SmartThings API Enables Apps to Control the Physical World Around Us

Eric Carter, Founder & Corporate Counsel, Dartsand
Aug. 27 2013, 10:00AM EDT

From lights and switches to people and cars, SmartThings aims at communicating with everyday devices through a smartphone. With the availability of the SmartThings API, developers can add similar functionality with third party applications to create a more automated world. Although SmartThings strongly believes in the power of smart and mobile devices, it believes the inherent intelligence of smart devices will remain limited. Accordingly, SmartThings exists to transfer the “intelligence” of such devices to the application layer, and away from the physical device itself.

With the application layer mentality driving its development, SmartThings started with a “cloud first” approach. CNN’s review of SmartThings captures company sentiment: “SmartThings will let you run your entire world by smartphone.” Not only does any API allow the SmartThings platform to communicate with hardware infrastructure (e.g. light switches, car locks, doors, etc.), the API can integrate with existing Apps to add new features and functionality.

The SmartThings API uses REST protocol and returns calls in a JSON data format. Example methods include setting reminders, switching devices on and off, and managing devices. For more information, or to better understand current capabilities and future potential, visit the SmartThings Knowledge Base.

Smartphones have certainly democratized communication, expanded access to information, and offered new forms of entertainment. But, what if developers could take smartphone capability to another level? What if applications could monitor and control the infrastructure, physical hardware, and basic facilities we depend on a daily basis. The SmartThings platform envisions such existence and the SmartThings API might make such thoughts a reality sooner than many realize.

Eric Carter Eric is the founder of Dartsand and Corporate Counsel for a specialty technology distributor. He is a frequent contributor to technology media outlets and also serves as primary legal counsel for multiple startups in the Real Estate, Virtual Assistant, and Software Development Industries. Follow me on Google+

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