San Francisco based startup, Thington, has developed an iPhone app to enable control of multiple devices in the smart home, without the need for a hub or any other technology.
According to its web site, Thington is an app that you can download for the iPhone that “looks to see what devices you have in your home and helps you set them up, suggests useful ways that they can work together, gives you a universal remote control so you can look after them from one place, lets you add your friends to your guest list and lets you—if you want—make things in your home react to information in the wider world.” The company says it hopes to have web versions and Android versions available soon.
The company’s approach is one of several addressing the problem of how smart home owners control the plethora of devices from multiple vendors. Google, Apple, Samsung and others are offering smart home gateways and trying to create ecosystems of compatible devices. Australian company Xped has developed its Auto Discovery Remote Control technology to enable a wide range of equipment to be monitored and controlled via the Xped smartphone app. However it requires an ADRC Hub and software embedded in the devices (the company is working with chip and device manufacturers).
Another Australian-founded company, Two Bulls, has developed Higgns (sic), software designed to be incorporated into a wide range of connected devices so that they can easily communicate with each other and be controlled over a local network or via the cloud. It is based on the AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn technology.
Thington presently works with Philips Hue light bulbs and lamps, Netatmo weather stations, smoke alarms, cameras and thermostats from Nest&trade, light switches, ground switches and motions sensors from Belkin Wemo and Automatic. WeMo products require the Thington Desktop App, (Windows Mac or Linux), but the company says it is working to change that.
For all devices except WeMo the iPhone app communicates with the cloud service associated with the device to enable its control and monitoring via the app. The app supports owner and guest roles. An owner can control all the things in a place at all times, can see all the updates from that place and can add new things or set up new rules. A guest can only control things in the house or office when they’re physical present.
Thington was founded by Dopplr founder Matt Biddulph and ex-Yahoo Brickhouse Head of Product Tom Coates as new product development studio ‘Product Club’ in 2012 and renamed and relaunched as an Internet of Things start-up in 2014. In March 2015 it announced an unspecified amount of angel funding from “some of tech’s big names” to help it build out “a friendly new way to interact with the Internet of Things.” You can find more details of Thington in a blog post by Coates on medium.com