Investigating Samsung’s SmartThings Ecosystem

For christmas this year, I was gifted a Home Monitoring kit as part of Samsung’s SmartThing ecosystem. This post is the first part of my investigation into how to setup and play around with the SmartThings hub and peripherals.

The kit includes the SmartThings hub to connect all of the sensors peripherals together, as well as a few starter sensors. The hub connects either using WiFi or Ethernet to the home network. The hub supports both the Z-Wave and Zigbee protocols, which makes it pretty diverse in what it can connect to, assuming other devices allow it. As well, using the SmartThings app on a phone, you can send notifications directly to the phone using automations.

Home monitoring kit contents

The kit that I got came with a small sampling of sensors and devices that work with the hub. It comes with smart plug, two multipurpose sensors, and a motion sensor. I also received a home presence detector.

Once I plugged in the hub to my router and to power, I fired up my phone and opened up the SmartThings app on my phone. As I have a Samsung Galaxy S8, the app came pre-installed, and already signed into my samsung account, which made the setup fairly simple. Once in the app, I went to the “Add Device” section and searched for my new hub. Unfortunately it was not able to automatically find it, so I had to search for it manually. Luckily this was simple; I had to search for Smart hub in the list of items, then enter the Welcome code that came with the box.

Once the Hub was connected properly, I was able to add a few of the sensors that came with the kit. This was probably the easiest part of the whole process. I selected the type of sensor to add, and when prompted to, I removed the tag to connect the battery, and then waited a few seconds for the sensor to show up in the app.

The final thing to try was how to set up automations. The automations are fairly straightforward, using a if-this-then-that approach. As a test, I used the motion sensor to send a notification to my phone when movement is detected. Clicking the “Add” button in the automations section prompts you to select a sensor to trigger off of. Then it prompts you to select the action to perform when the sensor triggers. Once saved, I place the motion sensor somewhere quiet to have it change to no motion, then walked in and a few seconds later get a notification on my phone, just as planned.

Over all, I am pleased with the system. It is straightforward to use and setup. The native integration with my phone was a nice bonus as well. The next thing I want to do is to figure out how to integrate it with my existing smart home items.

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