A stand against smart things


(Mark) #1

After recent updates - which have subsequently caused my system to no longer seem to be able to handle 4 Samsung HD cameras as part of smart things, and such poor performance of location based activation of my alarm - after 18 months of smart things getting worse and worse - its about time we the community did something against this shambolic organization. I cannot believe that funded by Samsung this company continue to deliver such poor quality software which reduces rather than improves the experience.

Any suggestions to what we can do as a community to make smart things actually start to improve our experience ?

In the UK we had a pilot of using smart things integrated with a well known alarm system as a monitor service - is this some kind of joke ? The amount of false alarms the system causes due to recent performance of location services is pathetic - and beyond belief that we would actually pay a company to monitor this ?

I’m grasping at straws but hope the community could stand up against this shambolic company and stop them…


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2
  1. Buy a different product?

Seriously… consumers don’t have many options in the world except Option #1.

On average, SmartThings seems to be much better than in the past (but everyone’s personal experience is different). I guess Option #2 is to hope for more in-depth, unbiased journalist quality reviews / blogs, etc.; I posted about this years ago and nothing came of it:


(Mark) #3

That’s my point - in my exp this product has got worse rather than better. So much regression it’s like a student university project - not a professional project ?


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #4

It certainly depends on your starting point… I’ve been here for 5 years (yes… since 2012, the Launch of the SmartThings Kickstarter). The product has never been better than it is today; and, anecdotally, “most” people say there is still is no comparable alternative (where comparable requires same: price tier, extensibility, community, etc.).


(Glen King) #5

Yep. Price point plus customizability (is that a word??) are the drawing cards.

Much as I sympathize with the OP, it’s staggeringly unlikely that a) we will find another product that does all these things for this price, and b) that we could effectively do a market action.

Frustrating though it may occasionally be, we need to remember that we are at the bleeding edge of a new paradigm. It will likely take at least 10 more years before the various manufacturers and marketers cough up highly reliable systems with truly easy to use rules configuration capabilities.


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

Wow, 18 months! I bet you have s lot of devices…

Let’s make a deal!


#7

Respectfully, it’s better for some people but worse for others. For example, the Arlo integration is broken, and as you know the mobile app broke VoiceOver navigation four months ago and it’s still not fixed after several more releases. :disappointed_relieved:

This is a platform where things change all the time, but not always for the better.

And there are many other competitors in this price point, but each has its own pluses and minuses. Smartthings certainly lets you add The widest selection of zigbee devices since we can create our own device type handlers. And it is one of three or four in the group which support very complex rule sets as long as you’re willing to use webcore. And it has a very good IFTTT channel.

But if you need more reliability, and you are willing to settle for a smaller selection of devices, and you don’t need stacked conditionals, there are definitely alternatives.

Or, if you’re willing to give up the use of zigbee devices and just stick with zwave, there are several more stable alternatives.

So different things work for different people. There’s no one best system in this price range at the present time.

( of course, we do have the best forum. LOL! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)


(Jovan) #8

contacting CEO of Samsung America directly seemed to have annoyed him enough to get SmartThings management to at least respond to me… you may want to try your local corporate overlord, if for no other reason than to try to share the pain this less-than-perfect platform has caused you!


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #9

Curious what “management” said that Support couldn’t…?


(Bob) #10

Can I respectfully ask what company this is?


(Mark) #11

This was a trial run with ADT


(Dave Gutheinz) #12

Been here for 10 months now. I like it and (even though I am NOT a software/java programmer) I have been able to write device handlers for TP-Link and Samsung Speakers. Love the IDE, groovy, and high flexibility of the overall environment.

That being said, what is the best environment for the future (today is already the past) I have some wishes:
a. Local processing of all SmartApps, Service Managers, and Device Handlers (including WAN/LAN) with remote and local access controllable by user (as TP-Link does for their plugs and bulbs).
b. A significant library of existing (certified) devices supported.
c. A strong, development environment (like our IDE).
d. Integration with Amazon and Google to allow access to devices that have smart support to those services.
e. A published HUB API (where people can write code to talk directly to the HUB (provided future stand-alone capability).

That said, SmartThings is a good product (solid B, or 4 of 5 stars). Thanks to the staff for their strong efforts.


