Tutorial: SmartThings, meet Initial State

Update 1/25/2016: The Official SmartThings integration has just received another big update that solves many of the bugs that users were experiencing before. Now the SmartApp is faster and more reliable than ever! To make sure you have the latest version, remove your existing SmartApp and setup the integration again.

Update 1/4/2016: I just published code for an alternative DIY version of the SmartApp that you can install yourself (side-stepping the official integration) if you want to make custom changes, run it for multiple hubs, etc. You can find it all on GitHub with documentation on how to install and use it.


A couple days ago we released a new integration feature between SmartThings and Initial State. With this new integration, we’ve made it super simple for users with a SmartThings hub and connected devices to stream all of the events that the SmartThings device network generates to Initial State’s visualizations. The result is a completely code-free, simple process that creates some really cool data to analyze! Now you can see a cool audit history of your home or office’s utilization in waves, analyze the temperatures from all your multi-senses combined with home grown projects, or just see a configuration-less dashboard of the current state of things!


To enable this integration for your Initial State account, simply follow along:

  1. Log in or create an Initial State account
  2. Navigate to your account
  3. Notice at the bottom of the account page, you’ll see a Streaming Connections section with SmartThings right under it like so

    SmartThings streaming connection
    SmartThings Streaming Connection
  4. The SmartThings logo is a button that you can select, upon doing so, you’ll be redirected to SmartThings to authenticate with your SmartThings account. Note: this is the same username and password that you use in your SmartThings mobile app to access and control your SmartThings hub.
    SmartThings login
    SmartThings login


  5. After successful authentication with SmartThings, you’ll be prompted to select the devices you’d like to stream their states to Initial State. Note: Initial State does NOT control your SmartThings devices, it exclusively listens to events generated on your SmartThings network so you don’t have to be paranoid about security, that’s our job 🙂

    Authorize Initial State to access your SmartThings
    Authorize Initial State to access your SmartThings
  6. Check all the boxes next to the devices you’d like to stream their events to Initial State then select Authorize
  7. Upon authorization, you’ll be redirected to your Initial State account page where you will now see that the SmartThings button has turned into an active integration like so:

    Connected SmartThings connection
    Connected SmartThings connection
  8. When new events occur, a new bucket inside Initial State will be created and the events will be sent to this new bucket, that’s it!

*Note* Your SmartThings events are sent to your Initial State account after either 10 events have occurred or after 15 minutes.  This buffering is a requirement from SmartThings.  You can read more about buffering and supported devices at http://support.initialstate.com/knowledgebase/articles/678313-smartthings-integration.


So, what now?

Glad you asked! Here’s some cool features once you’ve got your SmartThings integration enabled. You’ll be able to view your SmartThings bucket in Initial State inside Tiles to get a real-time dashboard of events going across your SmartThings network. You can see who’s home, what the states of your doors are, what are the temperatures currently across your house, etc! Over time, you’ll be able to view a larger set of historical data combined with real-time data in Waves and Lines. This gives you a visual audit of your smart home or office’s activities.

Check out some of my own data (click for larger view):

SmartThings events in Waves


A few interesting points about the data above:

  1. I had family staying with me for a few weeks which is why my motion and lights were much more dense on the left side of the image than the right
  2. It’s easy to see day cycles when looking at temperature swings which brings me to another cool view of my home’s temperature data (click for larger view)
    SmartThings temperature data in Waves
    SmartThings temperature data in Waves

    You can see that the orange line at the bottom swings with quite a bit more magnitude at quite a lower range than all the other temperatures in other zones in my house. The reason is because this sensor is on top of an a/c vent under my sink.

And of course, Tiles provides a great view into my home:

SmartThings in Tiles
SmartThings in Tiles


I hope you enjoy this new integration as much as I am! Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions, comments, feature suggestions, etc we’re happy to hear from you! Additionally, feel free to go to support.initialstate.com to submit feedback, ideas, explore, and interact with our team.



44 comments On Tutorial: SmartThings, meet Initial State

  • I signed up and authorized my Smartthings account, but no data shows up anywhere in my Initial State account. It has been connected for the last few hours and things have occurred in Smartthings so I know data should be flowing.

    • Hey Brian, sorry to hear you’re not seeing anything yet! I’ll email you some troubleshooting and we’ll get this figured out. Cheers!

  • Using your service on mobile or tablet is painful. Any plans to release an app or at minimum a mobile optimized/responsive site? I couldn’t imagine using and paying for this in its current state 🙁

    • Ryan, I agree with you. We are working on a much better mobile experience now. All of our visualizations were first optimized for larger screens. We will have a much more mobile optimized application very soon. I will email you as soon as we release it.

