Your Home: Now Smarter with SHIELD and SmartThings

by Brian Choi

SmartThings Link, the key to unlock your NVIDIA SHIELD TV as a SmartThings Hub, started shipping last week at just $14.49 (shipped) for SHIELD Rewards Members. Today you’ll find it at standalone, but also as part of a bundle [need link] with SHIELD TV for $214.98.

With the number of smart home products growing rapidly, devices are becoming more affordable and more powerful. They’re also becoming easier to use as the Google Assistant’s natural language recognition brings voice control of Works With SmartThings devices to SHIELD.

But your Smart Home can do much, much more. SmartThings Hub technology enables you to add Routines, controlling multiple devices with a single command – completely hands-free or remotely with your mobile device. You can also add home automation for security and convenience, automatically responding to an event, like a door opening. In addition, SmartThings supports battery-operated devices like motion and door sensors that are missing from many other smart home ecosystems. These sensors are essential for a truly smart and automated home.

What is SmartThings? And How Does it Work?

SmartThings is the easiest way to turn your home into a smart home – making it simple to monitor and control your everyday devices from anywhere with the largest ecosystem of connected devices. SHIELD, when combined with a SmartThings Link, works as a SmartThings Hub, acting as the brain of your smart home. Think of it like the conductor of a symphony, expertly navigating different instruments to play a harmonious tune. But a SmartThings hub, rather than directing musical performances, communicates with various devices, guiding them to follow your directions.

There are hundreds of Works With SmartThings devices and countless possibilities when it comes to setting up your smart home. SmartThings Link adds both ZigBee and Z-Wave support to SHIELD, two low-power wireless protocols optimized for battery operated smart devices that help expand the ecosystem of devices in the SmartThings world. Motion sensors, door and window sensors, water leak sensors, arrival sensors, and more are all very important battery-operated devices that depend on these low power protocols.

If you’ve ever had interest in controlling the lights, powering an outlet, changing the temperature on a thermostat, monitoring leaky faucets, making sure doors are closed, or any of a host of security options, you’ll want to explore everything you can do with SHIELD and SmartThings Link.

With the Google Assistant now available on SHIELD, you can control all these devices with your voice. And with your Google Assistant’s natural voice recognition, it’s easier than ever before. Once you’ve setup your SmartThings Link and configured the devices (more on that in a moment), all it takes is an “Ok Google” followed by “turn off the lights,” “set the thermostat to 72 degrees,” or “turn on the <insert what you’ve named your smart device here>.”

SmartThings also works with Amazon Alexa. So if you have an Amazon Echo or Dot, your Works With SmartThings devices can also be controlled by Amazon’s voice assistant.

Setup and Configuration

Setting up a smart home can be intimidating, but we’re here to help simplify things on SHIELD with SmartThings and the Google Assistant.

The first step is to plug your new SmartThings Link into SHIELD using the USB extension cable. After doing so, you’ll receive a prompt to download and install the SmartThings TV app on SHIELD. You also need to download the SmartThings app on your phone or tablet from Google Play (it’s available for iOS devices as well) to create an account and to add/configure your smart devices. For more information on this whole process, you can check out the SmartThings setup guide.

Setting up Works With SmartThings devices is simple as well. First, connect your smart product and make sure that it’s powered on. If it’s your first connected device, you’ll receive a prompt in the SmartThings app to “Add a Thing,” if not, you select My Home from the app and then tap the “+” icon in the top right corner. Once the device is discovered, it’ll appear at the top of the screen. Give it a name, save it, and just like that, your home is infinitely smarter.

For additional detail on connecting different devices or troubleshooting, visit the How to connect and configure new devices SmartThings support website.

Routines and Automation

We’ve already established that SmartThings can control a single device with a command – a really cool feature on its own. But what makes it so special is controlling multiple devices with a routine triggered by a single voice command. Just like you may have a routine in the morning where you hit the snooze button three times, throw your alarm clock out the window, begrudgingly roll out of bed, then proceed to do 18 tasks in eight minutes to get ready for the day – SmartThings can control routines as well. A SmartThings “get out of bed” routine may include turning on the lights, playing music, powering on a coffee pot connected to a smart plug in the kitchen, and setting the thermostat to 74 degrees so your post-shower comfort is at its peak.

Taking it one step further, you can add automation. Automation is an automatic response to an event – as opposed to having to trigger the action(s) manually. For example, you can setup a sensor on your backdoor configured so that between midnight and 6am, when it’s tripped, the downstairs lights turn on, a camera begins recording with a notification sent to your phone, and a siren wails.

Saving Money – the Smart Thing to Do

Smart devices can learn your behavior. An Ecobee thermostat can learn over time when you come home and change the temperature, saving on energy bills. You can manually program it too. SHIELD also helps bring down the cost of integrating a SmartThings Hub in your home. SHIELD plus SmartThings Link essentially replaces the need for a more expensive, standalone hub.

More Than a Smart Speaker

Only SHIELD and SmartThings Link can control your entertainment and smart home with this range of products and entertainment options, all in one device. You’d have to purchase several products to get the same feature set, spending even more money. You don’t carry an mp3 player, flashlight, flip phone and pager anymore, so why buy a smart speaker, media streamer and separate smart hub?

With SHIELD, you get all the functionality of smart home devices that work with SmartThings and your Google Assistant, plus hundreds of thousands of entertainment options – from movies to music and TV shows to games.

For more information, visit We’ve also prepared a handy FAQ to help with questions you may have.

Now what are you waiting for? Pick up a SHIELD and SmartThings Link bundle [need BBY link] and tell us on twitter @nvidiashield how you’re making your home smarter!