Super Expensive!

do either of you happen to be using Everspring open/close sensors on your setup? I’m having difficulty getting them to work properly.

No, I have not used them. What kind of problem are you having? I have mostly been installing the GE light switches around my home. I use them to control the lights and ceiling fans since people tend to leave lights and fans on when no one is home. Now I will know and can turn them off remotely.

I do plan on installing a Z-wave thermostat soon and am still shopping for that.

Thinking of installing a GE wall plug in some of the other bedrooms, particularly where there are computers and TV’s to keep teen agers from staying up late on school nights… hehe…

As for the prices in the ST store, I think they are within the industry standards for what I have seen. Can you find some of these items cheaper online? Sure, but that’s true with most any product. Dig around but consider the cost of shipping as well… the ST store has free shipping in the US (Sorry Canada) so it pretty much evens out on most items.

And not that I am planning in going anywhere but I cant help but think of the selling point/added value these items give my home if I were going to move. Or take them with me… I kept all the old switches!

Not sure really where most of the concern is when it comes to pricing…since everything in home automation is excessive to say the least. From what I can see, I not expecting to outfit my whole home with all of this technology, but then I really don’t need that much automation anyways and only require a few select items and ST Arduino Shields. The presence sensors aren’t too bad and no one else makes them…so there you go. The door triggers are more expensive then most door magnetic sensors, but ST door sensors do so much more that I can live with it.

Yes less would be better, but so far I don’t really have much to complain about. Sorli…

@cory - you’re missing the point. 4x the functionality (and I’m not even counting the adjustable sensitivity) for less money. And it’s z-wave, not ZigBee. A Kia? Really?

Come on everyone, we are at the start of this start-up. Only 44 people have created all this innovation in a very short time.

I was once part of a start-up back in the day where the work station and required supporting software platform was over $100k. We would have to pick our customers so that we could manage them to success, thereby ensuring ours. Today the latest version with a PC is around $10k. Market factors with continued collaboration and innovation made it possible to reduce costs while improving the quality and reliability.

I give the ST gang a lot of credit. They’ve taken an idea that each and every one of us wish we had and have begun making it a reality. Are they perfectly on point with every aspect, no. But, it is more obvious to me today that they have some really smart people and great leadership. I mean come on, day one of the store and they are reselling gadgets from GE and other big players. Not something you do from a garage on a whim.

And again I remind you, 44 people have made this happen. The prices will adjust to the market as it always does. The quality and reliability will improve every release as it is doing now. We just need understand that we are backing a start-up and we have a great opportunity to help innovate by making suggestions and requests instead of bitches and moans. I learned a long time ago, if you don’t want to part of a successful team all you got to do is complain.

SmartThings, I backed you guys early on and back you even more today. The store is awesome and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

"Wouldn’t it be smart if…? "

This is what I’m talking about. Read the post from Alex, the SmartThings CEO

Twack (@wackware):

I don’t mind your cheerleading; it helps balance out my critiques and cynicism. The SmartThings Team certainly deserves kudos; it is a weakness of mine to not acknowledge accomplishments at least as often as concerns.

I am grateful to see the CEO’s acknowledgment of my concerns regarding the Terms of Use, and I took the opportunity to further explain my initial reactions to them; added to that thread.

The opening of the “Shop” is a big event – but so is the publication of “Terms of Use”, if only because of my lawyer-phobia.


Look, I’m a fan or I wouldn’t bother investing the time I do with the system, here on the board and sometimes behind the scenes as well. All I’m saying us that the price for the ST motion is out of line with the Aeon product. I know ST builds them and isn’t e-branding someone else’s device like everyone does but still, I get way more functionality in a stable z-wave product than I do from ST’s which costs more. Easy math. Now trying to figure out Obamacare, that’s tough math.

And @cory s - I could post a cure for cancer and you’d find fault with it. Lucky they let idiots post here or you’d be relegated to twitter.

I didn’t post the last comment - apparently I’ve been hacked. Just changed my password. Sorry to @corys and any other posts I haven’t caught yet.

This is surreal. Or cereal. Either way… it all becomes sh… eventually.

