Animus Heart (pre-release)


#9

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

#16

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.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy; NOT a SmartThings Employee.) #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 https://www.igg.me/at/animushome

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.


(Jason) #21

Honestly i’m just hoping that someone out there (Hopefully ST) will get it right…


(Marc) #22

Wow, shots fired! I am going to take this comment as a level of frustration on your part and being many of us are also frustrated by the lack of stability in the Smartthings platform, so we’ve reached a boiling point. That being said, most of us respectful community members have been very open and respectful in our unhappiness and desires to make things right with Smartthings and at the same time, we’ve also discussed alternatives. It’s pretty clear right now, many of us would leave Smartthings if there was a suitable alternative, which is why there is a lot of talk about this. It’s a domino effect. One thing I know for sure is all of us probably have the same goal in mind.


(Bobby) #23

Let me guess, let me guess. … to make lives easier not harder…is that it?


(Kavvy) #24

And this us when some of the smartest developers pack up shop…because they’re dismissed and so are the concerns they bring up.


(Christopher Masiello) #25

I completely agree. The amount of value that members of this community offer to the platform and its customers is pretty significant. I can think of a ton of times that I was stumped or frustrated with something and came here and found a solution. HERE - contributed for FREE, by these members. Every time I considered leaving the platform for things like Wink or one of these new guys, thoughtful, honest discussions here have convinced me that I should stay.
If you want that kind of value added, you need to give your free labor a little free speech.


(James) #26

What’s even more tiring is rebuilding parts of your system every few days and not knowing if or when the system will work as expected. I hope you didn’t type that with a straight face!

Seriously???


(ocpd+adhd+alz+md+hfa+fms+lol=me :)) #27

I haven’t read the whole thread yet (so this may have already been stated), but @Ben

In my case, IM NOT LEAVING SMARTTHINGS, but I definitely am looking into ‘alternatives’. The two concepts are NOT mutually exclusive.

If your platform is currently not working (just in case anyone is confused, SmartThings is currently not working), and if the fans want and need to have something that IS working, AND are committed to sticking with you, why so much dread around this type of discussion?

I don’t even care whether it’s a matter of connected devices or full controllers/hubs. Why should it matter?
If we’re committed to keeping this Community together (either by fixing this platform, or finding work-around or substitute options to get us through until it IS fixed) and see the value in having such discussions here (keeping it all in the family), how is that harmful or a bad thing?

It can’t be that we don’t want other people to see what’s really going on behind the curtain, right?

Again, IM NOT LEAVING SMARTTHINGS. I just want something that actually works, and until SmartThings gets fixed, even though I’m committed long-term, I’m also going to be looking for an alternate that can be used in the short-term (i.e. once ST gets fixed, I’ll migrate back in a heartbeat).

That being the case, why make me go elsewhere to get good, quality info about such things? Why not let us keep going as a Community here, sharing what we’re learning, with the intent of keeping it (this Community) together long enough to actually still have one (a Community) when SmartThings someday does actually get fixed?

I’d much rather hang with the same, high quality folks that have made their value to this Community (and this Product) obvious over time - even when checking out and using a different platform - than to have to reinvent that particular wheel. It’s the reinventing that you should be worried about (i.e. if we lose this Community because we weren’t allowed to huddle together in the corner and discuss how we’re going to make it through, it’s over for SmartThings in the ‘hearts-&-minds’ campaign as far as I can see).


KLUG Smarter Home (pre release)
(Michael Hess) #28

Leaving threads with alternatives, and allowing them, should be a GOOD thing to ST. They get to see what’s out there that they may misjudge the possible acceptance factor to THEIR customers.

Forum member: "Hey look at this new platform that does A B and C!"
ST: “Oh that’s cool, can we add it? Is it really of value? Let’s see where this goes!”