Is smartthings still relevant?

after removing the presence ability my hub is just an annoying Notification Center of random times I forget to tell it I’m home. how is this any different than most typical keypad systems? They have the audacity to offer a monitoring service on top of this hobbist system for a fee. Smartthinsgs was more useful 2 yrs ago when I started, now it can barely stay stable enough to turn on random lights.

time to start looking elsewhere, I don’t have the time or extra money to dump into the dying ecosystem.

rant over.

There isn’t a hub out there that is true plug and forget. They all require maintenance and babysitting. You find stories like yours on every single community or subreddit for any major or not so major hub on the market.

And you will also find positive stories on other sites, just like mine with SmartThings. I honestly, haven’t had any issues with SmartThings in over two years.


What sort of setup do you have that does nothing useful?

Like Bob’s system, mine has been rock-solid and trouble-free for the past two years.


Ok, I’ll say what everyone is thinking…

Bye Felicia!


I wasn’t thinking anything remotely like that, but good try though :smile:


Yes. SmartThings is very “relevant”.

Broadest product of its class (low-end, DIY-consumer smart home platform with developer outreach). Viable competitors all have pros/cons: Apple, Google, and Amazon.

Other competitors are either too small to be considered in the same class, but might be a good fit for you (Hubitat, Home Assistant, etc., etc.) or more expensive to many degrees, or don’t really exist - just Kickstarters, or are more focused on alarm-security, or just lighting, - i.e., not broad enough to count.


I don’t use the New App as the Classic App is still very relevant.



Not following what “broad“ means in this context.

There’s lots of competition, it just depends on exactly what you want. Unquestionably no system is perfect, but they all get rated about the same, say 3.5 stars, because they each have different pluses and minuses.

Abode, Insteon, Homeseer, Vera, Xioami, and zipato, are all similar to SmartThings in the use cases they solve.

Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon Echo Plus, and Ring Alarm Are all much simpler and more limited in device selection, but still work for a lot of people. And all three of these are pretty much ”set and forget” With an MFOP of at least six months and often more.

Lifeshield is an ADT division focused on the DIY market Which falls somewhere in between these two groups as far as a Home Automation, but is also pretty much set and forget.

Ikea just announced a whole new division for smart home ( also compatible with HomeKit and echo) , and it will be interesting to see where that goes.

Hubitat is a tiny company that runs most things that smartthings runs at a similar price point but with everything local, so even if the company went out of business tomorrow whatever you currently had running would continue to run except for a few third-party integrations.

This question comes up in the forum about every 10 days or so. Smartthings is a good fit for a lot of people, but not everyone. Other systems are a better fit for other people. There’s migration in all directions at this time because it’s very hard to research everything ahead of time and because sometimes company strategies change.

But there’s certainly competition out there. :sunglasses:

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Broad as in official (and unofficial) compatibility with the greatest number of vendors / devices (and rapidly increasing).

Certainly relevant.

I mentioned Apple, Amazon (including Ring) and Google (Nest) as the currently viable contenders in this class.

The other vendors you mentioned are either trivial in relative market size (Hubitat: like comparing the corner mystery bookstore to Amazon), or not suitable for the same types of consumers due to cost, complexity, or limitations of functionality or extensibility.

Yes - The overall home security and “home smartening” market is big and diverse. But SmartThings is, apparently arguably, the strongest within a particular important category.

Important and strong enough to be very “relevant”.


I think we need to get more specific about words like “strong.“

But if we just look at SmartThings ™ as it stands in 2019, without worrying about the history, In the way that Samsung now describes it, as a “hub optional” platform, then sure. Given that it’s pre-installed on a lot of Samsung phones and that you need it to operate the Samsung robot vacuums and smart televisions, it’s definitely relevant to the IoT industry. But then the other three you mentioned, Apple, Google, and Amazon are all hub optional platforms as well. :sunglasses:

I was just talking with a friend of mine last week who is an industry exec who believes that hub-based systems are going to almost all retreat into the “do it for me” Subcategory, professionally installed the way a lot of home theater equipment is now. You won’t buy them off the shelf at Home Depot or Best Buy. There will be some hobbyists who prefer to create their own systems and do their own installations, but that will be a very small niche. The mass market will all be “hub optional.“

We’ll see, but I think he had a point. Amazon’s NOT buying Wink would tend to support his hypothesis.

I’m just not sure the system that the OP described in their first post will match the SmartThings that remains relevant. :wink:

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Amazon developed its own Zigbee hub and bought Ring, they don’t need Wink.

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Which is exactly where SmartThings is now. They just introduced a line of WiFi switches, but will probably build the Hub into more appliances, TVs, and the Bixby SmartSpeaker.

