SmartThings, the company that lets you control household objects like lights and door locks over the internet, is making a bigger push to bring hardware companies and developers to its platform.
Today, the company announced several product manufacturers have formally joined the SmartThings ecosystem. There’s also a new iPhone app launching later tonight that will make it easier to control all the connected stuff in your home.
It’s best to think of SmartThings as a platform to connect all the stuff in your home rather than a one-off product. To get started, you need to buy the SmartThings hub, a small gadget that looks kind of like a router and talks to web-connected devices designed to work with SmartThings. You then control everything using the SmartThings app or website.
Starter kits begin at $US199.
There are already a bunch of SmartThings-compatible devices, and the company announced today formal partnerships with some app and hardware makers like the fitness tracker UP24 from Jawbone, lighting control company Leviton, and Life360, an app that helps you track family members.
The company also announced a formal app review process so developers can create new actions for SmartThings devices and publish them through the SmartThings app. It will sort of be like the App Store on your iPhone, but for real objects in your home.
The SmartThings system is a lot different than Nest, which Google bought for $US3.2 billion and is perhaps the buzziest company in the connected home space. Nest makes its own connected devices like thermostats and smoke detectors, and it only allows third parties limited access to its platform.
SmartThings’ strategy is to allow any company that wants to build smart devices onto the platform and share the revenue. Today’s announcement gives us a glimpse at how it plans to convince more manufacturers and app developers to get on board.
SmartThings hasn’t said how many users it has, but it did tout a bunch of stats about its current customers along with today’s announcement. The company says SmartThings users open the app an average of four times per day and now have an average of 10 connected devices in their homes, up from five a year ago.
SmartThings has raised over $US15 million so far, which includes a $US12.5 million round last fall.
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