Meet a SmartThings Developer: Juan Pablo Risso

We’re proud to support a growing community of developers who collaborate with each other and invent new ways to use SmartThings. This community is propelling the open platform for the Programmable World forward, and creating limitless possibilities for all SmartThings customers.

In the third installment of a new series shining the spotlight on developers in the SmartThings community, we’re going to get to know Juan Pablo Risso, who, when not traveling to Vegas or Germany to showcase his SmartThings integrations, is at home dreaming up new ways to make his home and life smarter with technology.

ST: Juan! We’ve known each other for awhile, but why don’t you introduce yourself to everyone.

JPR: Hi! My name is Juan Pablo Risso, I’m from Argentina, and I’ve lived in Washington, DC since 2009. You can follow me on Twitter at @juano2310, and check out what I’ve been building on my blog.

ST: Do you primarily write software (hacker) on the SmartThings platform or create new devices (maker)?

JPR: Both :) I started with software but I also created some devices like a RFID reader, LED Drivers and RF bridges.

On the software side I did some integrations of well-known products and some custom SmartApps to customize SmartThings for my home’s specific needs.

ST: How did you first hear about SmartThings and what attracted you to it?

JPR: Kickstarter was the first time I heard about SmartThings. What I love about it is that the open platform model allows me to use software to control any device, and by aggregating data, I can make smarter and more informed decisions before triggering an action.

rsz_img_1797ST: How do you use SmartThings in your day-to-day life?

JPR: I use it at home to control almost everything and to manage custom devices that I build on demand. I create solutions that give me security, and the ability to control lighting and get custom alerts, like–for example–when my 1-year-old gets out of bed at night. I simply placed a SmartSense Motion sensor under his bed and told SmartThings to notify me when he swings his legs down in the morning (or the middle of the night).

ST: What are some fun and cool things you’ve built with SmartThings?

photoJPR: Here are some of the things I have been playing with: One that readers of the blog may recognize is the Bartendro integration that I showed off at the #HelloSmartHome mansion during CES. I’ve also done a Nest integration, a Spark Core integration, and an RFID reader. In addition, I just wrapped up a Jawbone integration that I hope will soon be available in SmartThings Labs.

ST: That’s awesome! I just saw that new Jawbone integration yesterday. Tell me a little about it.

JPR: Jawbone is a great device, and so I allowed myself to think outside of the box and come up with a couple of use cases not related at all with the purpose of the fitness tracker.

myoThe first idea was to use it as a sort of “Panic Button” for elder care. For example, if the person falls in the shower, he/she can push the button and that will trigger a help message to up to three different mobile numbers.

Then, I was thinking of different situations for an effective panic button and I thought… awkward date! That moment when you want to run away but you are still polite enough to suffer through the whole torture. To me, that is the perfect definition of “Panic Button,” and by pressing it, you can get a custom message with the perfect excuse to leave the scene immediately.

ST: What tools do you use most often when developing for SmartThings?

JPR: The SmartThings IDE is a great tool to write and test SmartApps and Device Types. On the hardware side, Arduino and Raspberry Pi are my favorite development boards.

ST: What are some of your favorite things that you’ve seen other developers in the SmartThings community create?

JPR: Sonos, no doubt :) I didn’t have any Sonos speakers at my home and I decided to give it a try after I saw this awesome integration while I was at #HelloSmartHome house in Vegas during CES. Now I have three speakers and might get some more.

ST: Have there been any fun perks that have come from being a developer in the SmartThings community?

JPR: Definitely! Aside from getting to go to Vegas and stay in the #HelloSmartHome house, I got to go to Germany for work that was directly related to SmartThings.

20140330_071702_753I met the guys from Aurora at the SmartThings stand at CES. A couple of months later, they contacted me to ask if they could fly me out to Germany to help them integrate their lighting products with SmartThings. 

I created some custom LED drivers, RF bridge, IR Bridge, and iBeacon integration to demonstrate the potential of a connected home and the future of innovation in Frankfurt, Germany during the Light + Building exhibition.

ST: Wow!

JPR: :)

ST: What one thing would you like to see added to, removed, or changed about SmartThings?

JPR: I would like to see more developers or designers creating interfaces that can be easily connected to the API. This might enable more people to think of alternatives for the interface and control of devices.

