The last six months have seen a number of moves toward standardizing the development of the “Internet of Things” on the part of major tech firms. Efforts as wide-ranging as a partnership between Oracle and Freescale and a consortium of ABB, Bosch, Cisco, and LG are telling signs of the increasing sense of both opportunity and urgency on the part of the tech sector at the increasing automation and connectivity of the most banal of daily objects.
Amidst these major corporate moves, however, there are also a sea of smaller-scale signs of this fascination with linking up the tools of everyday life over the Internet. Perhaps the most recent example comes from a start-up, SmartThings, which just announced Tuesday that it has secured $12.5 million in Series A funding from Grelock Partners and Highland Capital Partners, which follows on from an earlier infusion of $3 million. Founded in April 2012, SmartThings emerged onto the scene with a successful Kickstarter campaign that brought in more than $1 million.
SmartThings is looking to expand its presence within the smaller-scale, consumer-facing niche of the connectivity market, providing hardware and software aimed specifically at corralling the vast range of potentially connected devices in a home through an existing wireless network and via a smartphone.
According to the press release, “SmartThings’ Starter Kits enable customers to make homes secure, smart and fun with a simple mobile application that controls an open system of connected devices. With SmartThings, users can add a layer of security and additional insurance to their homes – whether that be notifications about unexpected motion while they’re away, alerts about the risk of water damage and extreme temperatures, or the security of the garage door closing behind them when they leave. SmartThings creates a more intuitive home experience where lighting, climate and more automatically respond to customers’ preferences and moods.”
“SmartThings is taking a unique approach to a new era in human-machine interaction that merges the physical and digital worlds,” said Manish Patel, partner at Highland Capital Partners. “The power of the Internet of Things lies in having as many connection points across as many verticals as possible.”
[ photo courtesy of SmartThings ]