The Next Generation Of Samsung SmartThings 2016
There is no denying that the latest and arguably one the better additions to the fast-paced generation of modern technology and the IoT has been SmartThings.
For those who may not have heard of it or used it before, SmartThings is basically a microcosm of efficient home automation while using your phone as the primary hub. That’s right, thanks to this innovative piece of technology, it’s now very possible to run your entire home using your phone.
In short, this innovation aims at transforming your conventional home to a smart home where almost everything can be turned off/on by the touch of the button. Sounds too good to be true? If that’s the case, it’s only because SmartThings delivers on the very core of what the future holds for us.
Additional Reading: Nest Automation: Google’s Plan for Your Smart Home
SmartThings price when reviewed: $74.99
The SmartThings Combo
In a nutshell, SmartThings is a combination of an array of three different elements that culminate to a self-sufficient and self-run automation system.
1. The SmartThings App
For starters, there is the SmartThings app that forms the software backbone of the entire system. The app, which is free, is compatible with both Android and iOS devices and can be downloaded directly from the App Stores. You can install this app on your smartphone or tablet from where you can then control the various externally connected devices or accessories.
As of this writing SmartThings supports Android, iOs and Windows Phone operating systems.
2. SmartThings Hub
Next up is the ‘SmartThings hub’ that acts as the central nervous system of the entire system. As you may already know, for the app on your smartphone or tablet to communicate with the actuators or controlled devices, there is a need for a reliable communication link between these two parties.
Therefore, the SmartThings Hub easily fits this bill acting like an internet router or a telephone exchange switch between the app on your smartphone and the automated devices.
3. All the Smart Things and Appliances
And speaking of automated devices, the system can control various everyday elements such as doors, lights, computerised security systems, ventilation and air conditioning, etc. (all compatible devices). All of this from the comfort of your phone or tablet.
But that’s not all, thanks to the internet router that acts as the SmartThings hub, you can now control almost all of your automated devices remotely, even when miles away from home. You can be at the office, for instance, and still be in a position to disable or enable your home’s security system at the touch of a button.
The same applies to real monitoring for mishaps such as accidental fires or gas leaks than can be linked to the SmartThings systems and still be controlled remotely.
The All-in-One Flexibility
Well, we can’t deny that there are other hundreds if not thousands of smart home systems on the market today. But what makes SmartThings stand out from its peers is the streamlined performance and convenience that it can accord to any domestic settings.
First of all, the developers of this system were apt enough to include an easy-to-use app that can run in almost all Android generations and also has a user-friendly interface.
Secondly, it is only with SmartThings where you can schedule your day into distinct modes that best reflects your daily routine. Moreover, this modes can be scheduled to activate automatically thus saving you the trouble of having to do that yourself. For example, you can configure a given routine/mode to switch off the lights at exactly 10 pm each night before you go to bed or turn off the home security system at 5 pm as you drive in from the office or school.
Thirdly, the app is designed in such a way that it is possible to receive constant real-time notifications regarding the status of various smart devices connected to the system. So, instead of checking your phone every half-an-hour or so, you can simply configure the app settings to update you periodically via text message or email.
Even better, you could also customise the app to suit your settings or tailor it to your daily routine and still update you every once in a while regarding these settings.
What’s new with the recent updates?
Like any other tech-oriented system, SmartThings developers have also dedicated a lot of resources and mileage in improving this system. The second generation of this system that was recently announced at the IFA 2015 in Berlin comes with a broad range of new, improved sensors, a reworked SmartThings hub and a better app/software experience.
Live Video, No 24/7 Internet connection
As far as the hardware goes, the new Hub supports live video streaming, unlike the previous iteration’s Hub, which could only record such files on an inbuilt memory system. It also has an intuitive battery backup tray from which the system can squeeze enough juice to keep it up-and-running for over 10 hours while disconnected from the mains.
But the most significant improvement over last year’s model is its ability to operate without an internet connection ( albeit to a limited capacity) for several hours. This has been made possible by the improved operating principle that aims to run most pertinent functions in the Hub locally thus eliminating the need for a 24/7 internet connection.
New Connectivity and Design
The new Hub is compatible with Z-wave, Zigbee and most other forms of local computer networks. And just like the previous model, it features 2 USB ports and a Bluetooth connectivity module for the sake of future improvements and expansion.
The latest collection of SmartThings Samsung Sensors is arguably better-looking, sleeker and even smaller/compact. And since they are connected wirelessly to the Hub and your phone’s app, there is no doubt that they will blend better with most homes’ interior décor.
Lastly, the software experience is better, more fluid, and feature-rich than ever before. Now, SmartThings users will be able to reorganise, re-invent and customise their setups according to the routines that suit them the most. Alerts are now very intuitive, and they now come with an accompanying short video description of the alarm in question – courtesy of the Smart Home Monitor software update.
SmartThings IoT – What to Expect in the Future
If the recent trends are anything to go by, then it is possible that in the next few years or decades, ingenious systems such as SmartThings will transform how we live, work and play.
With this kind of advancement, very soon new smart SmartThings sensors that can control robotic and manual operations such as opening and closing doors as you enter/leave a room will be on the market.
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