Samsung's SmartThings boasts a robust network of DIY smart home automation devices and partnerships. Now, SmartThings is joining forces with security company ADT. Available for preorder today on Best Buy and Samsung's websites, the $550 starter kit and $200 expansion pack offer a suite of home security and automation products eligible for professional monitoring by ADT without the strings of a long-term contract. Both kits are expected to be available exclusively at Best Buy stores on Oct. 29.
What's in the $550 starter kit:
- 7-inch SmartThings hub panel
- Two sets of door or window sensors
- Motion detector
What's in the $200 expansion kit:
- Smoke detector
- Carbon monoxide detector
- Water leak detector
In addition to the starter and expansion packs, a key fob remote enables three functions: alarm on, alarm off and panic.
While there are no long-term contracts or mandatory service agreements, ADT will monitor what it calls "life safety" products, namely those included in the expansion pack, for $15 per month. For $25 per month, ADT will monitor the "home security" products in the starter kit for intrusion. An introductory offer gives a $5 discount to customers who purchase both services, making ADT's full service monitoring $35. Customers can cancel or sign up for services at anytime through a corresponding app.
Despite some reliability woes last year, SmartThings feels confident in its metrics and ability to support smart home security. Every device offered in the starter kit functions with 900 MHz dual-encryption wireless technology and is built to the same standards as ADT's professionally installed products. To be monitored by ADT, you must use these specially encrypted devices, which you can also purchase as additional accessories. The 900 MHz system was designed exclusively for this effort. SmartThings and ADT say this encryption will help to safeguard against false alarms that often cost consumers hundreds of dollars in municipal fines.
The hub of this new security system is the Samsung SmartThings ADT Panel. The 7-inch touchscreen panel works as the main interface for products in the kits, but also functions as a SmartThings hub. This means someone purchasing the starter kit could continue to expand their home automation with any of the current "works with SmartThings" products. Zigbee and Z-wave antenna and certification are built into the panel, as well as a siren for alerts. The panel runs on AC power and communicates via Wi-Fi, but includes 7-day battery backup and LTE backup from Verizon wireless, allowing customers to contact ADT in the event of a power outage.
SmartThings and ADT are aiming to bridge the gap for consumers (read: millennials) who want to protect and secure their smart home, and be actively involved in customizing their ecosystem. SmartThings confirmed nothing has changed with regard to open API and third party developers.
Traditionally, price, long-term contracts and false alarms have kept customers from taking the plunge. SmartThings and ADT are hoping this new line of products will combat these reservations.
Is this finally the perfect marriage of security monitoring and home automation? How will it stack up against the Nest Secure system? We'll see, as the Samsung SmartThings ADT Home Security line of products roll out this October.