Smart Things is a crowd-funded home security system for those of you interested in DIY systems that are smart phone integrated. It was funded in September of 2012 and has since been fairly successful since the pledges were shipped in December 2012. While it leans more in the direction of home automation, they boast home security as well. The Smart Things hub is not going to be enough to protect you as far as security goes. The range is limited, the application is redundant, and there seem to still be some bugs to fix within the platform itself.
How Smart is It?
All Smart Things connect to the central hub, which acts as the brain of your entire system. What sets SmartThings apart from other hub platforms like Scout or Viper is their open approach to technology. The Smart Things team is constantly adding compatible hardware to their list of Smart Things. They can connect with a number of other products on the market, giving each user the opportunity to customize their system to their own needs. The Smart Things team works with multiple home automation languages, which opens up your choices. SmartThings works with qualified Zigbee, Z-Wave, and IP-accessible devices. So really, you control the level of security you want to provide yourself with this self-monitored system. However there have been a number of reports saying that it is especially difficult for multiple devices to sync with the Smart Things hub. Remember this is still a very new device, that recently went through beta testing. As with most other crowd-sourced devices, we expect to see these bugs worked out in the future. This specific customer agrees:
The software is not ready for prime time. It is not intuitive. Website support is of little help. Chat/email support folks are nice and professional but also of little help. Be prepared to spend considerable time setting up software as it is essentially a trial and error process akin to going through a maze with a lot of dead ends.
Cost of Smart Things
There have been a few different versions of Smart Things in the past. Currently, the newest version goes for $299 on Amazon right now. The newest package include the following:
- One Smart Things central hub w/ power outlet
- 1 motion sensor
- 2 door/window sensors
- 1 presence sensor
Depending on the size of your dwelling, you’ll most certainly want to purchase additional sensors and motion detectors. Perhaps you might want an extra notion of security by adding a video camera. Then there is home automation. You can add all kinds of extra items, like thermostat controls and light timers. Additionally, there have been some complaints about the Smart Things hub’s service reach. You may have to purchase a range extender or possibly another Smart Things hub to really connect your entire house to the device. However, the motion detector acts as a range extender. The point is, each additional device outside of the $300 package is going to cost you more and more money out-of-pocket.
Monitored Security is Safer
Remember the Smart Things device is a self-monitored system, meaning you are on your own as far as responding to an intrusion. Your smart phone will most likely let you know if one of your sensors has been tripped and your security system has detected unusual activity inside your home. Hopefully you aren’t busy. Depending on when you see the notification on your phone, it may be too late to do anything and you may come home to find out you have been burgled. Professionally monitored home security systems can save you precious moments in the event of a burglary. They can be affordable too! For $19.99 a month, you get free equipment, a lifetime warranty, and the peace of mind you deserve. The price of 3 years professionally monitored security is comparable to what you might spend on Smart Things and the array of devices it connects. With Smart Things, you might drop $500 on the whole thing, but what if it stops working after a year? You’re out of luck because they only provide a 12-month limited warranty. Protect America provides a lifetime warranty. Consider Protect America today!