Sigh. TGIF.

@tgauchat - There was a post back in May It points to a reddit post by alexhawkinson, that says

We've made the decision to not charge any monthly fees for all users (both Kickstarter backers and going forwards). From the very beginning charging a monthly fee felt like it would be an inhibitor to the spirit of the open platform. With support from some of the best investors in the world, we've been able to put the pieces in place to make the use of the platform free for all.

Don’t if they changed the decision again or not.

According to the Terms of Use, they could start charging fees at anytime, and/or impose other changes or restrictions, basically making your hub and proprietary devices useless, and we have no legal recourse. I doubt the Kickstarter Project's terms are enforceable without great difficulty.

The “Shop” does not clearly say that the Cloud is permanently fee free; can anyone find that in pre-purchase descriptions?

This is one (of many!..) real risks and flaws of the cloud model for a consumer product. You are only purchasing a weak license to a service that could change at any time. Consider if Microsoft buys SmartThings… Big winfall for ST team, but now we’re subject to the desires of MS’s profit models (XBox-like, or?).

Does SmartThings cost anything?

SmartThings reserves the right to require payment of fees for certain features of the Services. Should you elect to subscribe to such features, you shall pay all applicable fees, as described on the Services in connection with such features. SmartThings reserves the right to change its price list and to institute new charges at any time, upon ten (10) days prior notice to you, which may be sent by email or posted on the Services. Use of the Services by you following such notification constitutes your acceptance of any new or increased charges.

There is also zero obligation of service stability (no warranty), but that’s no unusual. Corporate products would have contractual obligations…

Believe it or not, I’m not complaining… Just pointing out the uncertainties that I wish could be resolved.

I’ve sat on the sideline for the last ten years wanting to jump into home automation. The reason was and still is cost. Like I have said in the past I agree the prices are in line with the industry. This is very disappointing though because I had high hope from the Kickstarter. I felt like Smartthings was going to center their ecosystem around the software and grow a community of thing’ers.

I challenge Alex and the Smartthings crew to make that killer “thing”! Bring us a $13-$15 single pole light switch or open/close sensor! Super sonic P30Y Smart!

Lucas (@Sirtaran)…

I very much empathize with your feelings. There have been many reasons that Home Automation systems have been slow to gain widespread mainstream adoption:

  1. Module prices (even basic Lutron lighting systems, for example, are aimed towards high-mid-end homes and up).
  2. Complexity (too many people can't figure out how to open ports on their routers for home servers, and older systems required linking to a home PC; other systems used cryptic keypads or hard to label buttons and remotes).
  3. Sales Channels (reliable systems are marketed by manufacturers who ONLY seller through certified value-added-resellers/installers (CE's: local ones, and national like Vivint, ...), not even revealing their prices in advance (e.g., Crestron, Tio, ELAN, Savant, 2 GIG, and on and on...). Home Depot doesn't carry any products, Lowes only recently sells Iris, Vera (GE?) isn't well marketed. New marketing channels have opened up: Home security companies as well as ISPs (Comcast Xfinity Home or something?).
  4. Reliability (X10 and Insteon don't work well in many environments).
  5. ...

So SmartThings is trying to address many challenges at one time. They believe that the smart phone based user interface and Smart Apps (and easy installation) handle the complexity. The SmartHub is well priced, though I still think there will be subscription fees eventually. They are attempting to market “relatively” affordable device modules (at least not much more expensive than most choices) – while ensuring reliable networking (ZigBee or Z-Wave mesh) is fundamental; and facilitating interfacing with other vendor systems which maximizes the overall system value (Nest, DropCam, …).

One of their strategies that has yet to really roll out, however, is proliferation of their customized ZigBee module (the ThingModule; currently only sold as installed on an Arduindo Shield). If you read the linked page, the goal is this piece to cost ~$10. Add the cost of a high-voltage relay, and you have the major components of a simple light switch; similarly for sensor. Does not quite hit your hoped for target of < $20. Yet… with mass production and competition, the prices will creep down towards “plain old unconnected switches”; we hope.