I think that in my ideal world, I would love to have a Hub that talks to the devices and phones over LAN–if possible–and have apps that you can install on it. This can reduce the interaction with the cloud, reduce processing time, and prevent problems with Internet outages–since the cloud service becomes a companion, not a requirement.

I would like to see the SmartThings Core API enabled again.

ST: Thanks Juan. As you know, in addition to the SmartApp Web Services that anybody can use today, we’ll also allow developers to obtain a key that allows Core API interactions for their own accounts.

ST: What excites you most about the future of SmartThings and the open platform?

JPR: The ability to integrate anything. I can literally integrate any device or service that might make my house/life smarter.

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  • Ron Anthony Quinn

    Just an FYI that the link to his blog goes nowhere.

    • alttext

      Fixed. Thanks!

  • Ron Anthony Quinn

    JPR… What are some of the things you’re doing with Sonos? I’d love to hear some different uses. :-)

    • juano2310

      Hi Ron,
      First I love Sonos because I listen much more music than before.
      I start my day by pressing the button on my Jawbone and that triggers a playlist and turns on the lights on my bedroom.
      Then, when I walk into the kitchen, a motion detector triggers the forecast.
      During the day, Sonos, announces when me or my wife are getting home and finally I hacked a Easy Button from Staples and when pressed it triggers a custom massages to all the Sonos in my house saying that the dinner is ready. I also added some magnets to hang it from the fridge.
      I’m constantly thinking of new integrations but that’s all I have going on at home right now :)
      How about you?

      • Ron Anthony Quinn

        That’s pretty cool. I love the “Dinner’s Ready”! Are you using the Jawbone Up and is there an app for us non-dev people to use for the Up?
        Currently I’m using it for music, and when my wife gets up and changes the mode to ‘Audra Good Morning’, it plays the weather for her and the kids for the day.
        I’d love to have it play a playlist or channel after the weather, but I haven’t figured that out yet.
        I also wanted it to play a Custom Welcome Home message for my girls when they come home from school using a Multi on a door. I quickly found out that the message plays anytime the door is open and I couldn’t find a way to isolate the message or give it a time window to play when the contact was opened or closed. For now, I’ve tabled that until I can find a better way of doing it.
        I continue to play with the possibilities!

        • juano2310

          You have a very nice setup too!

          I wrote the Jawbone integration an it will be in Labs soon.

          To play a playlist after the weather you can adjust the settings of the forecast app where it says “more options” right under where you select the Sonos Device :)

          For the Girls, maybe you can use this on their backpacks

          Hope you like the blog, I try to post ideas and share some code with the community.

          • Ron Anthony Quinn

            I do have Presence Sensors in their backpacks. But often I get notified that they have arrived before they get in the house. I found if I set the geofence to close to the house, I get lots of false readings. So the Hub detects they are home when they are in the front yard before they open the door and enter. The message would play while they are outside. :-)
            I’ll check out the “More Options” settings. Thanks!

          • alttext

            The geofence only affects presence detection with phones – not the SmartSense Presence sensors – you probably know that. Those will pick up when they are in range of the hub. For me that is sometimes a couple hundred feet even through multiple brick walls.

            I don’t have a timeframe on the Jawbone Up24 integration but haven’t been following that super close.

          • Ron Anthony Quinn

            Thanks. You guys keep showing off the UP24 in videos and blog posts, but it’s not available for us yet. Stop teasing and release it already. :-)

            And get Foscam going too! :-)

            Thanks guys.

          • Ron Anthony Quinn

            I’d like to get an UP as well. Is that the only band that will work and when will the app be available?

          • juano2310

            So far it’s the only band that has been fully integrated with SmartThings. Make sure you get the UP 24 (bluetooth version).
            Maybe @alttext:disqus will have a better sense of a time frame for the Jawbone release.

      • Ron Anthony Quinn

        Now that the link to your blog is functional, I’ll do some reading today.

  • Jakedipo

    Hey JPR, I love that you are working on integrating the up24 with smartthings! It is an awesome idea. I am not sure if this is the right place, but I wanted to share some issues with up24 and the android app: I figured you are the guy to notify, and you may already be aware but I wanted to let you know just in case. Please keep up the good work! – Jake

    • juano2310

      Hi Jake! It seams that there is a problem with the Android app that SmartThings is aware of and they might need to fix it.

      • Jakedipo

        Thanks again juano2310!