Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

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.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik