SmartThings seems a perfect inaugural project for the Architechnologist — it is a platform designed to connect the things in your physical world to the Internet, allowing user monitoring, control and automation from anywhere. Combining specialized hardware units with “SmartApps” that personalize the experience, SmartThings endeavors to unify the automation of our world. By creating a single “language”, SmartThings will allow our many highly intelligent devices speak to with previously mute and dumb devices and then work together.
Ed. Note / Full Disclosure: I have backed the KickStarter campaign for Smarthings, an investment of $149 at the “Early Bird” level.
The hardware portion of the platform will utilize a SmartThings hub, SmartThings kits and many devices that use existing standards for automation (such as door locks, thermostats, moisture sensors, smoke alarms, etc). At launch (estimated to be December 2012) SmartThings promises for the following core devices will be available:
- Open/Shut Sensor – know if doors, windows or cabinets are open or closed.
- Motion Sensor – detect movement within a room.
- Presence Sensor – know when people and pets come and go.
Making connected devices work harmoniously rather than creating a cacophony of different applications and dongles are “SmartApps”. The smartphone-based applications will allow devices to not only notify the user when they are triggered, but perform complex multi-unit tasks with input from connected things as well as online and other services. For example, the “Smart Doors” SmartApp will utilize an open/shut sensor on a door and sense when you’re coming and going, secure your home automatically when you leave and open it back up with a special welcome when you return.
A solution like the SmartThings platform was more than needed, it was inevitable.