    • Hey Ryan, like Jamie mentioned, we’re definitely aware of the deficiency in the mobile experience. We’ve been working hard on the other experiences with our app and mobile is definitely in our line of sight. In fact, if you could, I’ve created this as an idea in our support forum here: http://support.initialstate.com/forums/252778-feature-requests/suggestions/9110260-create-a-mobile-experience-for-tiles

      Go there and vote the idea up if you’d like it or make comments if you think the idea is missing anything! When you do this, you’ll also be able to easily track our progress as we implement!

  • David,
    First of all, fantastic website. Loving the interface so far! Is it possible to setup 2 hubs under the same account? Thanks!

  • Love the graphs. I’m a data analyst / DBA myself and love to see things presented this way.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see me Aeon Labs Energy monitor in the list of Smart Things sensors to be authorized. That device is clearly registered and working with my ST hub though.

    That’s probably the most important monitor that I’d like to see. Any plans for supporting that?

    • Thanks! And viewing energy consumption through Initial State is a great use case. One that I do myself through a home-made energy monitoring solution at the moment.

      As for SmartThings, this is absolutely something that we will support very soon. In fact, it was supported in the original integration, but certainly sensor capabilities ended up being removed before the integration was public due to a small bug in the SmartThings testing solution. I’ve worked directly with SmartThings on this issue and they’ve assured me that the bug is only in the testing solution and not in the live product. As such, I have re-enabled this sensor capability for monitoring in addition to 15 more capabilities that should be released in the next version of the integration.

      In fact, if you’d like to receive updates on this specific feature or request anything else, I’ve created a support feature request for this item containing details about the future release here: http://support.initialstate.com/forums/252778-feature-requests/suggestions/9182180-ability-to-monitor-aeon-energy-monitor-with-smartt


  • Trying this right now, but my smart things won’t authorize after I click the button. Its just stuck…. doesn’t return me back that it has been authorized.


    • Hey Key,

      You seem to be experiencing an issue that we’re currently aware of. An update was made to the integration to include support for more device capabilities, but prior to final roll out of the app, a bug from SmartThings was exposed that is preventing the integration from authenticating anymore. SmartThings has assured us that they are working hard to correct the bug. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.

      • Ahhh… Cool, so I guess I am stuck for now…. Hopefully you guys can update the post when it comes back online.


        • Unfortunately so… I’m in direct connect with SmartThings about the issue and will post a reply here when it’s fully functional again. Unfortunately, the ball is in SmartThings’ court at the moment, but I’m hopeful we’ll have it back soon!

        • Hey Ken,

          This should be working again now! Please email us if you run into any issues!

          • Confirmed working. Thanks!

          • Hey David,

            Had a question. What devices from smart things currently is supported? I only see my motion sensor, but there are other things such as GE dimmer switches, Open / Close sensors, etc.



          • Hey Ken,

            Currently our integration supports the following device capabilities:
            contact sensor
            motion sensor
            presence sensor
            relative humidity measurement
            switch level
            temperature measurement
            water sensor

            We are attempting to release the following additional capabilities but are currently waiting for SmartThings to address a few platform bugs:
            acceleration sensor
            carbon monoxide detector
            color control
            door control
            energy meter
            illuminance measurement
            music player
            power meter
            relay switch
            sleep sensor
            smoke detector
            step sensor

            You can follow this progress here: http://support.initialstate.com/forums/252778-feature-requests/suggestions/9182180-ability-to-monitor-aeon-energy-monitor-with-smartt


  • How can one import all the data from smartthings? this would defintely be a huge plus to start paying for this service If one can see how my house behaved in the past 2 years 🙁

    • Unfortunately, I don’t know anywhere that SmartThings stores historical data (of any significant time length) inside its app or servers. If there is a data store of that data, it can be imported into Initial State through scripting or as a file dump. One of the big features of the Initial State + SmartThings integration is giving users an option to store that data somewhere long-term. This was one of our big motivators for doing this integration.

  • I have a problem with no data being populated. I completed the steps in the tutorial this morning and there is no data whatsoever in the dashboard.

    • Hi Paul,

      I have a few questions to help troubleshoot your integration.

      1) Have you ever authenticated your SmartThings with a different Initial State account, or only one?

      2) When setting the integration up, did you select all the devices on the SmartThings authentication page for your SmartThings hub location? By default, nothing is checked.

      3) You can see your SmartThings logs by going here: https://graph.api.smartthings.com/ide/logs
      When you first go there, the logs will be blank (they only start to show up as you trigger events). When the logs start to show up, you’ll also be able to start filtering them by selecting a link in the top called “Initial State Event Streamer”. After a few of these logs have been generated, can you copy and paste them into an email back to me (support@initialstate.com)?

      Hopefully one of these will clue us into getting this fixed. Let me know the answers to any of these and I’m happy to help!

    • Hey Paul,

      Looks like everything is working for you on our end, check again and let us know if that’s not the case 🙂

      As for an explanation: an Initial State event bucket called “SmartThings” doesn’t get created until you’re SmartThings hub has processed events (which are at various and non-predictable times). Once your hub has processed events after you’ve enabled the integration, you’ll see both the bucket pop up and your first events as well. If we created the bucket right when you enabled the integration, there could be a possibility that you’d see an empty bucket, which doesn’t seem too helpful!

      Anyway, like Rachel said, check it out and email us if you have any further issues!


  • I’ve successfully set up my account and the integration between SmartThings and Initial State is working well. The graphs look great and I’m really enjoying the ability to easily visualize my home automation data. The ability to keep a history of the temperatures, power usage, etc. of the home is a useful feature; however the limit of 7 days of data retention puts a big limit on the utility.

    Are there any plans to offer new paid plans geared more towards the home user? I can easily fit within 25,000 events per month, but I’d like to retain the data for longer (a year or more would be great!) However, I can’t justify paying $19/month just for the retention of this data. (It’s only a few megabytes) The larger plans make sense for enterprise use, but they’re not economical for home use. I’d be happy to pay $2 or $3 a month for one-year retention of data for a low event volume account (and the visualizations that you’re developed are definitely worth paying for), but if $19/month remains the price point for one-year retention, I’m going to have to remain on the free plan and forego it.

    • Yes! We will soon be offering exclusive plans for SmartThings users that should directly address your concerns. We will send out an email to all of our SmartThings users when this goes live as well as update our website.

      • I know you must have a lot going on, but Is there any update on the special SmartThings data retention plan?

        • We made two changes to address the concerns you had: #1) We changed all of our paid plans to unlimited data streaming with unlimited data retention. #2) We reduced the price of the Standard plan to $5 per month. Check out our changes and let me know what you think.

  • Hi, I really want this to work! But it fails for me setting up access to my SmartThings account. When i select my location I get an error message “Client is not associated with a SmartApp in location”. Any idea why this should be the case? I’ve successfully connected to other SmartApps. Interesting, it does seem to work with my Test Location. I am in the UK.

    • Let me reach out to our contact at SmartThings and see why this may be an issue since you’re receiving the error from SmartThings platform and not ours!

    • Sean, quick update: I’ve spoken with our contact at SmartThings and he and his team have identified an issue with this specific SmartApp in the UK that they are working to fix. I will post an update here as soon as it’s been fixed!

    • Hey Sean,

      So, I’ve been told from SmartThings team that this issue has now been fixed. However, I’d also like to introduce you to a more manual alternative solution should you want! I’ve documented it in github here (https://github.com/davidsulpy/initialstate-smartapp). Be sure to read the readme for instructions on how to use the “unbuffered” DIY version. And of course, email me if you have any issues! Cheers!

      • The official integration still isn’t working with UK account. I could add the app, waited 24 hours but nothing showed up in Initial State. Then I did the DIY version and started working immediately.

      • Hi There,

        I now get the screen on the Smartthings site where I get to choose the sensors that I would like to take data from and I am able to press the ‘Authorise’ button. However when I then come back to Initial State there is no authorisation information next to the “Streaming Connections” Smartthings button in my account and I don’t get a data bucket. Will try the DIY approach now.


        • I could never get the official app working with my UK account. Tried the updated app too and doesn’t work either. I was using the DIY version but that stopped working on the 25th.

          • Hey jbtibor,

            We’re currently aware of an issue SmartThings is having with OAuth in the UK. We’ve made them aware and are waiting for feedback from them. Sorry for the confusion! We had been notified before that this issue had been addressed and that the new SmartApp was deployed correctly to the UK, but it appears that’s not the case 🙂

            As for the DIY app that stopped working, do you mind emailing me, david@initialstate.com, the App details? If the app details are correct and the app still stopped working, then I need to make SmartThings aware as this is an issue with their platform. Thanks for the information!

  • This is awesome. Congrats on super work.

  • I am using the DIY Initial State Event Streamer but for my energy monitor it only seems to stream the running total kWh so it will simply produce an increasing graph, I would like to get the current watts to be streamed so I have relevant data to look over later. How can I get this to work?


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  • I don’t see a Streaming Connections section at the bottom of my account page. I only see an Example Import and a Sewrxh bar.

    How am I supposed to connect to my Smartthings Hub?

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