Maker Kit vs. Solution Pack


(Gator Eye) #1
  1. If we’ve already preordered a Solution Pack, but now we want to get involved in the Contest as a developer, do we need to order a Maker Kit as well?  I’m not sure I really want to have (or pay for) two separate SmartThings Hubs.  If we order the Maker Kit, would we just be able to pay to add sensors to it and cancel our order of the Solution Pack? As developers it would seem to make sense to let us order at least one of each sensor type when we order the Maker Kit.

  2. What does the custom firmware let us do?

  3. Is purchasing the Maker Kit the only way we can get the IDE?

 


(Garrett) #2

I can’t answer questions 2 or 3, but I’ll see if someone can respond with some scope on those. From a support perspective, I can answer your first question. Simply e-mail us at support@smartthings.com to request a change in your Pre-Order Kit. Our ThingStore will open in the near future which will allow you to add Things separately later on (No ETA yet on the ThingStore, however).

As a developer, you can create virtual devices and therefore don’t need physical access to Things in order to test functionality. This means you don’t have to spend money on extra Things when you can simply create virtual devices you can interact with, within the IDE.


(Gator Eye) #3

Thanks for the update. I’ll definitely email you to get things switched over.  Even as a developer, I’m going to want to order several of the actual sensors to mess with (even if I can simulate them in the IDE). I mean what fun is that? :slight_smile:

One thing I wasn’t quite clear on from your post, does that mean that the Maker Kit will be shipped before the Pre-Order Kits and does that also mean that when the Maker Kits get shipped, that no Things (sensors) will be available to add at that time?

Thanks!


(Alexander Lash) #4

Very interested in 2/3 as well. Thanks!


(Garrett) #5

@GatorEye, 100% agreed on the physical sensor front :slight_smile: To my knowledge, no sensors will be immediately available but I may be wrong here. What I do know is that we’ll make sure to ship Maker Kits in accordance with the timeline of our contest. The short answer to that is, we’ll get both Maker Kits and Pre-Orders out as fast and efficiently as possible.

Will try to see if someone can field those last two questions. May end up in an official resource/post, but we’ll get you answers.


(Andrew Urman) #6

The custom firmware right now applies to the SmartThings Arduino Shield. We’ve just wrapped up initial firmware to allow Arduino users to control the joining process, sending of custom messages from the Arduino to the SmartThings cloud, and control of an RGB LED on the shield. Programming firmware straight to the ZigBee chips is pretty intensive and requires an expensive tool. So we’re just wrapping a bunch of cool stuff into it so you don’t have to :slight_smile:

Oh man, the virtual devices. At first, like many, I didn’t think much of it. When you get your hands on the IDE and are able to simulate devices as if they were real is so awesome. Use a real device to turn on a virtual switch, or a virtual switch to turn on a real device. Developers will really like it. It makes debugging SO much easier.

Kickstarter backers ship first. After that its pre-order. We’re not too concerned about delaying the maker event so people have more time with devices in hand. That said, purchasing the Maker Kit is most likely the only way to get an Arduino Shield since the ability to purchase single items will most likely not be up and running by then. On that note, the Multi-Sensors that come with your order will be the only sensors from us that will be available. The preliminary list of compatible devices is slowly growing. Check it out here http://build.smartthings.com/compatible-devices/

This could change though, so expect an update about it coming out within the next 2 weeks with much more detailed information.


(Gator Eye) #7
RE: That said, purchasing the Maker Kit is most likely the only way to get an Arduino Shield since the ability to purchase single items will most likely not be up and running by then. On that note, the Multi-Sensors that come with your order will be the only sensors from us that will be available.
Unless I'm reading things wrong, are you saying that a SmartSense MultiSensor will ship with the Maker Kit in addition to the Arduino Shields?

And now I’m even more confused when you say those will be the only sensors from you that will be available? How are you going to ship any of the Home Security, Home Watch, or Family Life pre-order kits if you only have the Multi-Sensor available?

RE:  We’re not too concerned about delaying the maker event so people have more time with devices in hand.
That sounds like there is no real definitive time frame for the contest.

 


(Andrew Urman) #8

Unless I’m reading things wrong, are you saying that a SmartSense MultiSensor will ship with the Maker Kit in addition to the Arduino Shields?

