There’s a growing number of “smart” connected devices available around the home these days — including everything from smart light bulbs to smart locks to smart refrigerators and washing machines. And internet-of-things startup SmartThings wants to power the back end that connects all those devices.
In its latest bid to accomplish that goal, the company has rolled out a new, updated mobile app that is designed to make it easier for consumers to control all of the SmartThings-connected devices around their homes. And it’s updated its developer tools to improve its ecosystem of partner devices.
The update to its mobile app builds on its previous build, which had boosted the number of devices that the typical SmartThings user connects to the platform, from 5 to 10. With more devices connected, there are more things that consumers can do with the app, which means they typically use it more often.
The number of times that users open the app on average has jumped from one to four times a day, probably driven by an increase in the number of subscribed push notifications that they receive. That number has tripled in the past six months, from 5 to 15 notifications that pop up each day.
The newest version of the app is designed to further simplify the onboarding process for new users and new devices. It makes it easier for consumers to set up actions and alerts for a growing number of supported devices on the platform, and provides a unified dashboard for managing all of them once connected.
To provide that support, the company is standardizing the process by which device manufacturers and developers can connect to its back end, with the formal rollout of its SmartThings Platform.
When SmartThings launched its first group of products a couple of years ago, it looked like a fun hobbyist kit for tracking different things happening around your house. But over the past two years it’s worked hard to build a platform for developers looking to build applications around an increasingly broad set of connected devices available for the home.
With the rollout, the company is launching a certification program to ensure that the best devices and developers are supported by its platform. There is now a formalized submission and approval process for developers to submit their applications for inclusion. Once approved, those developers can publish their experiences and share them within the companys app.
There are now more than 100 approved and compatible devices on the platform and more than 5,000 developers that are building experiences that are becoming part of its consumer toolset. But the company is hoping to increase that number over time.
It’s an ambitious plan, and one that SmartThings is well-positioned to go after, thanks to $15.5 million in funding from Greylock Partners and Highland Capital Partners, along with First Round Capital, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, CrunchFund, Max Levchin, Yuri Milner’s Start Fund, David Tisch, A-Grade Investments, Chris Dixon, Vivi Nevo, Alexis Ohanian, Loic Le Meur, Martin Varsavsky, Kal Vepuri, Ryan Sarver, Jared Hecht, Steve Martocci, Emil Michael, Aaron Levie, Zorik Gordon, and Nathan Hanks.