How to Get Started with Samsung SmartThings Home Controller

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-12-01
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    How to Get Started with Samsung SmartThings Home Controller
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    How to Get Started with Samsung SmartThings Home Controller

    Samsung's SmartThings hub is gaining in popularity partly because it allows people to use third party products as well as Samsung's own equipment to set up a smart home system.
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    Think About What You Want to Do with SmartThings
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    Think About What You Want to Do with SmartThings

    To fully get into the SmartThings ecosystem, users are encouraged to first consider what they’d like to do. SmartThings works with a wide range of devices and applications products that let users control lighting, change their household temperature and maintain security, for example. Some folks, however, want to utilize only some features.
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    Hub Acts as the Brains of the Operation
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    Hub Acts as the Brains of the Operation

    The SmartThings Hub is the central component in the SmartThings experience. The small white box ensures the connection between hundreds of products, the user’s WiFi network and the controller applications.
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    SmartThings Kit Provides the Essential Components
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    SmartThings Kit Provides the Essential Components

    The SmartThings Kit might be the best solution for the greatest number of users. For $249, users can get everything they need to start creating a smart home. The kit comes with a Hub, a wall outlet to control lighting and sensors that can work throughout the house. Users then can add on to the kit any components they’d like to extend SmartThings’ usability.
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    The Mobile App Is Required
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    The Mobile App Is Required

    The SmartThings app is a critical component in controlling the smart home. The app, which runs on Android, Windows and iOS, gives users full access to all of the devices plugged into the system. The app is also where SmartThings will send notifications about what’s happening within the system. And of course, the app will let users fully control all of their components.
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    SmartThings Hub Works with a Wide Range of Sensors
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    SmartThings Hub Works with a Wide Range of Sensors

    Samsung sells several sensors that go along with its SmartThings ecosystem to give users a bit more information about what’s happening in the home. Users can get a SmartThings Motion Sensor or a multipurpose sensor that can alert them to a window or door opening. SmartThings also works with a water leak sensor and can tell users when a person has arrived at a location. Sensors make up an important part of the SmartThings experience.
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    The Secret Is the SmartThings Outlets
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    The Secret Is the SmartThings Outlets

    Since not all home products are smart, Samsung sells SmartThings outlets for the home. Any product that’s connected to the outlet can be remotely turned on and off through the SmartThings app. Users also can set schedules so lights or light appliances turn on at certain times.
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    Security Products Are Available
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    Security Products Are Available

    Samsung sells a wide range of security products that work with SmartThings. For instance, users will find security cameras that can be viewed over the web through mobile apps. SmartThings also can be integrated with security systems and baby monitors. The selection of products is broad and can fit any budget.
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    Many Supported Third-Party Devices
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    Many Supported Third-Party Devices

    While SmartThings works well with Samsung devices, it’s also compatible with products from “dozens of other brands,” according to the company. SmartThings and the hub can communicate with Nest thermostats, Philips Hue lights, Yale locks and other accessories. Best of all, they’re all capable of being controlled from the Samsung SmartThings app.
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    Samsung Won't Lock Out Third-Party Products
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    Samsung Won't Lock Out Third-Party Products

    Samsung is quick to point out that it has no plans to lock down the service to its own products or to standardize on particular third-party devices in the future. SmartThings has been, is and will continue to be an open platform that any third party can jump on. Therefore, expect many more devices to join the service as time goes on.
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    So, How Much Will All This Cost?
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    So, How Much Will All This Cost?

    Once a person is ready to go with SmartThings and knows which services he or she wants, it’s time to set a budget. And unfortunately, getting into the smart home market can be expensive. A SmartThings Hub, for instance, will cost $100, and getting a kit will set customers back $249. Each Samsung component can cost up to $60. Add that to other smart home products, such as the Nest thermostat or a Philips Hue lighting starter kit that cost hundreds of dollars, and it won’t take long to reach $1,000 just to get a basic SmartThings setup.
 

Smart home investments are increasing as more products reach the market and the devices become more capable of handling diverse user needs, according to several industry organizations, including Coldwell Banker. One of those platforms is Samsung’s SmartThings, a smart home hub featuring integrated applications connected to the cloud. Samsung has owned SmartThings, founded in 2012, since it bought the startup company for $200 million in 2014. At the center of the SmartThings technology is a networked-connected hub to control hardware. Users also can buy a wide range of Samsung accessories to work with SmartThings, such as smart outlets and environmental sensors, as well as compatible products from third-party providers, including Google’s Nest. SmartThings is becoming one of the more popular ways for people to get into smart home technology as they look for ways to take control of their home security, utilities and environmental systems. This slide show will cover SmartThings' features and what it takes to get it up and running in any smart home.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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