Like all modern DIY home security stories, this one begins with a KickStarter campaign. SmartThings began as a Kickstarter and had a successful campaign before being acquired by Samsung. They do however continue to operate as an independent brand, while remaining under Samsung, and working out of their Open Innovation Center.
SmartThings is a DIY Samsung home security system that offers various sensors and a smart hub that works as an aggregate for third party home automation products and security devices. They’ve moved on to a second generation product and with the Samsung stamp, SmartThings is one of the leaders in home automation hubs. But are they a worthy of being your home security setup?
The SmartThings hub is reasonably priced at $99 for the main hub. Since the appeal of SmartThings is it’s ability to connect various home security products, it is Zigbee, Z-Wave, and IFTTT compatible. It integrates with Belken WeMo, Amazon Echo, and a plethora of other third party products.
The hub has USB ports, a built-in Bluetooth radio, and connects via a Wi-Fi router. The additional Samsung products that can be added include a multipurpose sensor, arrival sensor, water leak sensors, motion sensor — so basically a whole bunch of sensors. But your additional equipment can include anything from cameras, light bulbs, door locks, to automated kitchen equipment. You can turn the home into an all-inclusive smart house. SmartThings does come equipped with a battery backup in case of a power outage or any sort of system failure.
One of the coolest features of SmartThings, and unique to the home security world — the product has a developer community that allows tech savvy people to integrate third party devices to SmartThings that haven’t been added yet. These developers network and work together online to try and further the device.
Not a Perfect Approach
As you can imagine, with a product that combines so many units, SmartThings has had its fair share of problems for users. Some customers have reported that the app is very laggy, difficult to use, and rather confusing for users to navigate since there’s a whole lot of things happening at once.
Other users have claimed that the system is unreliable, settings don’t work consistently or they’ll change at random, and the tech support team can be difficult to reach when help is needed.
The main problem with Smart Things is that it over complicates home security and forces users to purchase, use, and operate many different products. This means individually dealing with companies if one product stops working, and having to put forth the energy to understand, connect, and troubleshoot a whole lot of devices.
This is not a streamlined approach to home security at all and could add unneeded stress to a product that is meant to provide peace of mind. The families who need a central and all-inclusive home security system should look elsewhere for a product that comes as one package, that way they can eliminate the extra stress and points of contact that come from products like SmartThings or similar home automated hubs.