Why did Samsung abandon us? Is it because of that one time I complained about an outage on twitter? If it was because I integrated that outlet directly with my Alexa bypassing ST - it was just curiosity. It meant nothing.
Whatever it is, it doesn’t excuse Samsung’s irrational behavior. Who flat out shuts down production of the leading Smart Home platform? Who hangs their customer base out to dry with a downgraded application that barely functions – while retiring their perfectly functioning app. And how do you possibly explain the constant outages? Why not implement High Availability. It kind of cones as a default in cloud platforms these days.
Valid point, although maybe we shouldn’t take it personally, it just looks like Samsung are getting out of the Home Automation market, they’re just going about it in a very peculiar manner. I’d expect an important announcement in Q2.
I’ve been wondering the same. If they really were going to get out of the Smart Home business, why invest at all in the new platform. And if they are staying in the business, why the approach of leaving us with such an awful platform that was obviously not ready fore prime time. The lack of stability is really unacceptable for any kind of real automation.
So this would be different than what support just told me two hours ago? That sure looks like the ST sensor that got discontinued.
I was just told that all available leak sensors require the internet to trigger notifications/automations. In other words, none will work with a ST hub only, all require custom DTHs (and thus require interwebs).
Smartthings has always been primarily a cloud-based system and in particular all notifications always require the Internet. Even if they tell you that a DTH runs locally, the notifications don’t. Even if you are in the same building with your phone connected to the same Wi-Fi as your hub, you won’t get a notification because notifications have to go through the smartthings cloud. They didn’t have to design it that way, but they did. You can’t even arm/disarm the security features without the cloud.
So a water sensor DTH that runs locally could trigger a siren that also runs locally, and you would hear it when you were in the house. But it still can’t send you a notification because smartthings notifications always require the cloud.
There are several competing systems which are mostly local except for voice processing and third-party integrations, so if local is essential to you, you might want to look at some of those. They include hubitat (The most similar to smartthings in terms of supported devices and Automations), apple’s HomeKit, Home assistant (Open source), Homeseer, Abode (security focused, but does support many of the same devices that smartthings does).
Some of these also have a cellular option so that you or a monitoring company can get an alert outside of the building even if the home Internet is out. Abode is one of these and all of the systems that are UL certified for residential security will have that option. Plus some of the Home Automation systems.
If your primary concern is leak sensors that will notify you even if the power and Internet are out, then there are definitely platforms that can handle that, but smartthings isn’t one of them.
(Which is ironic because one of the original founders, the original CEO, described exactly the use case that you did (pipes burst during a freeze when the power was out) as his motivation for starting the company. He never did appear to understand that the platform his company supported couldn’t solve the use case he described, because no power meant no notifications. But he left the company a few years ago.)
SOME OTHER OPTIONS, BUT RESEARCH CAREFULLY
If you just want inexpensive home security, including leak sensors, ring alarm is also worth looking at. Like abode, it has its own built-in cellular device and will switch to that if the Internet goes out. When it says “mobile notifications“, it’s referring to the Built in cellular module. Their app won’t work if the WiFi goes out, But you will continue to get notifications.
So in the very low cost systems (anything under $1500 which includes smartthings) you have to get pretty specific about your needs and do your research, because all of the systems have cut some features in order to keep the costs low.
And you need to check two different things: what app functions work if the Internet is out but you are on your local Wi-Fi, and what notifications can get sent if the Internet is out. Quite a few low cost systems choose one or the other of these, but not both. So when the Internet goes out the app doesn’t work anymore, but there is a cellular module which can send notifications that way. Or when the Internet goes out the app still works for local control over your local Wi-Fi, but there isn’t a built-in cellular module to send notifications out of the building.
Smartthings never did manufacture its own devices: it contracted with third parties.
They recently decided to get out of the business of support and sales of home automation hardware, and have chosen new partners to take that over.
Aeotec is the partner for Europe and North America. They are a well established manufacturer of zwave devices, but the smartthings branded devices always used a different protocol, Zigbee. So it looks like initially all of the “New” aeotec devices for The smartthings platform will be identical to the previous smartthings devices, just with a different logo but made by the same third-party manufacturers. I expect that will change eventually.
Here is the Official partnership announcement:
(UPCOMING SMARTTHINGS LORD and [FIRST RESPONDER])
(UPCOMING SMARTTHINGS LORD and [FIRST RESPONDER])
it needs to be made clear on the home page what is going on so there isnt a great misunderstanding. Samsung is staying in the software/data business for ST and getting out of the hardware side and licensing that out to other hardware vendors.
Apple doesn’t take away app features that were in use and on which people depended for the home automation platform, at least they haven’t in the five years that I’ve been using the system. There are no certified third party devices which used to work with HomeKit app and now don’t work with the current version.
The only device I can think of which had to be replaced because it just didn’t keep up with requirements of the changing system was Apple TV three. It just didn’t have the memory as HomeKit features expanded.
But other than that, the evolution of the system has not meant I had to re-create any work I had done previously. Nor was I forced to do it in a different way than I used to.
As @jkp mentioned, what they are doing is getting out of sales and support of home automation devices. But they will continue to offer the platform and the app. There are a couple of other companies, notably Tuya, which do something similar.
Here’s the official announcement thread you were asking about. The topic title is a clickable link.
I think the real significance is now that they have brought everything into one app, Samsung’s primary SmartThings client base in terms of both profit and numbers are people who have a “hub optional“ configuration. They don’t have a smartthings hub. They do have a smart Samsung appliance or television, and they may want to add some lights to that. Samsung wants them to have a nice looking app and to be able to do that.
If other companies find a successful business model in providing the hub and support for devices that require the hub, Samsung is happy to hand that part over. And one of the things they have to offer is access to the hundreds of millions of people who have those smart Samsung devices.
So from a business standpoint, I think it makes sense. The people in this forum may not be happy with some of the changes, but we are a very small percentage of the user base and probably have never been a profitable one.
Personally, I’m not happy with the lack of transparency about all the changes, but SmartThings has always made unannounced and undocumented changes, so that’s not unusual for them.