Samsung’s vision is for all “Samsung Stuff” to work seamlessly together (including auto-discovery), and, while they are at it, allow vendors to ride on top of the SmartThings Platform (including Cloud, and Device Plug-Ins within the App, and new arbitrarily complex SmartApps based on entirely new API and infrastructure requirements).

The market is still young enough for multiple concurrent directions and trends to co-exist: including what Wyze Labs is doing via cheap low-frequency sensors that plug into … cheap cameras; and including entry by IKEA, a company which is not known for electronics and appliances.

I gotta wonder how far back Amazon’s “smart home” intentions go; was this in mind at the time of the initial launch of the first Echo? If so, that’s pretty prescient; but not surprising.

I offer that Samsung is equally prescient. And that it will take a few more years before their goals and ongoing strategy becomes clear.

In the meantime, they are content with incrementally building out (and … “improving”) the Platform, with major developments repeatedly being delayed longer than expected. Will Bixby ever be a “contender”: Yes, quite likely - if they don’t frack it up. There’s no way the global market (of many languages) is only going to have 3 or 4 virtual assistant platforms (Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, and, ahem, Cortana). That’s like IBM & DEC saying they’d be the only computer makers.

The market has nowhere to go but grow. Global megacorps are the ones who can tough it out the longest. Who knows what new contenders will either surprisingly become dominant to the point of near ubiquity (Amazon Echo’s popularity must have surprised some people?), and who knows which companies will be acquired. But the majority of small players will either remain niche, or fail.

Let’s come back in a few years and see what happened to Brilliant as a random example. Their product isn’t revolutionary (it would have to be super cheap to start a revolution…), and their product isn’t so unique that it can’t be mimicked (already is, in various weak attempts): But they are decently funded, marketing heavily, attractive sounding, and I haven’t heard complaints about quality.

Samsung gives no indication they are thinking of throwing in the towel and being irrelevant. Small companies fail due to lack of resources. Large companies fail because of lack of commitment, focus, or … bad luck. Maybe SmartThings will be sold off - the Motorola story?

Whatever - SmartThings is currently relevant. Staying that way over time could remain an ongoing 50/50 bet, unless there is an unmistakable industry shift. And I don’t see that happening in 5 to 10 years.


Right, but they did both of those things after passing on Wink. ( The first negotiations were in mid 2015. Both Home Depot and Amazon passed. The Echo plus was certified in 2017 after a reported 18 month development cycle. Amazon acquired Ring In 2018.)

Great Winkening happened in mid 2015, Amazon was just getting started its journey in smart home. Wink was too bruised to be acquired at that point.

I don’t think masses want to pay the cost of “do it for me” - to have their homes automated like the restrooms at their work - nor do they want the headache that comes with babysitting a system. Until someone comes out with a friendly design that highlights the convenience of a smart home, this market will not explode as they predicted, and will continue to be stuck to the bottom of the adoption curve, whether it’s “do it yourself” or “do it for me” - with or without a hub.

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For Samsung’s customers is not a 50/50 bet. They will remain relevant as long as they sell smart phones. The smart home is an add-on for their phones, just like the smart TV is an add-on for their TV sets. They are not looking to make money on smart homes, they are looking to check a box of additional perks to buy their phones.

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The masses already pay “do it for me” – – as we have discussed in the past, the home automation systems available from local cable companies, phone companies, and security companies like ADT are already in literally millions of homes. It’s a much larger market slice then the DIY piece. XFinity Home alone is in a couple of million homes. Vivint started out as a solar company, then moved into Home Automation, and also has over 1 million customers. Lots of homeowners are willing to pay a monthly contract for a professionally installed system.

This has been true for years, and it continues to be a growing segment. :sunglasses:


Sure, but the Winkening was caused by a human failing to renew a security certificate in time, not a technology issue. And wink has a couple of nice patents.

They continued to be open to acquisition over the next several years, but Amazon wasn’t interested even though they had an installation partnership.

The point that my friend was making is that there is still a resistance to having a separate hub for the DIY market, and Amazon went with “hub optional” instead. :sunglasses:

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Um, no, respectfully disagree, “masses” don’t and will not pay for smart home, unless it is sold as an add-on service to a more tangible benefit, like TV services, security, AV component. I think we need to define “masses” and “smart home”. Masses buy Alexa enabled devices because they are easy to install, fun, convenient and smart :dark_sunglasses: :smile:

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Understood and agreed The definitions are important. Over and over, we see people in consumer surveys define “Smart Home” as security plus lights. And maybe a smart thermostat.

If they weren’t interested in a “do it for me” security system they likely wouldn’t be buying a Home Automation system either, but the ones who are paying for home security will pay extra to get the features like lights and smart locks. And there are literally millions of them.

So I think you’re right, that very few people are looking for a Home automation system without security features, but since there’s an established market of millions of customers who do want both, I think it’s a legitimate segment. :sunglasses: