$300 Paper Weight


(Chris W) #1

It looks like I will be waiting for VeraPlus to offer better Zigbee support before I do anything with home automation. The reason being that I can’t do much of anything with any of the others including Smart Things when the Internet is down. It’s not that the internet is down that often but it means that I am at the mercy of the company to have a useful device.

Just take a look at http://revolv.com/ for a good example of what can happen. In a few months, everyone who owns one of the Revolv HA hubs will have a $300 Paper Weight.

You may think that would never happen with Samsung, but no one can really know that. Companies large and small disappear all the time. Even more common is divisions of companies get bought and sold and then get sent to /dev/null.


(Justin H) #2

While I definitely see where you’re coming from, and have thought the same thing, here is what I have come to realize: Only a very small percent of my HA “investment” is in the hub itself. If ST drops off the face of the planet, I’m out $100, but all of my devices are standardized enough that they will be portable to whatever system I choose in the future. I’d say that $100 risk is one I’m willing to take to use the ST system for now (and hopefully for a long time). Just my two cents.


(sidjohn1) #3

@cdw3423, I see you’re new so you don’t fully understand how passionate this community is. Should SmartThings fall off the face of the planet I’d give it 3 months max before the community had a replacement ready to rock that would probably be even more stable. With that being said, at this point it is highly unlikely SmartThings will die any time soon. Samsung has placed it at the center of its IoT strategy and has been working to integrate it with everything they make. From phones and watches to vacuums and washing machines and even TVs. To kill SmartThings any time soon would be a major blow to the future of Samsung.


#4

That’s only true if you assume that the technology being used in the current hub is what they’re putting into their appliances and televisions. We don’t have any evidence of that yet. They may just be going to use the SmartThings name and apply it to completely different technology. Which wouldn’t save any hub customers. :disappointed_relieved:

We’ll probably know more (although maybe not) when the new Smart TV versions come out this year.


(I got a hair cut from Alexa) #5

No electronic system lasts forever. Just like you’ve upgraded your wifi router many times…you’ll upgrade everything else too.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #6

I agree with the above post about the hub being the only investment in the company.

Ensuring that my devices are compatible across multiple platforms is what gives me piece of mind. While I may not be able to transfer 100% of my devices, I can do almost all to a new platform.

But also remember, it is possible to have multiple platforms. I can run my zigbee on one hub and Zwave on another if I have to.

Or, I get Zwave stick and build my own system.

I believe we are going to be ok, at least for the foreseeable future due simply to the number of protocols that exist.

If we were facing an issue like blu-ray and HD, which do I but? Which will survive? Then there would be some things to worry about.

But, even if ST folds up tomorrow, I can have my entire system back up in just a short time. I would of course have to make some sacrifices, oh how I would miss rule machine, but as the machines stated in the Matrix, we are prepared to exist at different level of survival.

Personally, I’m not worried about ST. If wink can make the comeback that it is doing, I think ST is here to stay. In a year it may not be the ST that we know and love, but I think it will still be here.


(Chris W) #7

All very good points. I also doubt that ST will go away anytime soon. But to be honest, I really have no way of knowing that. And in the case of ST the $100 investment isn’t that bad. The much greater investment is the time in configuring it and learning how to use it best. If it went away, it would be a lot of work to move to a new HA hub.

For me it’s the principal of it: here is this HA hub you can have for $100, but oh BTW it’s useless with out the Internet! So if your hot water heater starts to leak when the internet is down, your just out of luck. I honestly don’t understand how anyone could find that acceptable. When the micro-controllers with enough power to do these kinds of things are less complex than the circuit that lets the hub connect to the internet, there isn’t any real reason for a hub that can’t work without that connection.

Chris W


(sidjohn1) #8

We don’t have evidence that they are putting WIFI and HTTP in their appliances and televisions yet? I know you are paying attention WAY to close to seriously mean that. My comment was about smartthings as a platform… not just the hub. The hub will be replaced/upgraded every few years just like everything else. But for those who have been on board from the beginning have watched the platform grow from zigbee only (pre kickstarter) and add zwave, http and bluetooth (pending), while the community has hacked together TCP. Smartthings as a platform is flexible enough to continue to evolve with what ever technologies take hold, besides it not like any of the technologies that it already supports are going away in the foreseeable future.


(Different Computers. So happy with Indigo.) #9

Indigo.


(sidjohn1) #10

In this day in age i find it more unacceptable that the internet is down at any point… period. Smartthings admittedly is not for everyone. If you can’t get a solid internet connection it’s not a good fit for you. As far as the hot hater heater situation goes there are devices that fully automate this w/o a HA system. They tend to be a bit more expensive though. Everyone has a different amount of risk they are will to accept and different amount of $$ they are willing to spend to mitigate that risk. If you want 99.999% reliability you have to pay for it (control4) Smartthings is about 95% reliable hence the ~$100 hub. There are lots of other products in between and they all have different features and drawbacks.

Luckily there are LOTS of options, Smartthings fits me well, if Smartthings doesn’t fit you well… find what does.


#11

There’s no wifi in the current hub.

