SmartThings Retail Store Live Demo, Looking for ideas, best practices

You may have already seen these, but the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki under the project report section have several lists you might be interested in.

The “get started” list has things like “top 10 things to do with SmartThings” and “what device should I buy next?” Lots of practical implementations there, as well as just some fun stuff. It can be interesting reading even for people who’ve had SmartThings for quite a while. :sunglasses:

Sorry I totally missed your point!

I just responded based on what I thought you were seriously asking. :relaxed:

Don’t forget about some of the custom apps, if you want to go that in depth.

I recommend askAlexa and EchoSistant


You beat me by a minute.

Though I was thinking a tablet or 3 running Smarttiles.


Typically manufacturers demo advanced and custom features, and retailers demo the most basic vanilla stuff. The reason is they (the retailers) don’t want to get stuck with customer support and/or unhappy customers, and rarely know how to actually make the advanced features work.

Given that smartthings doesn’t support the custom smartapps, in order to make the client (the retailer) happy, I’d stay as far away from anything custom as possible.

JMO… :sunglasses:


That is a great point indeed :+1:

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You and I thinking the same, I have the tablet is running SmartTiles on the counter , and the Samsung refrigerator running the SmartTiles interface as well. :slight_smile:

Certainly under consideration[quote=“JDRoberts, post:11, topic:76740”]
Given that smartthings doesn’t support the custom smartapps, in order to make the client (the retailer) happy, I’d stay as far away from anything custom as possible.
I do have to be careful on which custom things I do for sure. I several custom devices now with H801, Sonoff.

The good news is this local retailer is pretty special and unique in that they have custom install capability. They have been doing Control4 installs for years here in town on all their high end audio/video systems.

I think the DIY people grabbing their stuff for cheap online that need help with system integration will be coming here for help. Part of the plan of this retailer is to offer Smart Home DIY classes for people to sign up for that are looking for face to face help in a warm community environment. I think the classes are going to be held right there in the Smart Home demo area. I was going to use Logitech Harmony integration but I think at that level of interest they are going to start having customers go over to the Control4 Smart Home environment.


Plex Alexa skill combined with PlexPlus ST app is quite impressive.

Plex recently released a webhook feature so this Plex to ST control works instantly now.

My setup is like this in my living room:

  • Samsung TV
  • Nvidia Shield TV (Android TV)
  • ST connected lights
  • PlexPlus ST app
  • Amazon Echo with Plex Skill

One example:

  • Lights are ON in the living room and TV is OFF
  • I say “Alexa play movie star trek beyond using plex”
  • TV turns ON and movie starts and Lights turn OFF

Very reliable and you can even setup PlexPlus ST app to do different things for different content. For example, my setup will only turn the lights OFF if a “movie” is played and not for things like TV shows or YouTube videos. Plex Alexa skill includes full playback control as well.


You have definitely got to place some Hue Lights in there somewhere. People love color and its such an easy implementation.


I agree!
I have a HUE hub with three color bulbs to use plus I currently have RGB LED strips on the upper cabinets that can also do color but I am not sure how to best show it.

Give me some thoughts on how color might be used in the home?

I know lots of people use them for behind the TV or behind or under an entertainment center. Computer Game Rooms. You can also use Hue Blooms behind sectionals aiming up at the corner of the wall. There are all kinds of things to use them for.


Undercabinet light strip that changes color when the laundry is done or the mail arrives … The laundry notification would tie in well to a washing machine. :sunglasses:

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Hi I’ve come to this post as someone linked to my app Plex Plus, now while this is probably the second most attention grabbing while I have friends round (automatic lighting being the first) I’m not sure you should include it in your demo…

The reason for this… you are trying to sell something to a consumer… a consumer needs to be able to set this up and for that I would stay well away from anything that involves going in to the IDE and stick to the stuff you can install from the web or app… unless you are planning to install for them…

Of course if you do chose to include IDE apps then I would be please to see Plex Plus in there :slight_smile:

I’d also suggest sticking to one voice control, currently I would suggest echo until google is more developed…

I would also suggest SmartTiles / ActionTiles as this can be installed without touching IDE and is a great user friendly interface…


The “hidden TVS” may be a hit with older folks who believed the tv needed to be hidden in furniture. But it’s my guess that younger folks, who do Facebook and Snapchat and games and tv viewing and photos and virtually everything else on a screen, lack the ‘values’ that say screens must be hidden from view.

