New Hardware, Premium Services, and Integrations

To kick off this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show, SmartThings CEO, Alex Hawkinson, joined Samsung’s president and CEO, BK Yoon, on stage to deliver an opening keynote address focused on the future of the Internet of Things.Yoon began by reaffirming Samsung’s commitment to help SmartThings build a completely open smart home platform, stating, “Today, on behalf of Samsung, I’m making a promise: Our IoT components and devices will be open. We will ensure that others can easily connect to our devices. That’s why last August, when SmartThings became a member of the Samsung family, we promised to keep its platform open.”

Hawkinson then took the stage to unveil some exciting new announcements for SmartThings customers, developers, and anyone who’d like to easily turn their home into a smart home. Here are three things to expect:

New SmartThings Hub and Sensors

In Q2 of this year, we’ll begin selling the next generation of the SmartThings Hub and sensors.

unnamedThe new SmartThings Hub includes a more powerful processor, a local app engine, and built-in backup battery power. This will enable SmartThings to continue operating in the event of a power or Internet outage.

We’re also updating our family of sensors with modified versions of the SmartSense Presence, SmartSense Motion, and SmartSense Multi sensors. At roughly one-third the size of our first-generation devices, the new SmartSense Motion sensor and SmartSense Multi sensor pack all of the power of SmartThings’ current devices, while offering a more minimal presence in your smart home.  And the new SmartSense Presence sensor features a more durable and compact plastic enclosure.

New Optional Premium Service

rsz_android-smartthings-push

We’re also launching an optional premium service that will offer customers advanced incident management control, and improved home monitoring through DVR video streaming.

This new service enables SmartThings customers to automatically send a text to or call friends, neighbors, or loved ones they pre-select whenever a problem is detected that needs immediate attention–such as a flood or fire. Customers will be able to grant trusted contacts access to their smart devices so that these friends or neighbors will be automatically notified of a problem requiring attention at the customer’s home, and also able to easily resolve it.

The premium service will also allow customers the option to see what’s happening inside their home 24/7 by offering live DVR video captured by SmartThings-compatible cameras. Customers can keep track of activity happening in certain areas of their home, or opt to receive video clips whenever certain events take place in or around their home.

New Integrations on the Open Platform

A plethora of new devices will soon join the many connected products that already work on SmartThings’ open platform. These include:

• Netgear and D-Link cameras

• Somfy window shades

IMG_3020• Racchio water irrigation system

• Chamberlain garage door openers

• August locks

• Weatherbug climate data

• Samsung smart appliances

In the next few days, we’re also set to release a new app that enables customers to control their homes directly from a Gear S watch. The app allows users to trigger Hello, Home actions through a simple tap of the screen, or by speaking a phrase–such as “I’m home!” or “Goodbye!”–into the watch.

With a more powerful Hub that can stay connected during power or Internet outages, smaller sensors, an optional premium service that gives customers greater home monitoring access, and the addition of a roster of popular devices to our ecosystem, we remain committed to building an open smart home platform that puts consumers and developers first.

Be sure to check the blog regularly this week for more announcements and coverage from CES.

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  • Rick L.

    I hope the new hub allows for an easy upgrade path without having to unlink everything from the current hub and start from scratch!!

  • Benjamin Ferguson

    I hope this premium subscription service does not strip away services we are already used to using for free.

    • eliot_smartthings

      Hey, @benjamin_ferguson:disqus
      It won’t. No one will be required to pay a subscription or have services you’re already using stripped away. These are brand-new features that we’re introducing and offering as an option for people to choose.

  • Jeremy Kapla

    Maybe it’ll finally work with Nest.

    • Jim Midd

      It already does. You just have to configure manually. Contact SmartThings support. They will send you directions. My Nest is linked up to SmartThings app

  • Jason Gray Buchanan

    What about an upgrade path for those of us that helped Smartthings get off the ground?

    • Travis Roy

      You could buy a new hub.

      what other device gives you an upgrade path other than that?

      • Jason Gray Buchanan

        Slingbox…for example, offers a discount to those who already own their hardware. It’s called incentive, and loyalty. 2 currently used business methods deployed to retain customer base…You want some more examples, or are we good here.

  • spike mike

    #androidwear would have been a better choice.

  • Stephan T

    No news on the international or european launch?

    • Just buy one trough Amazon and get a local usb power adapter. Easy.

      • Stephan T

        But will it work with the european frequencies for Z-Wave etc? I think they are different right?

        • Alexis_Zenios

          I still dont see any word of a european Z Wave device.

        • z-wave is z-wave no? As long as your products are compatible with smart things they will work. I use mine in Australia and all works fine. I just can’t buy power plugs from smart things.