The current hub-based platform uses a groovy variant. No indication yet that future “Samsung SmartThings” branded appliances or TVs will. We’ll see.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #12

I look at tech like this… I’m not 100% brand loyal, put me in the 98% on that, but probably lower.

I go with the best quality that I can afford.

My cell phones are all Samsung galaxy. Why? Because they are honestly the best, in almost all aspects.

My tv’s, all store brands except for two. Why? Because it’s all about two things with a tv. The screen and the driver chips. The chips are made by only two manufacturers, so essentially there are only two brands of tv’s. The screen is where the quality comes from. My two brands names are sharp and Samsung. The Samsung because I needed a 32 inch led smart tv and it was on sale. The other is a 65 inch sharp. I bought it because it was 4k, 3d, and 99% because it has a wall paper mode when you turn it off. I like having a picture above my fireplace instead of a big black screen.

Appliances, GE. They came with the house. Fridge? LG. it’s a 32 cu ft fridge that I paid 1800.00 for. I got it brand new for about 60% off.

Hell, even my cars… My wife gets what ever fits her fancy every couple of years. I buy a new truck… Mine Are always American made. Hers are whatever color she likes that day.

My point, brand loyalty will do you in.

And in this market, we can not even be loyal to the platform protocol!

So, just be prepared and just like in the casino, never spend more than you can afford to lose.


(Someday my dog will be automated) #13

Bingo. Being a fanboy to anything is just plain wrong. I’ve been an Android for 6 or 7 years, but if Microsoft, Apple, FireFox, or whomever comes out with a better phone, sorry Google.

[quote=“cdw3423, post:7, topic:41239”]
All very good points. I also doubt that ST will go away anytime soon. But to be honest, I really have no way of knowing that.
[/quote] By this standard, we never know when a company is going to go out of business. So buying from any store might be dangerous because you don’t have where to return it if it breaks. It is just how things are.
In difference to Revolv, ST was already bought and the plan (at least for now), is to continue to support it and actually expand it. Google on the other side bought Revolv because of their brains and tech. They never wanted a hub.

As Jason said, don’t get attached. Cross-platform compatibility is the name of the game.


(Pizzinini) #14

Another question to think about… What is the $-value of this community to SmartThings (and Samsung!)? This includes all community built solutions and “R&D”. Rule Machine or the Nest integration are some of the best examples.

If Samsung made a too radical/negative change to SmartThings there is a significant risk of loosing this value.


(Christopher Masiello) #15

I agree with you (mostly). Aside from my hub, all of my devices and services are platform agnostic. (Switches, plugs, and bulbs all z-wave or zigbee). Amazon Echo, iPhone, MyQ garage door, IFTTT - all integrated with other platforms in varying degrees.
The one place I worry is if there is a sudden shut down of the SmartThings cloud, I won’t be able to disassociate my devices with the hub. This could brick some z-wave & zigbee stuff. Remote risk, but not impossible.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #16

Get a Minimote and your problem is solved.


(Christopher Masiello) #17

I have one already, so that’s good to know. Handy little gadget. I got my V1 for about $16 and upgraded the firmware. I’m thinking about placing a few around the house as super light switches.


(Neil Cherry) #18

I can reiterate the doubts and concerns and, on the other side, the fact that companies toss service, products and customers when they get too old and they’re not making the money they expect. My cable modem just went EOSale because of a copyright issue with the name. Now my ISP wants me to get rid of it (I purchased it). None too happy about that BS.

That said I’d be one of the first to jump right in and crack this baby open to get to the radio’s so that I can control the devices I have. I still have X10 and early Insteon. I also have Misterhouse, HomeSeer 3 and a bucket load of custom scripts running on my local machines. MQTT sitting in the center of everything and I won’t give that up. I haven’t integrated ST into this mess yet but I can read an control the state of all the devices.

I have taken notice of the issues ST does seem to have and I expect that over the next few weeks I’ll understand them better as I integrate more ST into my home. Not sure what all that means for the community. I do know that other vendors have fallen by the wayside and that a few give worse support that ST.

Short of it is I’m concerned but I’m hopeful.


(Geko) #19

The obvious flaw in this logic that it takes substantial amount of time to set up and maintain the HA network. When I had to migrate my fairly small network (~ 40 devices) from V1 to V2, it took me around 6 hours just to migrate devices. And this was a migration to another version of the same system. If you migrate to a different system, you’ll inevitably run into compatibility issues, resolving which can take many more hours. It your time free? Because mine isn’t.


#20

Fortunately, it doesn’t work that way. :sunglasses:

As long as you have physical access to the end device, you’ll be able to reset it.

For Zigbee, you just factory reset the device. It will then be ready to join to a new coordinator.

For Z wave, any Z wave controller can issue a “general exclusion” command which tells any nearby Z wave device which is ready to reset to do a full reset. This is why the minimote can exclude devices, but you don’t need a minimote to do it. Your new zwave controller, whatever that is, will also be able to issue a general exclude. Once the general exclude completes on the Z wave device you can then include it to a new controller.

So the devices don’t get bricked even if the hub is destroyed. They can be added to a new hub no problem. :sunglasses: