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|United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland|
|Alex Hawkinson (CEO)|
Andrew Brooks (COO)
Jeff Hagins (CTO)
SmartThings Inc. is an American technology company headquartered in Mountain View, California with a software development center in Minneapolis, MN. The company makes a hub (sometimes called "gateway" or "home controller"), cloud platform, and client applications for smart homes and the consumer Internet of Things.
The idea for SmartThings was conceived by co-founder and CEO Alex Hawkinson in the winter of 2011 when his family's mountain house in Colorado was extensively damaged after a power outage caused the house's pipes to freeze and burst. When power was restored, water flowed through the unoccupied house causing approximately $80,000 in damages. Hawkinson noted that he could have prevented the damages if he had known what was happening inside the house. After failing to find a suitable solution to the problem, Hawkinson and co-founders began to build a SmartThings working prototype.
In September 2012 SmartThings secured $1.2 million through a Kickstarter campaign. The company won the Spark of Genius startup competition at the Dublin Web Summit with a prize of €100,000 in October 2012. It then raised a $3 million seed funding round in December 2012.
SmartThings began selling its products commercially in August 2013 on its own Web site and in September 2013 on Amazon.com. Consumer internet executive and former Etsy CEO, Maria Thomas, joined the founders in early 2013 as Chief Consumer Officer.
In August 2014 SmartThings and Direct Energy, a Canadian and American energy provider, announced a partnership meant to increase the number of Canadian and American homes hooked up to smart technology. The smart technology offered basic energy management, home automation, and home security. The Direct Energy/SmartThings plan came with a fixed-term energy plan and a free SmartThings starter kit that included a hub and sensors.
Connected home demonstration
In January 2014 at the International CES show, the company rented a house near downtown Las Vegas to demonstrate how devices can be integrated with SmartThings' services. The demo also served to present SmartThings Labs, which allows users to access early-stage device integrations. The connected house featured products from partners like Philips Hue, Belkin Wemo, and Sonos. For one demonstration, a Jawbone UP24 triggered a morning wake-up routine that turned on kitchen lights, began brewing coffee, and tuned a Sonos Play1 to NPR News.
$200 million acquisition by Samsung
In August 2014, SmartThings announced that they had reached an agreement to be acquired by Samsung Electronics and would operate as an independent company within Samsung's Open Innovation Center. The acquisition was seen as a move by Samsung to move into the internet of things space.
Products and services
The SmartThings native mobile application allows users to control, automate, and monitor their home environment via mobile device. The application is configured to fit each user's needs. The app's SmartSetup area, accessible from the app's dashboard, facilitates the process of adding new devices. Customers can use the app to connect multiple devices at once or follow a dedicated path to configure one device at a time.
The hub connects directly to a home's internet router and is compatible with communication protocols such as ZigBee, Z-Wave, and IP-accessible devices. It serves to connect sensors and devices to one another and to the cloud, allowing them to communicate with the SmartThings native app.
SmartThings is integrated with IFTTT ("if this then that"), which enables users to trigger events when certain things happen on different web applications. For example, an IFTTT applet might state that if I leave my house, then SmartThings will lock my door.
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