But it’s also my experience that older folks are, mostly, resistant to the smart home. Even when they’ve gotten a real-life demo, and themselves exclaimed “that’s fantastic”.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that many people are intimidated, or simply misunderstand the concept. For example, I got an Echo Dot for a friend. He put it away. When I asked why, he said “well I don’t have everything yet” and by that he meant the smart lights, smart locks, sensors, etc. He was coming from the belief that you have to do a wholesale ecosystem… He didn’t grasp that Echo on its own can be incredibly useful, and can interact with the phone that is already in his pocket! It took me going to that couple’s home, setting up the Dot for them, making the Bluetooth link to their stereo, and loading Todoist on their phones and linking the accounts for them to start using it.

As simple as this process seems to us, to others it borders on quantum physics. lol. So demonstrating “what it can do” is a whole different proposition than getting ‘regular’ people to actually start implementing it. A whole new generation of truly smart systems/devices will have to come along, systems that essentially configure themselves and build rules based on simple spoken language.

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For Hue I would recommend using the Hue Disco app for color bulb demos. No ST integration but ST can’t come close to the things this app can do with Hue color lights.


How about a user guide/manual on how to set up what they see in your demo? It could be by room like kitchen, bedroom, living room etc. or by features like lighting, Audio Video, Notifications, Temperature control, profile , etc.

It could be a booklet that they can use to plan and buy everything they need.

I find most of my friends and family are staying away from “SmartHome” due to the complexity (or perceived complexity) in setting up what they see in videos and demos.


And there in lies the fundamental hurtel I find most prevalent. I find it tends to not ONLY be the complexity of set up, but customization. There are NEVER 2 identical set ups. I think this is why you find the CoRE thread endless. Success is very much about the individual(s) lifestyle and preferences, and what they value, solves a problem for them or they just think is “cool”. Sometimes you can’t even get to the “start of the install” learning there networking and OH BTW - no neutral wire, plaster walls, metal door frames… the best written manual will be hard pressed to do a HOW TO set up of “what you see here”.

In my pitch I am pressed to clearly explain a "connected home (devices) vs. a “smart home” - very different IMO.

My best success is finding out is about the person and lifestyle and helping them steer, they don’t know what they don’t know - when you are just discovering Smart Home “things”.

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This demo is certainly not a DIY-Out-Of-The-Box experience. Baillio’s is nothing like the big box stores like HomeDepot, Lowes, Sears that sell all the stuff without any experience in supporting it. Baillio’s actually have custom installation and support crew that have been working on Control4 for years so SmartThings is just another solution for them to offer and support. I think some of the long term plans will be to offer DIY classes for SmartThings ala HomeDepot style to help customers.


When I was watching the video of the demo, I was overwhelmed. I can’t even imagine what it would be like for the average consumer in the store.

I mean, yeah there’s a lot of cool stuff, but that’s sort of all it is – A LOT of “stuff”.

Maybe that’s the way to sell to your target audience, but I would personally turn around and walk out.

I used to work in electronics sales, and people were often overwhelmed by computers. The specs, the software, the various peripherals. Many were so overwhelmed that they refused to buy because they felt they could never know enough to make an informed decision.

So, as a sales strat, I would solve problems pertinent to the customer. For the grandparents, I’d demo Solitaire and something like Skype. Students would get Office and printers demos. The small business owner would receive a demo of some basic accounting package and larger monitors.

I know this is a bit dated, but I think it is still relevant. “Smart” products are easier to understand than the Smart Home concept. Smart products that are relevant to the consumer and solve immediate problems are even more understandable.

I think the demo would work better if broken down into problems to be solved. I think the simulated break-in is a good example of this, but it might also cause customers to shutdown because the last thing they want to think about is someone breaking in to steal all their cool stuff.


Totally agree! The demo area is setup to be able to show everything (In fact I missed the whole area to the left which is the Living Room with the large screen theater area :confused: ) but only the part that is of interest to the customer is actually demoed. For example Lighting and or Security are right now the two biggest demos and I didn’t show how they are demoed. Lighting has the typical voice on-off-dim but also Party mode color flashing lighting with the music playing, and Police flashing lights when an Intrusion is detected.