This Smart Home Kit Relies on Sensors Rather Than Cameras
There are a slew of smart home products that will keep an eye on your house when you’re not home. However, almost all of them rely primarily on cameras. Rather than grounding a system in video monitoring, Samsung has designed a connected collection of simple, video-less sensors that monitor everyday home occurrences such as open doors and windows, or someone (or something’s) location.
The SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit ($250) includes a system hub, a motion sensor, a smart power outlet, and two multipurpose sensors that can tell if a door or window is ajar. There are other sensors that aren’t included in the kit, which you can add to your setup for a bit extra. There’s a water leak sensor you can install next to your water heater, and an arrival sensor, a little keychain fob, can learn when people (or pets) are in a certain area. There’s even a camera, if you want to add one.
The hub connects directly to your home network, and the sensors connect to the hub over a ZigBee network. From there, you run and monitor the whole shebang from the SmartThings mobile app, even if you’re not at home.
And it’s a good thing, too. Because now you can tell if someone is milling about your house—possibly due to that suspiciously open window—and for some reason splashing water dangerously close to your water leak sensor while your dog—who’s wearing the Arrival Sensor on his collar—is hurrying home to get to the bottom the whole situation.
But don’t wait for the dog. Use the app to trigger the Power Outlet and instantly turn on your brightest light. Hopefully the startled, blinded intruder will run away and take his water with him.
Filling your home with a smart system that you can control with your phone is just the start. The real power move is making even more devices talk to each other. A service called If This Then That (IFTTT) has pre-made recipes that can connect your devices. You can use the service to program your devices to run routines, react to triggers, or pass commands to other devices in your home. The Internet of Things is a string of connections between pieces of hardware, so set them up to control each other.
Keys Are So 2015
Because SmartThings communicates over a ZigBee network, the SmartThings system is compatible with a variety of third-party door locks that also connect to ZigBee. Which is great because you lost your keys again. Use this IFTTT recipe to instantly unlock your front door whenever you arrive home in your Automatic-enabled car.
Pink Elephants On Parade
You remember being a kid, and being fascinated with your parents’ liquor cabinet. Or maybe you don’t really remember that night at all. Slap a SmartThings Multi-sensor on the liquor cabinet and get an alert if that door ever opens.
No More Mr. Couch Potato
After a long day at work, what’s better than plopping down on the couch to aimlessly stream Netflix for six straight hours? Fight the power, my friend. Use this IFTTT recipe to power on your TV only after your UP by Jawbone determines you’ve taken your daily 10,000 steps.
The Deflector Shield
Remembering to arm your home security system whenever you leave the house is hard work, man. Grab your SmartThings Arrival Sensor and automatically arm your iSmartAlarm system whenever you leave home.
Water, Water Everywhere
The drain beneath the kitchen sink is leaking, but how in the world would you know? Good thing you installed that Water Leak Sensor (not included in the Kit). Use this IFTTT recipe to have SmartThings call your phone if moisture is detected.