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Internet of Things and YOU: Part I

With the advent of the smart home concept there have been many interesting products that have come to market. In this series I will talk about some of my favorite products that I have used or installed and I find to be reliable.

This journey begins with a centralized hub for your devices.

There are several solutions on the market from small players to large companies. I prefer Samsung SmartThings as the central hub for automations. These units can create programmed sequences that can accommodate several different brands of smart home products. Now some may ask, what about Google Home or Amazon Alexa? Well, you can pair both of those to work with SmartThings integrations. As you go deeper into the rabbit hole of home automation you will find that there is a lot overlap with many of these products and devices.

Some things that set SmartThings apart from the rest are an integrated battery as well as a full product line of accessories like door sensors and water sensors. Another great optional feature is that it can turn into a light weight security system due to it’s integration with Scout alarm monitoring services. This feature is really meant for light use; however, and should not be a true replacement if you need real security.

One of the great features of the SmartThings hub is an easy app integration with your phone. Through this app you can program events and connect a large variety of 1st and 3rd party devices. To give an example of an integration, you could create an event that turns on your lights 10 minutes before sunset. Another example could be to have the lights turn off when all SmartThings connected phones are no longer present in the house.

SmartThings have a variety of simple but useful branded devices that you can purchase. The SmartThings outlet plugs into a regular 120V socket and puts a smart on/off switch on it as a pass-through. The Multipurpose sensor is a magnetic sensor that monitors open/close states of whatever it is connected to. Some other devices are a Motion sensor, Water leak sensor and an Arrival sensor.

Whatever you end up using to integrate your devices a hub creates a plethora of new possibilities.

In the next installment we will talk about some of the 3rd party devices you can connect to your hub!

by:  Spyros Vutetakis