SmartThings, the “Internet of Things” Company That Connects the Gadgets in Your Home, Launches Its Own Store
SmartThings, the connected-home platform that lets you control your lights, your coffee maker and even your door lock from a mobile app, doesn’t just want to control them — it wants to sell them, too.
The Washington, D.C.-based startup is launching its own online store of home-automation devices, called the SmartThings Shop. SmartThing’s own devices, along with compatible third-party products, will be marketed in the store.
The company had previously said that an e-commerce platform was in the works, so this isn’t a total surprise, but the move underscores the company’s efforts to be a one-stop shop for home-automation gadgets, an area of tech that has been largely fragmented to date.
As mentioned here, SmartThings is an open platform that works with a bunch of different wireless standards, like Bluetooth, ZigBee and Z-Wave, thus allowing it to work with various protocols and third-party devices. The company was recently profiled in Wired, and gave a full onstage demo at the D11 conference this spring.
That said, it’s obviously not without competition: Home-automation solutions abound and big-box retailers like Lowe’s have their own viable systems for automating the home.
SmartThings first came into existence as a Kickstarter project in 2012. It began shipping in April, and quickly sold out of available kits. The company says that about 10,000 kits have sold to date — about 50,000 devices in total — and another 20,000 kits have been reserved.
With the birth of the SmartThings Shop, the company is making new kits available, and is essentially selling three categories of products: SmartThings starter kits, individual devices, and solution sets, which are supposed to directly address some of the more frequently requested home automations.
A starter kit will run from $199 to $299, and will offer a variety of sensors and “things,” along with a SmartThings hub. Individual devices include SmartThings sensors and GE light and appliance outlets, Jasco in-wall lighting dimmer switches, Kwikset lever door locks and Schlage deadbolts, to name a few of about a dozen products.
The solution sets range from $59 to nearly $300 and have themes or titles that identify their function. For example, there’s the I Can: Automatically Turn On/Off Lights in Response to Motions kit, for $99; the I Can: Turn Off Appliances With My Phone kit, also for $99; and the I Can: Lock and Unlock My Doors, for $235.