I’ve recently been given the opportunity to play with Samsungs SmartThings starter kit package (rrp £199), so thought it would be nice to just put up some of my thoughts on here 🙂 I have to say I really wasn’t sure what to expect, so did little research before it turned up so that I could experience it as a novice (Although I’m quite tech savvy). The package arrived and was a lot heavier than I expected, and on opening it I was suitably impressed with the packaging and general presentation of it.
As you can see from the photo it contains:
- The “Hub” itself (the brains of the package), this connects to your network via a cable and has battery backup facility (I’ve not put the batteries in yet)
- Smart power socket: This can be controlled from the app or via the hub using “apps” to control it
- Door sensor : Allows you to know when something is open or closed
- Presence sensor: This can be used to say when something is in hub range, as a standard your phone is this device, so you might add this to a childs bag or something
- Motion sensor: Detects when there is motion in the area of the sensor.
This is a quick overview of the pack, but they do more than that, for example the Power socket can also report the Watts that is being draw, and the sensors also detect temperature (But I’ve not worked out how to get the app to show in celsius yet!)
Samsung have been quit clever here though, rather than only supporting and working with there own devices, the main hub supports a range of different communication protocols. This means that you are not limited to only Samsung devices and you can link up to a number of other devices as well, e.g. Sonos speakers, Yale locks, and Aeon Labs switches/dimmers.
I have to say that after getting it all running, my first question was… what do I do with it?! Well it just so happens that our over died and we are contemplating a new kitchen (getting there), one of the quotes asked us about led lighting etc. to which I said I would sort myself as I love leds! After he went I thought about leds at floor level, and how cool it would be if they would turn on and off automatically… right on cue Samsung smart things!
So I found some leds I had lying around and basically plugged them into the Smart wall socket, and got the motion detector setup on the floor to detect motion… easy, but now what. Well this is where the app comes into play. On the main app itself you can download and install a SmartApp to perform certain actions at certain times, or when things happen. After poking around for a bit I found out how to add and install one of these (Could do with some work here the interface is clever but not 100% intuitive) and managed to link the two devices together IFTTT (If This Then That) type protocol.
Very neat but does need more to connect to make it more fun 🙂