The innovators behind Kickstarter's most successful tech launches are teaming up to recreate the physical world.
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SmartThings is a cloud-based platform that connects household objects to the Internet. Home residents can apply intelligence and apps to ordinary items with the SmartThings package. It comes with a connective hub, easily-incorporated sensors and power outlets.
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"Connect regular things to the Internet for basic monitoring and control over their mobile phones with the whole SmartApps platform," SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson tells Mashable. "If you connect them, you can make regular things programmable in the cloud."
By integrating a SmartTag -- a sensor that measures motion, temperature, light and moisture -- onto the garage door, home owners will be alerted when it's left open. A SmartApp will let you close garage doors remotely, even away from home. If you connect the lock on the front door, SmartThings will unlock the door as soon as you walk up to reach for the knob, and it will automatically lock when the system detects there's no one home. By connecting a chip to your dog's collar, you'll get a text if Sparky steps outside the fence.
Possibilities for object connectivity are endless with the open-source platform. Anyone can build hardware or software to integrate with SmartThings. SmartThings offers developers the hub, modules, Arduino shields, API, mobile app extension templates and just about everything else to get started building a new "SmartThing."
Since its Kickstarter debut, more than 300 designers and makers have signed on with SmartThings to bring existing products to the next level -- to make the previously unthinkable, possible.
By merging the Instacube with the SmartThings Hub, the device becomes multi-functional.
Using the cloud-based API, users can access SmartApps on the sleek Instagram viewer. The Instacube can also serve as an interface for your connected everyday items.
Tailor your experience by adding small fixtures to aid if/then/that coordination. By adding a small camera device to the front door, SmartThings will push photos of visitors automatically to the Instacube when they ring the door bell. With a motion sensor in the bedroom, consumers can wake the Instacube instantly in the morning and signal the coffee machine to start brewing.
"You can use very simple connected things in lots of different use cases," Hawkinson says. "A big part of the Kickstarter campaign is the reason we put it out there is to try to attract developer and device maker interests."
The Pebble Watch is another project getting a SmartThings upgrade. The iPhone and Android-connected watch stands as the most funded project on Kickstarter.
More than 68,000 backers raised about $10 million on the platform. Kickstarter fans helped the Palo Alto-based team reach its $100,000 initial goal within hours. $1 million was raised in the first 28 hours of the campaign.
With the SmartThings integration, consumers can receive real-time updates directly onto the e-watch. In the future, Hawkinson hopes consumers will be able to activate appliances, lock doors and access other parts of their house or apartment directly on the Pebble.
SmartThings is also connected with Ubi, a voice-activation home control system. Ubi surpassed its humble initial goal of $36,000 with nearly $200K from more than 1,000 backers.
The "voice-activated computer" records the environment -- paying attention to sound, temperature, light, air pressure and humidity. Ubi can "trigger events and communication" according to these real-time analyzations.
Bridging the Ubi to the hub, users will be able to hear updates such as "replace the door bell" and "your dog just ran out" aloud. Residents can also voice-control objects such as the shades, phone and hot tub with Ubi.
SmartThings will accept more partnership requests in the few weeks after launch.
The team behind SmartThings is excited for what comes next in the "next phase of the web," which Hawkinson believes will be a renaissance of sorts.
"It's really amazing seeing these hundreds of scenarios kind of popping up on the platform," Hawinson says. "There are all these opportunities to bring everyday stuff online -- similar to the content knowledge graph with Google and the social graph with Facebook. As you interconnect all this stuff, the opportunities enable a certain evolution."
Regular homeowners seem to be believers, too. With just days left on the crowdfunding platform, SmartThings is nearing its new goal of $1 million. Since its debut, it's received nearly $950,000 from backers. The SmartThings line will launch at the end of the year.
What would you do with SmartThings? Tell us in the comments.
This story originally published on Mashable here.
- Technology & Electronics