Australian Availability


(Matthew Ritchie) #1

I have been following Smartthings for a couple of years, and have sent enquires about the Australian availability.
Is there still no estimation on the delivery?
What is stopping this product from entering our market.
I have plenty of connections and clients requesting this product, especially as of Jan 2017.
Any news?


(Gregory Bell) #2

Hi Matthew, did you ever hear anything about the Australian release? I cannot find any information and it’s very frustrating because I want to use the Z-Wave capability (I have the US ST).

Greg


(Matthew Ritchie) #3

Hi Greg,
I have enquired a few times over the last couple of years, and haven’t received a good response. In the latest that you are referring to here, the response was similar.
“We appreciate your enthusiasm, but we don’t have any immediate plans to expand to your area quite yet.”

This seems illogical, as “Smartthings” will just be displaced by the competition.

My thoughts are, they have existing investments and/or partners in Australia which this product would essentially displace or obsolete. This is often the case in the Australian market, big companies decide against backing other solutions because it is not in their immediate commercial interests, they have committed capital investments. These managers seldom look at the future, nor understand technology, they just tick their boxes to further their career.

Either way, I’m pretty sure they have missed the boat on this one. They had a product ahead of the rest of the market, but failed in execution.
Shame, good ideas, bad management. Sums up the Australian tech landscape.


(Gregory Bell) #4

Hi Matthew,

Thank you for your reply, although I am disappointed to hear the outcome of your communications with SmartThings. It does seem illogical as we move ever faster into a more connected world, or at least into the expectations of one.

In my brief time researching the IoT world, including the home security and automation markets (quite distinct currently), for a future “system of systems”, the market and technology remains very fragmented, particularly in a global context.

Security companies are getting into home automation, although they appear to bring a proprietary ‘closed’ perspective, treating security systems and proprietary peripherals like the printer market offers consumables, where the profit is made.

Home automation vendors, like SmartThings, offer a more open and flexible platform, although do not have the pedigree in the security market. Once the market matures more I expect the security platforms will need to open up to greater peripheral choice (i.e. broader access to Z-Wave, Zigbee, LPWAN devices) and home automation vendors may seek to earn better security application credentials through increased stand-alone operation (cloud independence) and monitoring partnerships. Unless there is a significant and persistent security scare, which is possible, perhaps even likely, I cannot see the closed models of security companies dominating in the long term.

Then there is the Amazon Echo, Alexa, which is nice for tying voice controlled automation together, although it is another product unavailable in Australia. While the Vera integration is still in beta, this appears to be working for me with ST (US version) and Vera Edge (Australian version) and Wireless Tag Sensors. However, this is not a substitute for having a fully featured ST including Z-Wave available in Australia.

As an aside, in the same vein as the ST market execution you mention, there have been articles questioning how the Echo can survive against a competing product which goes global more quickly. The Echo is mature in many ways, including the API, developer and third party integration market, although fails at something fundamental to long term success: intelligent search. This is clearly dominated by Google and I expect for the foreseeable future.

As it is not in Google’s commercial interest to develop an Alexa Skill for the Amazon market, frustration arising from Echo users attempting voice search led to an unofficial skill being developed, although it is complex to implement (programmer level) and may stop working at any time. What does this mean for users who want comprehensive voice control, do they need to have both an Echo and a Google Assistant… or do we only have to wait until Google Assistant matures?

Interesting observations and questions, although I digress. As ST have decided not to address the Australian market in the foreseeable future, did you arrive at any alternative implementations or recommendations for our back yard?