SmartThings Community

Is there money in Smart Home consulting?



First time poster over here!

Just my .02 but…

There are some folks like myself, whom are technologically save that just don’t have the time to install, configure and setup a trick system while utilizing ST. I’ve installed a ST system and Alexa commands in the past but i just used it for lights and i didn’t have a chance to integrate anything else. I’d like someone to help me build a system, ground up, while utilizing ST but not on a shoe string budget. i think ST can certainly bridge the gap with consumer such as myself that have touched and played with control 4 (my roomates old house had control 4 and i thinks it’s not all that). My brother who has crestron. Spent a fortune and i feel like the system is already outdated. As for ST, it can evolve with new gadgets especially when programers are opening up the capabilities of products that are “not” compatible. An open source platform that allows jo blow to customize is sweet.

I’m looking for someone to help me in the Los Angles area, any suggestions?
@ashutosh1982 do you travel out to southern california? TIA

(Kevin [Yorkshire UK]) #22

Most of the ‘Pro’ systems have evolved from a wired control background like serial or some wired protocol and failing that infra red control. Then they’ve embraced IP / Ethernet which is pretty reliable, even WiFi. Probably most installers still favour these as… well they just work.

The later retrofit wireless systems like Z-Wave and ZigBee are intrinsically problematic unless very well managed, which means contained product and coverage really. They are the Achilles heel in local control and reliability.

Add on top of that Internet / Cloud services and you’re definitely not in control anymore. Their services go down and yours do. Customers sort of understand this when music or TV doesn’t stream but not when their lights don’t switch on when scheduled , or when the switch is pressed.

I feel ST by design is so exposed on all these issues that it could never make a satisfactory platform for a business but it is fascinating for those prepared to commit their own time and learning as a hobby.


The problem with SmartThings isn’t the knowledge and effort needed to set it up in the first place. It’s all the “This has been working great for a year and a half and this morning it just stopped working right” stuff.

The forum is full of posts like this. Sometimes it’s a device going bad, but more often it’s a platform change which may or may not have been announced.

The customer didn’t change anything, but now stuff works differently. Or doesn’t work. :scream:

I think that’s what reduces most pro installer interest in the system. It’s very expensive to handle stuff like that, particularly since it’s likely that multiple customers will all have the same emergency problem at the same time.

(John Shaw) #24

It seems there’s a lot of agreement that Smartthings just isn’t reliable enough on the whole.
I wonder if Samsung would be willing to address this if they actually charged for the service (along the lines of a subscription model) and then this money could be used to make the Smartthings platform so much more reliable?


You never know, but that would be a very different business model, and there are already lots of competitors in that space, from the local cable company to Vivint to Control4.

Interestingly, that is exactly the model they have chosen for expansion into continental Europe and Australia, through partnerships with local ADT-type companies. So we’ll have to see what wins out.

V-Home by Vodafone

SmartThings global roll out

But my own guess would be that their longterm trajectory in the US is towards stability through simplicity, aiming at the market that has a Samsung Smart TV, a Bixby-enabled phone, plus what they have said is already the vast majority of SmartThings customers: a home automation customer with fewer than 15 devices who never uses any custom code.

That could probably be handled by the same pro installers who hang the TV on the wall.

It wouldn’t meet the needs of most of the power users who frequent this forum, but we are a tiny percentage of their customers even now.

So…the answer to your question is they are trying that model in other countries, but with a very different feature set than what we have now.

(Ash ( / Ashutosh Jaiswal) #26

Traveling from Texas to California is a stretch for an install, however, we are working on some remote options that you may find useful. We have helped some customers in other states using this process and it has been great. If interested, then please send me a PM and we can talk.

(John Shaw) #27

Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
It seems Samsung have a number of strategies already in place then. It’ll be interesting if one strategy will become the one dominant one and we do end up with a subscription model after all.
I guess they are still working this out themselves and hence the multiple strategy approach.
In the space of ‘fewer than 15 devices…etc’…with no custom code, it seems Google and Amazon are starting to dominate this space already.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #28

Samsung isn’t worried about competition in one space or another - They are in this for the “big picture”.

The future belongs to AI (Artificial Intelligence). “Smart Home consulting” won’t be needed because the AI will be smarter than any human consultant … at least for the vast majority of “average consumers”.

And there’s room in this world for multiple consumer-AI platforms to exist and co-exist.

Sure - Google and Alexa are currently the top consumer-AI platforms. But as we know from many past examples, the first or current leaders do not necessarily predict who the future leader(s) will be.

(MacTechGenius) #29

I did some consulting after high school during the early days of ST. The guy who did our landscaping was impressed with the smart sprinkler, lights, fountain etc… control and wanted to provide a similar service to his clients. I didn’t do the actual install but I did the setup and planned/purchased the system. It paid well because these folks were spending a minimum of $100k on landscaping and were willing to pay for smart home convenience.
My services became popular and I did server/network installs/builds.

I stopped consulting last year since I am back in school getting my degree in CS. Still not sure what to specialize in…debating between artificial intelligence or network systems. A.I is cooler but I have always enjoyed working with networks.
But consulting did pay…I bought a Tesla!