Anyone know if these AngelBlocks will work with SmartThings?
I asked a more general question and got this back…
Our AngelBridge expects to control the Z* devices, making the AngelGate the central controller in your entire system. It absorbs your devices just like it does your AngelBlocks and allows you to interact with them using the HTML5 CommandCenter application. Control screens allow you to change setpoints, turn things on and off, etc.
You can also use the Z* devices in behavior rules. The drivers for those devices expose a set of conditions, events, and actions that are compatible with behavior rules. So you can use sensor data from an AngelBlock to set the dimming level on a ZWave dimmer. You could also use a Zigbee motion sensor to turn RC outlets on and off. As far as the behavior rules system is concerned, it does not know the difference between native AngelBlocks and other devices.
If you have an existing home automation controller you want to integrate with our system, that is possible too. If your controller has an API and supports TCPIP (via ethernet or WiFi) we can work with it. That is how we integrate with the NinjaSphere. We essentially use its cloud based API to interact with the devices connected to the Ninja Sphere.
Using TCPIP messaging, we can also control Philips Hue, Belkin WeMo, and H.264 compliant IP cameras.
So you can either connect your devices directly to the AngelGate and let it control your entire home or, if you have a mainline home control system that supports TCPIP messaging and API control, we can integrate. It is up to you.
A shorter answer would be yes. If they are Z-Wave or ZigBee they can work as end-devices in the SmartThings ecosystem. 2 things determine how quickly full support for them would arrive: 1) these devices get very popular and SmartThings does the integration directly 2) AngelBlocks or another enthusiastic developer adds them, themselves because they want them on the platform.
Hey Ben thanks for the info but I don’t believe that they are using Zigbee or Zwave. Angelblock is using something call LoRa and supposing can communicate 1000 feet indoors and 2 miles outdoors and operate for 5 years on a set of batteries. I say that range is awesome. I believe you can add Zigbee or Zwave by using some type of add on device. Thanks for the info.
Sorry here the link to the info on radio technology that they are using.
I saw the kickstarter campaign for that… I was immediately turned off a little bit when they talked about all the things Angelblocks could do that no other home automation system could – except for just about any of the new ones that is.
Imagine being alerted when plants need water (Plantlink - CHECK!), toilets can tell you when they are leaking (common z-wave moisture sensor - CHECK!), a home so smart it knows when you leave and responds by locking the front door, closing the garage and turning off dangerous appliances (pretty much any HA system with a presence sensor - CHECK!)
I suppose I’m being a little petty… but it just rubs me wrong when they flat out lie about what other systems can’t do in order to make theirs look better.
I found this post through Google and thought I would add my 2 cents. My name is Steve Montgomery and I am the leader of the team that created AngelBlocks. First, let me thank you guys for talking about our project in the first place.
I don’t mean to hijack SmartThings’ forum to sell my own project, but given the topic I felt I needed to clear the air so that everyone had accurate information.
AngelBlocks communicate with each other and the AngelGate using LoRa, a proprietary wireless technology that has very good range performance. We also have the option to add a bridge to our AngelGate that will allow it to talk Zigbee and ZWave. Using this bridge, we can directly control and interact with those devices. Our strategy is to have a comprehensive solution using LoRa because of the performance, but we support Z* devices so that people with existing technologies can use them if they like.
We already support NinjaBlocks and NinjaSphere by including their client on our AngelGate along with custom drivers. That allows Ninja customers to actually control and monitor AngelBlocks using the Ninja Spheramid or NinjaBlock.
We could easily do the same thing for SmartThings if a similar API is available. We will write the client and do all of the work. If that is something that SmartThings customers want and SmartThings is interested in, we can make that happen.
Now, onto your comments, Chris. I apologize that you were turned off by our claims. I wish that we could say things like “we are marginally better than everyone else” and still sell our product. Unfortunately, it would not work and it would not be true. Sure, we share some functionality with other systems, but to my knowledge, no one offers the comprehensive capabilities we do within a single product family.
Our approach is primarily battery powered and wireless (very long range). That combination alone makes us unique. No mesh networking, no range extenders, no repeaters, nothing. AngelBlocks works for an apartment, home, building, or ranch. No one else can match our coverage.
AngelBlocks track AngelTags. Every AngelBlock participates in AngelTag tracking. So while other systems may have presence sensors, they either require separate way points or they cannot be tracked other than “it is no longer in range”.
Every AngelBlock is equipped with voice synthesis and gesture detection. They work together to form an environmental user interface that allows you to control your home simply by using it. Tap the PlantBlock and turn the watering system on. DoubleTap the LockBlock and your doors will lock. When the system needs to push a notification to you, it will track you and use the closest AngelBlock to speak the alert to you. So if you are in the kitchen cooking dinner when your washing machine is finished, the EnviroBlock on your wall will tell you the washer is done. Not everyone walks around their home with a phone to get messages.
I don’t know of anyone that uses sensor fusion to do the things we do. For example, consider the leak sensor. Normal leak sensors fire when there is water on the floor. Maybe the water came from a kid washing their hands. AngelBlocks will flash my bedroom lights at night if my toilet leaks and I don’t want false alarms. The EnviroBlock that does the leak detection on the toilet uses vibration, sound, and water level detection and fuses that data together to detect an active leak.
I don’t know of any solution that has general purpose devices like the EnviroBlock. Use it to monitor the environment. Put it in your mailbox and it will tell you when mail arrives. Stick it on your washer and it detects sound and vibration to determine when the cycle is done. Put one on your trashcan and it will beep if your dog (wearing an AngelTag) gets too close. If the dog knocks it over, the block will notify you. I use this so I can call home and have my kids clean up the mess before their mother says it.
Our solution is cloudless. To my knowledge, every other solution uses a cloud server. There are pros and cons to both approaches, but ours is different. At least if you look at SmartThings, Ninja, Staples Connect, and Lowes Iris.
I don’t know of another solution that is as comprehensive as ours. You can buy 3rd party add-ons for a bunch of different systems, but I have not seen any one vendor offer all of the pieces we do. Insteon is probably the closest, and they may actually eclipse us because they have been around longer, but they are the only ones.
I apologize for the sales pitch, but I did at least want a chance to clear the air about our claims. We do indeed share some functionality with other systems, but you cannot say our approach is not unique.
Chris, I really do apologize if we turned you off. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to discuss this directly, I would love to hear your thoughts. I am sure SmartThings would prefer us not to do it here.
I have applied to the Build program and we can start working on a SmartThings integration immediately.
Thank you all. I am sure we will be able to work with SmartThings to the benefit of both of our customers.
Thank you for replying. I think a lot of what you bring up here does differentiate your system from others. I’ll defend my original point to the extend that your video didn’t identify many/most of these items you brought up here. But I will also concede that, given this further information, I agree that Angelblocks does appear to be able to do things that no other home automation system can do right now.
If you want to discuss this directly, I would love to hear your thoughts. I am sure SmartThings would prefer us not to do it here.
Any topic is welcome. Especially those that promote integration.
Creating an open world takes a lot more than one platform. Feel free to reach out to us or use the forums for any help building an integration.