Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bought a used SmartThings kit

So I've decided that out of all the HA kits/hubs out there that the SmartThings kit will probably be the best to survive. As I expected, the used kit I picked up off Amazon has immediately run into problems. Not really a complaint, as I sort of expected there to be a few problems as it's not a "brand new, out of the box setup". I tried to register it with SmartThings and the registration key is already registered to the previous owner (of course). I sent an email to SmartThings support, they responded back with a request for a picture of the back of the hub and within minutes I was connecting devices to the hub (yea!). So not a bad start.

I picked up SmartThings because I think it has the most industry support. It also has good developer support with it's dev site and Arduino dev boards. The one thing that surprised me is that the kit's sensors have humidity, temperature and battery life sensors. Sensors tend to be expensive so it's nice to have more than just a simple open/close or motion sensor for that expense. I'm hoping that it will also allow my existing HA (Misterhouse, HomeSeer, Node.js and custom scripts) to interoperate without too much cloud API. At this point I'm a bit confused as to what I can do with the Groovy code that, I think, runs in the cloud. I found something that suggests that the hub can access local LAN devices which would suggest that the code is local to the hub. Cool and perhaps a security nightmare! I need to think about this. SmartThings already has IFTTT support so I'm looking forward to playing with that. I've signed up for IFTTT (If This Then That). IFTTT, which are rules that, based on a condition, will execute some rules you've setup. Now it's time to see what this thing can do and how it lets the average user manage the intelligence. I guess I need to play dumb and let the help pages guide me.

In other news the Home Depot is starting to stock some HA devices. Most of what you find online is only online (but they'll deliver to a local store or you home). Lowes only seems to have Iris and Lutron (found that by accident so they might have more), while Home Depot seems to have Insteon, Wink, Lutron and SmartThings. I'll need to visit a couple of local stores to see what they have.


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