Because those can be easily integrated with the SmartThings platform without Requiring much technical knowledge. The vast majority of smartthings customers are looking for consumer-ready plug and play solutions, they are not building their own devices or networks. Some of these are willing to do some additional work one time in order to solve a particular problem, and the sonoff Wi-Fi devices in particular Are an attractive solution for this group.
Most of the members of this forum are trying to limit the number of hubs/ Bridges/servers that they use. The ones that are already running raspberry pis Or other servers requiring that level of technical skill almost always go to home assistant instead of SmartThings.
SMARTTHINGS IS A CLOUD-BASED PLATFORM
SmartThings is primarily a cloud-based system. We as customers do not have the ability to upload code onto our own hubs. And the system isn’t really designed for direct hub message access by outside systems, either.
The developer interface provided is at the cloud level, using rest APIs.
You can’t even change the location.mode of the account from Home to Away Without Internet access, for example.
And smartthings own mobile app does not communicate directly to the hub – – it always goes through the cloud. So if your Internet is down, your app doesn’t work at all. They didn’t have to build it that way, but they did, and it reflects the company philosophy.
So… You put all of that together, and you just don’t typically find the kind of conversations you’re referencing in the context of the smartthings platform.
More often people see an inexpensive device on Amazon that has features that are attractive to them and they just want to know if it’s possible to integrate that with smartthings without adding an additional server. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t, but rarely will it be a direct communication to the hub.
So There are two options for programming: groovy, which is what the smartthings cloud uses now, Or writing in whatever language you want and then communicating cloud to cloud through the REST API.
But it’s intended as an off-the-shelf consumer platform for budget-conscious nontechnical people and the features are designed accordingly.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS WITH TECHNICAL BACKGROUNDS
I myself have a technical background (I was a network engineer), but I initially chose smartthings because I was looking for something that was plug and play to support zigbee. (I am now quadriparetic and have very little use of my hands.)
There are some serious hobbyists in the community, many who were attracted by the richness of the smartthings mobile app and they wanted that for their family. But most of them understand the limitations of the SmartThings platform And use other systems as well if they want either local processing or more code options.
but there are probably even more community members who don’t have a technical background and are interested in following the home automation industry in terms of the features it will provide to non-technical customers for systems that “just work.“
Smartthings staff have told us many times that their typical customer has 15 or fewer devices and does not use any custom code at all. Of course the people who are active in this forum are not necessarily “typical,” but I would still say that very few of them are interested in building their own devices.
So again, Sonoff turns out to be a good match to the SmartThings platform for those willing to do the additional set up work. Different things work for different people. but most people running raspberry pis are not trying to use them with SmartThings.