Is It SmartThings Time To Shine?

Someone recently commented to me via a survey that I don't mention SmartThings often enough, either in the Smart Home Weekly or on the Smart Home Show.  

I think they're probably right.

Let me offer an admittedly weak rationalization: I think part of the reason for a lack of SmartThings' mentions is the company hasn't been making much news, either negative or positive. Instead, the company has been puttering more or less quietly along since the Samsung acquisition, blending into the background, with the occasional piece of news about the forthcoming SmartThings 2 hub.

But now things might be changing, as the company is beginning to finally make some news with the SmartThings Hub2 finally available for preorder and shipping in September, as well as the company integrating Amazon's sexy Echo hardware.  With Wink/Quirky imploding, Revolv gone and HomeKit moving slower than pretty much everyone anticipated, the company's timing couldn't be better. 

In a way, that they haven't been making news is good. When the alternative is Wink, it shows SmartThings as a stable alternative. In fact, reading some comment boards the last few days, people who currently are with Wink are asking where to next, and SmartThings seems be one of consensus picks.

And now with the SmartThings Hub2 available, folks looking to move beyond their Revolv or Wink or tired of waiting for HomeKit might see the SmartThings new hub as the way to go.  Sure it doesn't have Wi-Fi (or INSTEON or Lutron Caseta radios), but it does connect to the two most currently established home automation technologies and will be able to bridge to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices through integration partner devices like the Echo.

Looking forward, with the new SmartThings hub and a refresh coming on the Lowe's Iris hub, it will be interesting to see how consumers react to these devices, especially as Google makes the case for integrating the hub with the router. We still believe overall discrete hubs are a difficult sell to the mainstream, but for the time being there's a whole bunch of Wink and Revolv customers looking for alternatives.

Update:  a SmartThings spokesperson Ben Edwards reached out via email and indicated the SmartThings device will have Bluetooth on board at launch, but said "it will be disabled at launch and activated later with software." 

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1 comment

  • Ben Edwards

    Clarifications: As you mention wi-if devices on your network can connect to SmartThings so that isn’t an issue. There is also a Bluetooth radio on board but much like Nest did with its ZigBee radio, it will be disabled at launch and activated later with software.

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