Sure you've heard of iPhone apps that can automate and control certain things, like turning the lights on and off or changing your home's temperature by remotely increasing or decreasing the air conditioning. Those apps and devices are pretty cool, but they have historically been expensive and limited.
At launch, the SmartThings device will consist of a main hub (capable of controlling up to 100 Things) that is connected to your router via an ethernet connection and the following core devices that will be available to be placed and controlled throughout your home:
- Power Outlet - anything that can be plugged in, can be turned on and off
- 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
If a developer thinks of a way they would want to make their home just a little bit smarter, they can develop it around the app's framework (The hub is compatible with existing home protocols like Zigbee and Z-Wave). It's a completely open platform and the app developers will provide you with Cloud Platform API and SDK to develop your individual apps including enabling existing Open Hardware projects to be connected to their system via a "ThingShield" and Sketch for Arduino.