Animus Heart (pre-release)


Continuing the discussion from [ST Alternative?]

Here a topic to discuss this product, which is in early development.

ST Alternative?
(Bobby) #2

Is this the one that @ben shared on April 1st…?! :sunglasses:


Yes, same one, but it looks like that thread has disappeared.


And just a reminder that everything looks great in a Kickstarter video. :wink:

Until you can actually order it for two day delivery from Amazon, it’s all just marketing. There’s no way to know what features will actually be delivered, or to compare it to any other system, including SmartThings.

The more detailed the engineering specs, and in particular if there are patents pending, the more likely it is that there some reality underneath the “we had a great idea” marketing. However, even there, they could run into difficulties with patent infringement, manufacturing, certification, or unexpected costs.

The last two indiegogo projects I backed were available sooner through Amazon, and with better guarantees. And in one case with more features on the one purchased through Amazon.

I do still occasionally back these kinds of projects, but mostly when I want to help demonstrate that there is market demand for a particular feature or form factor. :rainbow: :unicorn: :heart_eyes:

(Marc) #5

I am with you on this. I am not interested in investing into any kickstsrts or indiegogo’s. Could be years before we see something of substance.

(Ben Edwards) #6

I wonder how much this community should be used for discussing alternatives to the product that pays for these forums to exist.

(Kavvy) #7

Like the Iris contact sensor, or anything that doesnt have the Samsung logo on it? Or hubs in general?

(Ben Edwards) #8

More about platforms. SmartThings is a platform. We want all the devices to connect.


Since SmartThings can be used as a secondary zwave controller, or other zwave controllers can be added to it as primary, the zwave ones, at least, are potentially part of a SmartThings installation.

For example, there are community members who are using other hubs as a means of adding pico control of Zwave light switches which are also controllable by SmartThings. that adds functionality to a SmartThings system. And the other hub is a connected device, just as an Aeon minimote is.

For example if the Animus device comes to market as described (obviously a big IF), it could potentially be added to the ST network as a secondary zwave controller and then used as a 433 bridge, functionality ST does not presently have.

But obviously it’s up to the owners of the forum what they consider appropriate discussion or not. :sunglasses:

(Kavvy) #10

May I make a suggestion? Focus on stabilizing the platform before forum hunting and making ominous posts.

I understand this forum is about SmartThings. I get that. Does their platform threaten ST? Your post here, makes me assume it does.

Should the community be worried based on your attendance to this thread?

(Ben Edwards) #11

We truly hope the community self-selects the appropriate content. We’v been pretty hands off and want to encourage free and open discussion. I was just expressing my hopes for the community.

(Ben Edwards) #12

This is a tired line of thinking. Not everyone at the company can get in and improve platform stability. Some of us provide training to new employees, others make sure bills get paid, and yes there are some that communicate with customers on social media, support tickets, and even forums.

I still see nearly every post on this site. My presence should indicate that I am doing my job.

(Kavvy) #13

Sounds good. Thanks!

(Bobby) #14

I don’t want to read about any alternatives or people’s quitting notes…Too bad they keep popping up…I wonder why?

(Ben Edwards) #15


Here’s where SmartThings really shines.

The use of “fingerprints” in Zigbee is based in part on the idea that most devices will be sold in systems, where the controller is set up to recognize the specific models that will be used.

SmartThings has three features that most Zigbee home automation systems and DIY security systems do not:

  1. The ability to assign an existing device handler to a new device even if there isn’t a fingerprint match

  2. the ability to add additional fingerprints easily to existing device handlers

Three) the ability to create an entirely new custom device handler

Because of these options, it’s relatively easy to take almost any device certified for Zigbee home automation, and some that are certified for zigbee pro, and add them to the SmartThings installation.

In contrast, although wink and staples connect and Iris all have zigbee home automation coordinators, each only supports a specific set of devices, the ones that they already have device handlers for. Even if you have a device for the same device class with very similar features and it is certified for zigbee home automation, if its particular fingerprint is not known to that coordinator, you probably can’t do anything with it.

So it’s not enough for another platform to say it supports Zigbee or even zigbee home automation. If there isn’t a way for customers to add additional fingerprints to the recognized device list, or to create their own device handlers, you’ll be limited to the specific devices they already work with.

This is one reason it’s so difficult to evaluate a device that hasn’t yet come to market. You can list all kinds of things in the specification sheet. But the exact details matter a lot in terms of versatility and openness once you go to actually set up devices in your own home.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #17

I think (though I haven’t polled anyone), that the Community (on average) feels there is value to discussing alternative Platforms here from time to time, provided it isn’t overly distracting. The forum is huge, but it is really easy to ignore a Topic and move on.

  1. The Community itself feels there’s value in understanding the Smart Home / IoT marketplace in “big picture” form. Focusing solely on SmartThings feels myopic and closes the door to some veins of creative thinking (i.e., Wink does this… is there a way to write a SmartApp that can do this too?).

  2. When someone expresses dissatisfaction with SmartThings, experienced Community members first try to understand the problems encountered and offer workarounds. But we (Community mentors?) also want to be honest and fair, and thus able to offer genuine alternatives and emphasize that “SmartThings, at this time, isn’t the best fit for everyone.”

  3. The Community includes many “industry types” that enjoy collecting opinions of other platforms, sometimes in a “compare, critique, contrast with SmartThings” mode, and sometimes just stand-alone observations of the market and technology evolution.

With due acknowledgment and respect that SmartThings is very generous in providing the Forum and associated staffing, nearly all of the content here is contributed at no cost by the members of the Community. In sum total, the value of the content must surely outweigh the cost to SmartThings?

I personally think that this justifies some extra leeway for these generous contributors to stray off-brand from time to time, including “non-spam” discussion of competitive products.

In a very practical sense, nearly all content here provides some value to SmartThings, since “content is king”, as they say; i.e., A consumer doing pre-purchase research of a few platform brands and lands here by Googling “Wink” or “Animus”, for example, could easily be amazed by the amount of valuable and helpful SmartThings information, or even just the wonderful “sense of Community”. Such consumers may be enticed and decide upon SmartThings as their platform purchase; a purchase that can be then attributed to the fact that Community had an open and lively discussion of alternatives.

The opposite situation (losing a potential customer) is not likely due to information on alternatives, but rather the open discussion of the real experiences of new and seasoned SmartThings users.

(Jason) #18

No offense Ben, but you did bring this particular project into the community… I wonder If I would have seen it if not for the remarks you made about it.

I love SmartThings… I would gladly put the the animus and protonet hubs I receive(however unlikely) someday up on ebay. Fix the platform and zwave stability soon enough maybe I can cancel my order!

(Peter Stanson) #19

You should check out the Animus Heart, they have a indieGOGO campaign up right now

And here is a DEMO of the device in use:

(Bobby) #20

SmartThings on the paper looks better than many budget friendly hubs. Why do you think the new kuds on the block will get it right? You need money to support an infrastructure that could hold us all. The reality is, that I don’t think new comers can turn HA into a reliable service. I sure hope I am wrong.