My concern is that the ThingModule is likely proprietary locked-into the SmartThings ecosystem (even though ZigBee based…); and therefore will make it difficult for the Consumer to move to a competitor once many items are installed. This is a “coy” (evil?) business decision. I thus continue to strongly recommend using Z-Wave devices until device module migration abilities become apparent: Z-Wave has been proven consistently able to move between hubs or remotes.

SmartThings needs to make a commitment that all of their branded devices, and every manufacturer that builds using the ThingModule should (MUST!) follow the documented ZigBee HA protocol standards (i.e., they should join the ZigBee Alliance), and then compatibility across vendors will be improved. SmartThings is aware of these standards, but the module (and the hub/cloud) does not enforce compliance.


If you hit a $20 price point you’ll own the market - no question about it. Check out some of the newer offerings on Alibaba a the prices have come down considerably just n the last few months and I found 2 “vendors” looking at generic ZigBee/zwave chassis to offer to their OEM customers to incorporate into a finished product. Just started playing with the shield and the possibilities are pretty much “anything you want to do you can” but that doesn’t address the retail end user who isn’t owing to write code and build. Mainstream America wants to walk into best buy and walk out with a PnP box for a few hundred bucks that just works.


This response on the topic of Subscription Fees was buried in the Kickstarter updates.
Note that it is dated August, far past the May date of the post you quoted that said they were NOT going to charge fees.

Very inconsistent…

Creator SmartThings on August 21st:

@Terry – We are not offering lifetime service for free on the SmartThings purchased through the store. You are correct that we are exploring all pricing models. Most of the models we are exploring still allow for people to try and get great use from SmartThings for free and then offer enhancements for power users. (another example of our Kickstarter backers getting a great deal) We’re excited to see what you come up with during your hacking!


So now I don’t get it. Will there be a in they charge or not or will it be free for all the KS backers for life but anyone new buying from the store get hit with a only “cloud service fee”? I don’t see how you can support the exponential costs associated with up-scaling the cloud back end as thousands of users come on board just from product sales but on the other hand, I never would have backed a project that had recurring fees. Can we get a definitive answer please - especially before people invest more money in infrastructure (switches/outlets/sensors) only to discover they need to toss out the ST hub and all the work done to date and go to a standalone controller? It’s almost a bait and switch.

If I had to guess it’ll be something like:

KS people: Free for all services.
Store buyers: Basic services free, Enhanced services for a fee.

What are enhanced services? Could be something like basic includes access to x-number of devices, but if you want more than that you need to pay.

Maybe basic includes 15 apps, but if you want more than that you need to pay. (This would be harder to do as an experienced programmer could make one really complex program that does the work of many smaller simple programs and thus easily get under a limit on number of programs.)

I missed the KS backing, but ordered during the first pre-order phase off of the website. The website stated that life time service was free. I hope they don’t mix up the list of who ordered when/where and start charging. I invested early for the free-for-life service and now how too much in ‘things’ to drop out now.

Unless the purchaser has saved written proof of the free-for-life service, they are always subject to the Terms of Use, which includes these two relevant clauses:


SmartThings reserves the right to require payment of fees for certain features of the Services. Should you elect to subscribe to such features, you shall pay all applicable fees, as described on the Services in connection with such features. SmartThings reserves the right to change its price list and to institute new charges at any time, upon ten (10) days prior notice to you, which may be sent by email or posted on the Services. Use of the Services by you following such notification constitutes your acceptance of any new or increased charges.


We’re always trying to improve the Services, so they may change over time. We may suspend or discontinue any part of the Services, or we may introduce new features or impose limits on certain features or restrict access to parts or all of the Services. We’ll try to give you notice when we make a material change to the Services that would adversely affect you, but this isn’t always practical. Similarly, we reserve the right to remove any Content from the Services at any time, for any reason (including, but not limited to, if someone alleges you contributed that Content in violation of these Terms), in our sole discretion, and without notice.

While I hope it is unlikely and inadvisable for SmartThings to charge early adopters or Kickstarter backers fees in the future, I doubt you (or I) would have much luck fighting this, if it were to happen (even if a civil lawsuit could force compliance, that would be a lot of trouble and expense).