          • Viks07

            Z-wave isn’t just z-wave. There are multiple frequencies in use for Z-wave, one for America, another for Europe and other countries have different ones too. (quick Wikipedia search will tell you the details).

            So no European or international coverage is a big hole, esp as they have shipped to other countries through the original kickstarter campaign. And then Alex has present at International Consumer Electronics Show?!?!?! isn’t this a contradiction!

          • Well what are you planning to connect that you think won’t be compatible? I have the US Smart Things hub + sensors + locks + lights all working fine here in Aus. I’m sure it’s the same for Au and EU

          • Josh

            The issue is that z-wave operates in a licensed band. Technically the US smart hub requires a ham radio licence because it operates on a different frequency too what z-wave is allowed in Aus.
            Your are right that as long as you buy only only US z-wave products you are fine, but you can’t use any Aus/NZ z-wave products

  • AndyAkins

    I just bought my first SmartThings hub yesterday :-P hopefully the upgrade path will be easy…

    • Byzantine_Catholic

      yes as EZ as buying a new one and ebaying the old one :-)

  • Dr_Mom

    A battery backup is nice, I guess, but if the power is out over 95% of the things I use Smartthings with, like lights, thermostats, dropcams, won’t function anyway so it’s a rather useless functionality. About all it would be good for is to let you know the power is out and, maybe (assuming that you don’t rely on wall powered things like motion detectors or plugs to extend your range) lock you doors.

    • I agree on this. The few places where it might be useful are battery powered moisture and motion/multisensors. If rain knocks out your power/internet, you might be seeing some flooding too. That’s nice to know. Also, if your power goes out and your heat goes off, you could see pipes freeze up. Also good to know.
      You won’t be able to control much, but at least you’ll know some of what is happening if you’re not there.

    • rdlee

      I think this battery backup and cellular connection is likely with an eye towards a home security system. Most of the motion and multi sensors are already battery operated, so even if someone were to cut the power to your building, the smartthing devices could still act as a silent burglar alarm.

      • James Dixon

        Exactly. Home security is one of the primary reasons I want a SmartThings hub, but am waiting for battery backup and cellular support because of what you mentioned above.

    • Michael Barnathan

      More critical than the battery backup (which you can already work around by placing your router and SmartThings hub on a UPS) is the ability to work offline (not just with a cellular connection). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve switched a master switch off and waited 5+ minutes for SmartThings to run “the big switch” because of some latency on their servers.

    • I disagree. 100%. I have a lot of solar and battery operated “things” so this battery backup is essential. Plus what if its just a breaker tripped? The OFFLINE functionality is really key here, since it will save me from having to run around manually shutting off a lot of automated “things” so – to each there own. The more backups the better. Plus it will also continue tracking security offline, which frankly has to have a back up or two of its own, but it’s a step forward.

  • Simon Edwards

    Interesting to see that they’ve apparently abandoned HomeKit integration, which is a big shame.

    • Randy Warner

      HomeKit = Apple. SmartThings is owned by Samsung.

      • So? Lots of other companies are integrating Apple’s HomeKit. I’m sure Simon was aware who makes HomeKIt and that they are a key competitor of Samsung. The more integration the company has, the more competitive, frankly there is no reason to give people a reason to have to buy a second hub or leave for something that integrates everything.

  • Danny Hanes

    I really do love my SmartThings home and I look forward to all the new things in the coming year. I hope that SmartThings remains open and allows me to connect with all devices (not just Samsung). So far it looks promising though it is evident that Samsung is getting priority treatment (Gear S vs Android Wear). Please continue the hard work on improving the system, applications and device support.

    • ed liu

      Yes not that surprising that samsung gets favoritism. But I can live with that as long as they keep things open and work with the most popular/useful devices. Certainly having a major supporter like samsung would be necessary to keep smartthings growing and able to compete with the nests supported by google and other industry giants.

  • Brad

    I wish SmartThings had a device similar to the Wink Relay. Having a dedicated control panel would be a real bonus, as would “official” support for Lutron Caseta.

    • MEEE TOOO! I’m going to hack one together soon out of an old Android tablet, but not as pretty as the real deal.
      BTW – they have them in stock at Home Depot now.

    • 73roderick

      I completely agree about the Lutron Caseta, but the wink relay is just an overpriced android phone stuck in a wall box, you can build one yourself pretty easily with an old android phone or tablet and the ActION web dashboard app. I do wish smartthings itself had a “control panel mode” natively that made it easier to use on a wall-mounted tablet.

    • Michael Barnathan

      Yes, Clear Connect support is badly needed. Wink and Staples Connect have it, but they’re not as extensible as SmartThings (though Staples Connect has better reliability).

      Help me out here, I’d love to be on one home automation network instead of two :)

    • You could just integrate the Wink Relay into your own system.

