From almost the get-go, one of the most promising aspects of the SmartThings DIY smart home offering was as a "platform" for third party devices, applications and related services. The company invested early on in application developer tools and hired business development folks to water and feed their developer ecosystem, and the end result was an impressive array of apps and devices that work today with SmartThings.
However, for all of that investment, there hasn't been a whole lot of activity around premium service offerings. I'm not sure if this is so much an oversight as a lack of compelling offerings in a world where lots of the initial forays into premium smart home services around DIY smart home were such mundane upsells like extra storage for connected video cameras (Nestcam, Canary) or unlocking alerting and cloud features (Iris).
But now it looks as if SmartThings is beginning to pay attention to premium. Just this past week, they announced the first premium offering available for users of the SmartThings platform in the form of the Scout monitored security service.
What's interesting about this is Scout has decoupled their monitored security offering and is now making it available on the SmartThings platform. That's right, there's been no hardware integration between the Scout DIY security hardware and SmartThings, but instead the Scout service is being made available natively for SmartThings users. When a user wants to activate the Scout service, it loads a Scout form within the app, but the user never leaves the SmartThings app. Once activated, the Scout monitoring service, which features access to the COPS monitoring service access through the Scout call center, will work with SmartThings.
Overall, I think the progression for DIY security and home sensing solutions like SmartThings (that can act as de facto security systems) is to offer some level of monitored security as an upgrade option. As for Scout, this is a good overall partnership since, while they've gotten some traction in the market, SmartThings has a much bigger installed base. Long term, as consumers align with a handful of brands in the DIY smart home, it might also make sense for companies like Scout to focus on providing services for other systems rather than trying to build a standalone hardware brand and service offering.