Sorry, I meant that the only way to get the Multi-Sensors would be from a kit that included them as the ability to purchase them individually will not be immediately available. The Maker kit does not include them.

And now I’m even more confused when you say those will be the only sensors from you that will be available? How are you going to ship any of the Home Security, Home Watch, or Family Life pre-order kits if you only have the Multi-Sensor available?

The Multi-Sensor and the contact sensor are the same device. You can use it as either a multi or open/close. I forgot about the motion sensor ha!  They will for sure be available as well for kits. Oh the presence tag too! I sometimes don’t think of those as “sensors”. Everything in the kits will ship together, no pieces left behind.

That sounds like there is no real definitive time frame for the contest.

There really isn’t one right now. We don’t want to rush the contest dates and not give makers the ability to think out and design a project. We’d rather ensure everyone has enough time between ordering, receiving, and tinkering around before we set solid dates. It will most likely be late April.

So at this point I’ve either cleared things up or made them more confusing…it’s been a long day :stuck_out_tongue:


(Gator Eye) #9

Andrew, thanks for clearing things up. I think they are clear, but I’m honestly pretty disappointed.  So basically you are saying if I want the Maker Kit to get the Arduino shields and the IDE AND get some of the actual sensors to use around the house, I have to spend $600 - $300 for the Maker Kit + $300 for one of the other pre-order Kits and that means I have 2 hubs.

I’m encouraged by what you guys have developed and very anxious to get going, but honestly that seems like a fairly sizable up front investment. I’m not saying I wouldn’t spend that over the long haul because I probably would.

I guess I’m curious why you wouldn’t allow us to buy a Maker Kit and purchase individual sensors as well? I mean, I want to develop my own Things and apps, but I want to install a bunch of sensors around the house to actually use it.  Why would I need the extra expense to purchase another kit where I’m sure the bulk of the cost is in the hub which I’d already have one of in the Maker Kit.  Does that make sense?

 


(Andrew Urman) #10

Oh we definitely will! You will absolutely be able to buy single items. We’re just not sure if that will be setup in time for the maker contest. But you will for sure be able to buy individual items and sensors! That would be mega lame if you couldn’t. It’s more of a manufacturing issue. We need to stock up on individual items before we sell them so we dont run out in like 10 minutes. It’s a bit of a large upfront cost. People much smarter than I am are doing that sort of math.

Everyone will be able to sign up for the maker contest, you don’t NEED a maker kit. The IDE will be available to everyone in the contest. The added value to having the maker kit is the Arduino Shield.

 


(Gator Eye) #11

Thanks again Andrew. I didn’t mean to be such a pain - just trying to get some clarification. I’ve just been waiting sooooo long for these types of devices and of course like everybody want them yesterday. :slight_smile:  Now that I know I can get the IDE, I’ll probably drive Garrett crazy and end up changing my order back to the original one of the pre-order kits so I can be sure to get the actual sensors ASAP and just download the IDE when it’s available.

I have no doubt you’ll have a bums rush of orders when they become available.

BTW- I did forget to publicly mention Garrett was great answering support questions and super quick getting things taken care of. I feel sorry for him though once you release everything, he’s probably going to be swamped with questions. Hope you guys have a free soda machine in the office.


(Andrew Urman) #12

If we didn’t want to engage with people and answer questions, this website wouldn’t exist :stuck_out_tongue: I have fun doing it.

Just the heads up, the IDE can take up to 6 hours to download as it is about 30gigs in size and unzips to about 50gigs.

HA! JK! IDE is in the cloud man. Wrapped up nice and neat into the web browser of your choice.

Ya, Garrett is the best. We’re the only two people at SmartThings from Arizona. In fact we’re from the same city and college. Bear Down Garrett, see you at the office.


(Garrett) #13

@GatorEye +1 for your compliment, much appreciated. And you know how to reach me :slight_smile:


(Dome) #14

Thanks for the info, I was wondering all this as well. My only remaining question - how does one get access to the IDE. I preordered a security kit, and will likely purchase an individual arduino shield along with some other extras when your store gets up and running, but I wouldn’t mind tinkering with the IDE in the meantime.

Thanks


(Garrett) #15

@ThomasNerison, we have some core changes to the IDE that we are trying to get in this week. Once finished and tested, we’ll release!


(Dome) #16

That’s what I was hoping you’d say. Thanks for the response!