  • Cesar Galván

    Will you honor the no monthly subscription fees promise for the premium service, for the kickstarter early bakers?

  • I’m really excited for the Bluetooth connectivity. Maybe that will help integrate with my Amazon Echo.

  • What about Apple HomeKit integration?! They may remain open source, but it’s clear Samsung is not going to cater to Apple users. :(

    • Eric

      “cater to Apple users”

      Homekit doesn’t cater to the open API philosophy.

  • Sush A

    I just bought the smart things hub and a whole bunch of switches and dimmers etc. I really hope they offer a discount to existing customers!!

    • Greg Powers

      Same here, spent over $1,000 on Smartthing products…now there is a new better hub and smaller device. Guess I jumped on the bandwagon a few month too early.

      • kinkinhood

        I just plunked down a bit on products as well, but most of it was light switches(30 in all) and those are things I don’t necessarily expect to get smaller anytime soon. Kinda grah though to hear that there is a new hub coming out.

  • Will the new system support Europeean frequencys? I really want Smartthings but the US z wave frequencys are ruining this wish :(

  • bobcats9498

    Looks like no Insteon support in the next hub version. That’s a shame and leaves us Revolv converts with a lot of Insteon devices that are paperweights.

    • alttext

      I am hoping that someone makes use of one of the available USB expansion slots to add an Insteon dongle. #OpenPlatform

      • bobcats9498

        That would be wonderful! Fingers crossed.

      • Mark S Groves

        Patrick to the rescue again…

    • parithon

      Although it won’t work directly with Insteon devices, you could try something like: https://nebrios.com/blog/smartthings-hacks-hub-into-gateway to integrate with the Insteon hub.

  • When will the new hub be available for purchase?

    • alttext

      April.

  • jgreene23

    “…control their homes directly from a Gear S watch.” This is what I was afraid of. Samsung says it will be open, yet I need this SPECIFIC watch to control my system. Hopefully this is not the trend.

  • Greg Powers

    I was hoping SmartThings would announce an Amazon Echo type device!

    • there is one. It’s called Ubi and does a lot more than the echo….

      • I’ve had Ubi for over a year – great concept but it doesn’t work well. Reminds me of the old voice recognition on flip phones, when you would have to slowly yell what you want in order for it to understand you. Ha ha.

  • rdlee

    So, I was a smartthings user early last year, but was hugely dissatisfied with the ‘cloud first’ approach of running all the apps and interactions through a remote server. The latency for things like motion sensors turning on lights was ridiculous. It sounds as though some (most? all?) of the apps will be able to run locally on the new hub. That might be exactly the thing to bring me back to this platform.

    Any more details on this ‘local app engine’?

  • Kevin Gleason

    when is the new hub being released?

    • alttext

      We don’t have dates but expect it in Q2.

  • Asim Rashid

    what’s the lunch date for new hardware ?

  • Any update on release dates ? I really want a hub and would rather buy the new one.

  • Thomas Lonni

    Is the new hardware still on schedule for launch in Q2?

  • Paul Horne

    That sure wasn’t worth the wait. Still no built in Honeywell support? New monthly fees? Won’t work with HomeKit? After Revolv folded I tried Smartthings but found the interface so confusing, and was hoping for a major reboot. Unfortunately now that Samsung’s involved, they’re going to focus on promoting their own products rather than serving the customer. In the meantime I switched to Wink and it was half the price, worked with everything I have (Hue, Nest, Dropcam, Schlage, GE Link, Amazon Echo), and offers fast in-app tech support with no fees attached. Sorry SmartThings – too little, too late.

    • alttext

      Please keep in mind that this is a post from January.

      • Paul Horne

        Thanks — I’ll delete — thought it was today’s announcement.

        • alttext

          Well, there still won’t be Homekit support for a lot of reasons. But I thinks some of your concerns will be assuaged in the coming weeks.

  • Gerard Schlundt

    How about better hue integration? I’d love reliable bidirectional control, as well as better color and brightness….

  • Martin Dix

    Say I buy the new hub. Will I be able to use the old hub to extend my wifi coverage or does the old hub become useless?

  • Jason Sievert

    10 months later, is “Chamberlain garage door openers” ever going to happen?

  • Southern Bar

    12 months later…Where is chamberlain garage integration(not using some random persons code)?

  • I wish there where more solar, wired devices options, offline options, and outdoor options.

  • Vijay

    Great to hear lot of devices integration to smart things hub.
    Its not clear though, how the new hub will work in case of power/ internet outage. I understand hub operates on batteries while power is out but does it also has integrated cellular connection to operate while internet is down?
    Does USB sticks with data connection works on these hubs?

    When in Q2 are these devices targeted to release?