(Mark) #13

Find something else that works better, and convince as many people as possible to leave ST if you can.

As a consumer you can always vote with your feet. Not sure what else you can do.

Personally, I’m gonna stick with ST. My system works better now than it has in 2+ years. Are there still some very annoying issues to work out? Yes. But for 99 bucks that I paid over two years ago, and not a cent more in subscription fees since then, I’ve long since come to terms with all that.

In the US at least, there are home automation systems that are far more reliable, aren’t tied to the cloud etc. But I’m not interested in paying thousands (tens of thousands?) of dollars for a professional to install a Control4 system. If I had, then I would definitely have a far lower tolerance for bugs and unreliability.

I believe that most of us are getting what we paid for.


(Jovan) #14

nothing! the message is at least consistent: “we’re sorry you’re experiencing issues, why don’t we get one of our support staff to work with you to try to figure out the cause”

for sunrise/sunset events… obviously a local issue


#15

I hear this a lot, but I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. Price is not an indicator per se of reliability in home electronics. As I’ve said before, you can walk into almost any pharmacy in the United States and buy a $15 smoke alarm and expect it to be extremely reliable – – because no one would buy one that wasn’t. :wink:

There are now a number of home automation products in the same price range which easily hit a 6 month MFOP ( maintenance free operating period), something SmartThings has yet to achieve.

The difference isn’t the price. It’s the corporate design philosophy.

The more stable systems in the low price range either offer fewer features, fewer device choices, or a less frequent change schedule than SmartThings.

All the systems are evolving, and all of them have responded to competitive pressure. Forums like this one sometimes get a skewed picture of competing products because people who had one and left due to missing features may be unaware of upgrades in that area made since they abandoned the product. (Just to give two examples, wink is now one of the most reliable low end systems, and Homeseer has added more third-party cloud integrations, including IFTTT.)

The new SmartThings/ADT security panel is a similar response to competitive pressure, and incorporates a completely different local architecture for the alarm portion, including a different network protocol. I feel pretty confident that the ADT portion of it will have higher reliability than the non-ADT devices, again, just because ADT wouldn’t put their brand on it if it didn’t.

But while I disagree that price defines the likely stability of a home automation system, I do agree that if the system you bought isn’t working for you, the best alternative may just be to move on to another one that is a better fit for your particular needs and preferences.

As I mentioned before, in 2016 I made the decision that I was going to look at home automation equipment the same way I look at mobile communications: where I have a per month budget and an expected replacement for any one device of about three years. Because the technology is changing all the time, and there may be new features or designs that I want to have that aren’t available with my old equipment. And because the companies themselves change direction.

This was a big shift for me. Originally, I had assumed that home automation would be like home-improvement, with an expected life of any one. project of 10 to 15 years. But because this is rapidly developing technology, it just isn’t the same as putting in a new sink or new carpet. Very few people would’ve predicted in 2014 that voice assistants would become a primary feature of Home automation, but here we are. :sunglasses:

Looking at a light switch and assuming that I may want to replace it in three years does change my shopping process significantly. But I also feel more confident in my choices, and less trapped if something that changes has a negative impact on me.

And that way I can keep looking at cool new stuff without feeling disappointed by the choices I already made. :wink: (Ooooh, shiny!)


(Mark) #16

That is a very valid point. I could have clarified that at this price point, comparing ST’s reliability/features/customizability with home automation hubs offered by other companies, I’m satisfied with what I get and I do not seriously expect the grass to be greener elsewhere.


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #17

After my first year with SmartThings I learned that any smart thing I add going forward must come with an open, documented, local API. Of course voice assistants aren’t there yet so were still at the mercy of the likes of AWS and Google.


(Brian) #18

JD, most people leave out an implied word or two when they say “I believe most of us are getting what we paid for…”

It’s the value. Features divided by price. Smoke Alarms do one thing. Doing one thing for $15 reliably is a lot easier than doing at least 10’s of things (if not 100’s or 1000’s arguably) for $99.

So I agree with both of you, but to be on the same page, the discussion has to include both the features/problems AND the cost. They are all part of the input data, which the closest word that matches the output is VALUE.

For some, the value isn’t worth it, and they should take their votes (purchases) elsewhere. For some it is, and this community is for them.