SmartThings Community

Products for Deaf


(Barry) #7

Wow! Thanks for all the info.

I have a lot of things to look in to.

I agree that dependability is an issue and I have to make sure not to expect 100% reliability for dangerous situations – like smoke alarms.

The colored lightbulbs and nightlights are interesting.

For the bed shaker, yes something like the wall plug outlet with a 12 V transformer and standard 12 V connector that can be triggered to output a square wave. A fan is a good idea, but I could probably sleep through a tornado :grinning:


(Ernie) #8

It seems to me that a smart watch that vibrates when receiving notifications, texts and emails might be helpful. I have a Pebble Time and it dutifully vibrates when I receive notifications from SmartThings and displays the notification. I am sure the Apple Watch and Android Wear possess similar features.

(Jeffrey McDougal) #9

Seems like this could be repurposed and hooked to a radio earphone plug and to a smart outlet. This is a whole new area for me. While I’m hearing, she is deaf and I’m learning a lot about it.

This is what got me started. She wanted to keep certain lights on down stairs just in case she comes over. I don’t want the light bill associated with that. LOL. motion detectors, solar lights would also do some of this. But that wouldn’t be near as fun. :slight_smile:

(pierre) #10

Am trying to find good solution for deaf need to get access to notification, for example in screen monitor , if anyone is ringing on doorbell or receiving SMS or call in smartphone will the monitor blink.

unfortunately many manufactures is selling expensive who is not correct accessible, so i am trying to develop any better than the manufacture’s device.

I am welcoming all people in this community to share idea with me or share partner with me to create project together.

(Barry) #11

Let me tell you what I did for a doorbell and smoke alarm. Unfortunately I gave up on SmartThings and went to Indigo – it’s much more reliable.

I have an Aeon labs doorbell. I don’t use the sound generation at all, but it sends a z-wave event to Indigo. In response to this event I flash bulbs which I have located all around the house. The bulbs are z-wave bulbs mounted into screw sockets that plug directly into wall outlets.

For the smoke alarm I have a Z-Smoke that sends a Z-Wave event to Indigo. I have this event flash lights, turn on a bright siren, and trigger a wall outlet power adapter in my bedroom that drives a 12 V wall-wart power supply to which I have a bed shaker connected. All bedlam breaks out if the smoke alarm ever goes off.

In response to either of these events, Indigo allows you to generate emails, text messages, commands over the Internet, or trigger external programs that could be used as alerters. I am sure SmartThings allows something similar.



Smart home monitor already has an “alert with lights” feature built-in. That’s for regular lights.

If you want something really attention-getting, the fortrezz siren has a strobe option. It’s on the official “works with smartthings” compatibility list and is quite popular.


If you just want to give a notification, many people, myself included, just have a light change color. You can do that using the free IFTTT service) although lag varies from house to house), with Tasker on an android phone, or by using core.

If you have either Phillips hue lights or LIFX lights, both have their own IFTTT channels, so that’s probably the easiest method. At my house the lag is a pretty regular eight seconds, which works for some situations, but is a little long for others. But other people have much longer lag so you do need to investigate that.

If you are unfamiliar with IFTTT, the following is a good tutorial:

(pierre) #14

Any idea about bed shake then starts vibration at alert from device zsmoke or other device?

(pierre) #15

Thank you, Barry for your good comments.
As I understand so Indigo is a software for MAC so I will look for other way.


As Barry mentioned, you could do something similar to his setup with SmartThings. The problem, though, is that SmartThings has some reliability issues. I definitely wouldn’t depend on it as a smoke alarm to wake somebody up.

When SmartThings works as intended, it’s my favorite home automation system, but you just can’t count on it yet. They are working on making it more reliable, but even they say you should never use it for life-and-death issues:

Data accuracy and consistency from SmartThings sensors, including those provided by SmartThings directly, resold by SmartThings, or supported by SmartThings, is not guaranteed.

Therefore, you should not rely on that data for any use that impacts health, safety, security, property or financial interests.

For example, because temperature readings may vary significantly from reading to reading on an individual device, between devices, or over time, those readings should not be used to control heating and cooling in environments where food spoilage, health risks, or damage to physical goods could occur.

Alternately, presence data from SmartThings devices or mobile/Smartphones can vary in accuracy, and therefore should not be used to control access to secure locations without secondary authentication.

There are a number of bed shaker alarms available, including some with smoke alarms or acoustic sensors to register when the regular smoke alarm goes off. As their own product guidelines say, though, I wouldn’t trust my life to SmartThings.


(Andrea Bianco) #17

I 100%+ agree with JD, with life and death matters I would not depend (or bet $.01) on ST exclusively.

There are some really nice features though for day to day for DBL population.
I just want to add to JD’s comment about lights changing color’s as a notification - I also use a App called “The Flasher II” as I find it more engaging (catches my attention quicker) when a light flashes many or several times. Here is a link to that thread too.

Best of luck ~ it is amazing how technology how can truly assist not just a mere convenience. :slight_smile:

(Simon Roffe) #18

I’m deaf, just like you! I’m very fascinated with all of this and I’ve also been working on similar things like this. All of the bed shakers/vibrators don’t plug into a conventional wall outlet. They go into slot on the clock. I don’t understand how you put it in a wall outlet power adapter? Do you have a link to something to do that? I could easily use a Wemo plug and IFTTT to trigger it at night if sleeping.

Like you, I’m not a big fan of smartthings - I found the app to be hugely complicated and not as easy to use. You have to hunt around, with confusing names like Labs or Robots or stuff like that.

For the doorbell - I use the Ring with a webcam and I LOVE it.

(Barry) #19

I will have to look at the Ring doorbell.

I haven’t used SmartThings in a little over a year, so I’m not current on reliability or features. I switched to Indigo in order to gain reliability a little over a year ago.

I have a smoke alarm that triggers the bed shaker via indigo (similar to IFFT), but you could trigger it with anything.

A bed shaker is really just a 12 Volt version of a vibrator, like the one in a cell phone. To turn a bed shaker on you only need to power it with a 12 Volt power supply.

I combined an Aeotec extension cord-like (I think these have been discontinued) wall outlet, a “Wall Wart” AC plug-in 12 volt power supply, a short adapter to convert the power supply connector to the type of connector needed by the bed shaker, and a SonicAlert Super Shaker. I found everything on eBay.

The Aeotec plugs into the wall AC and would be on/off controlled by SmartThings. The 12 V power supply plugs in to the Aeotec device. The Super Shaker plugs into the 12 V power supply using the conversion connector.


(Simon Roffe) #20

That conversion connector to connect the super shaker to the plug is where I’m hung up. Been looking on amazon, but its hard to find the right one. I might just have to buy several and see which ones fit. Unless you can link me directly to the product on ebay or amazon?

(Barry) #21

Here is the part I used. Of course, it will depend on the exact power supply and version of bed shaker:

JacobsParts DC Coupler Female to Female F/F 5.5mm x 2.1mm Barrel Jack Power Connector Plug for LED / CCTV



If it’s the actual supershaker brand from sonic alert, they make a model with the connector piece to plug into a regular outlet.

I don’t know if you can use the same connector with the 12 V model, or not, my guess would be not. But you could write and ask them.

(Barry) #23

Thanks. That’s a good find.

When you add up the cost of the individual parts that I bought to essentially re-create that product, my total cost was probably only five dollars less.


I just did a web search for those. Walmart shows it almost $20 cheaper with free shipping.


The link I gave was to the manufacturer site, it should be less at a lot of retailers, so definitely shop around if you want the whole unit. :sunglasses: I was just wondering if the manufacturer might be able to sell just the plug, or if it doesn’t work with the 12 V model.

(Simon Roffe) #25

That actually is a much more preferable option for me than buying a connector. I did a search but i was having trouble finding the right… term or something for the adapter. Buying the 120v super shaker. My thinking is a Wemo plug connected to wifi and put this in there and then do an IFTTT power on/off thing with Nest protect and that’ll be sufficient for a fire alarm for me while sleeping.


I use a strobe light and plug it into a dimmer plug. When SmartThings senses an event like doorbell or smoke alarm, I have it turn on the strobe light for one minute and then off. The neat thing about the dimmer is that if you set it to a lower %, the strobe light will flash slower. I use the slow flashing lights for non-emergency like door bell and fast flashing likes for smoke detector and water sensor.
This is similar to what I have.
An added bonus with the strobe light is when you have a dance party, you can use the lights for some techno fun.