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  • Wednesday, February 20, 2013


    SmartThings Aims to Deliver the Internet-Connected Home

    Brad Stone, February 14, 2013 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

    “…[SmartThings is] selling [home automation] kits with moisture sensors, power outlets, and motion detectors that turn previously dumb appliances such as fans and garage door openers into Internet-connected devices that can be controlled using the company’s smartphone apps…SmartThings is also trying to create the dominant platform for such devices, providing free open-source software tools to thousands of developers and hackers, in the hope they’ll find additional uses that will appeal to consumers. The goal is to connect appliances to each other, to the Web, and to their owners…

    “…[H]ome-automation companies’ various visions over the years, devices…were complicated and required either advanced coding skills or third-party installers to set them up…SmartThings raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site, last summer…In December the 30-employee company announced it had raised $3 million in seed funding from venture capital firm First Round Capital and prominent angel investors includingFacebook (FB)-backer Yuri Milner and actor Ashton Kutcher...”

    “…To seed the market, the company recently started [$299] shipping kits to its Kickstarter contributors…[allowing them to] connect their house lights to their home network so they can control them with their phone. It also comes with a motion detector that doubles as a burglar alarm and a moisture sensor that can alert an owner when the basement floods. All the equipment is controllable with SmartThings mobile apps…

    “…The high price for consumers is one reason some analysts question the viability of home-automation systems…SmartThings is also entering a market in which…[t]he stylish Nest Learning Thermostat, which adapts to its owners’ daily routines, is one of the best-selling accessories in Apple stores despite its $250 price tag. SmartThings’ approach—bringing Internet smarts into any device in the home—contrasts sharply with Nest’s strategy of targeting a single product…”


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