SmartThings and feel good about it. You'll enjoy the convenience, inspiration and peace of mind that comes from having a smart home and, who knows, in time you may join the community and share your own inspired lifehacks.
What you need
- SmartThings Hub
- Free SmartThings app IOS or Android
- SmartThings Power Outlet
- SmartThings Multi Sensor
- SmartThings Presence Sensor
- SmartThings Motion Sensor
- SmartThings Moisture Sensor
- 100+ compatible third-party products with more added all the time!
- A good starting point is the Samsung SmartThings Starter Kit which contains the Hub and three sensors to begin your Smart Home transformation.