Not sure to understand which devices need a ST Hub or not

(Frédéric Kerneuzet) #1

Hello all,

I'm using the SmartThings App for 3 weeks to agregate some IoT @ home waiting for my christmas gift (a ST Hub ;o) ).
It works fine for things like LIFX Bulb, Netatmo Weather Station and Presence Sensors, but I also have a Foscam camera that I would like to integrate in ST App...

I read several topics on this subject, but it's really not clear to me to understand what needs and runs ON THE HUB, and what should work without ?

For my Foscam Camera, I created a "New thing" from my API dashboard, and used the "Foscam" general type. I filled it with my own network configuration (public URL and login/pwd), but my Thing stay without any data from my Camera... So I imagine it needs a Hub to work ? But why ?

Can anyone give me some global explanations of it plz ?

Many thanks,

(Ron Talley) #2

Get a Hub! Can't beat the $64 sale listed here:

All kinds of Apps that do what you are using it for but a whole new world opens up when you start connecting things "Smartly".


Technically, all devices need to connect to the ST hub in some way. Some can connect directly, others require or can use a separate hub such as Hue bulbs or Logitech remotes that use a Harmony Home hub. These are typically cloud to cloud integrations. All devices need to have a Device Type Handler that tells the ST Hub what the device can do. Finally, there are Smart Apps that can integrate various devices to automate certain things.

In the IDE, you can create a new Device Handler and use the option “From Code” and paste the code in. Once you have a device handler saved and published for yourself, you can assign it to your Foscam camera. Some devices will not be in the IDE and you will have to create one from scratch. You can enter temporary numbers for some of the fields and they will be replaced once you have the proper DTH assigned to it.

I’m typing this all from memory, so I might have missed something. Just let me know if you get stuck somewhere.

So, for your Foscam Camera, I would first do a search for an appropriate device type. Some device types are already built in, others have to be installed separately from community written DTHs.

@eparkerjr created an excellent free DTH

@rboy makes an excellent DTH with live video streaming for the Foscam camera for a nominal cost

Finally, this wiki is another good place to see what’s available:

(Ron Talley) #4

Well...sorta....You can actually have a SmartThings location with no ST Hub. Can use it with ITTT and other cool stuff but it just so limited. For instance, my phone is connected to my Work Location which does not have a ST Hub and I can use my work Geo Fence to do stuff in ST like send my wife a notification when I leave or arrive at work. All kinds of things you can do with no ST Hub but the magic happens when you actually have a ST Hub.

(Christopher Masiello) #5

Yeah, there are a certain number of devices and services that connect to SmartThings in the cloud. (Amazon Echo, Phillips Hue, Nest stuff, IFTTT, Weather, Phone as presence sensor, etc )So, technically, you could have ST involved in some automations/controls without actually being in the building. You still need a hub somewhere and the number of things you can do is very limited.

(Frédéric Kerneuzet) #6

First, thank you all to have taken some time to answer, I really appreciate beacause I know it surely sounds like a noob question which may be a bit annoying... BUT you all didn't answer with the famous "Hey man, just RTFM !", So, thank you :slight_smile:

Well, if I understand well, almost all "pure cloud based" services should work without a hub ?
I mean, I also have a Netatmo Welcome camera (which have a full open API) and as my Netatmo Weather Station, it may work without the hub ??

As some suggested, I'm mainly using IFTTT for the moment to trigger some actions, but I agree with you it's a bit restrictive, for example : I'm using phones to detect presence, and would like to shutdown my Smappee connected plug when everyone is out. BUT, with IFTTT trigger, I don't have access to a condition like "When everyone leaves", but only when a specific person leave...
So, when I leave the house, my wife can't watch TV ! Ah ah ! Well done for her :stuck_out_tongue: