Anyone familiar with Micasaverde Vera?

(Mweston) #1

I’m really not in to the idea that SmartThings will not work without connecting to the cloud. For privacy/security reasons and not wanting to rely on a 3rd party server and internet connection.

Does anyone no the pros and cons of the Vera system by Micasaverde? I know you can run it on your own server/local network which is a plus. Their UI doesn’t seem nearly as nice though. Any other reasons I should stick with Smartthings?

(James Stolp) #2

@mweston Thanks for posting! Just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that we’ll be sharing a detailed blog post here on Build in the next day or so, with a lot more information on the approach we’ve taken and the benefits that go along with it.

(Gray) #3

@James Stolp: any update on when that post is coming?

(Garrett) #4

@Gray - This was just posted a few days ago (February 8th), just before your post here.

(Gray) #5

Thanks Garrett!  I looked all over the site, but couldn’t find it (guess I expected it to be on the blog).  Glad to see that it’s now listed under Resources–maybe I just missed it there before?

(Aaronw) #6

@mweston I looked a bunch at the MCV platform and it seemed from their forums a little unpolished as a Zwave controller. I have no experience with it, but I thought about getting one for several months before I found out a about smart things.

(Dave) #7

I’ve just started researching home automation and have spent a good bit of time reviewing the Vera device and it’s capabilities along with Smartthings.  I jumped on Smartthings with a preorder (security bundle) while I continue my research.

I’m not sure I want to get into coding again and one plug-in with Vera I really like is PLEG which provide the ability to “program” fairly complex logic for the devices.

Is there anything similar with Smartthings.  I’ve gone through the documentation but haven’t run across anything which would provide a similar capability.


(Todd Wackford) #8

You can create programs as complex as you want. In fact SmartThings makes it pretty simple to do it. Do you have an example of what you’re considering as complex?

(Dave) #9

Thanks twack for the reply.  Sure, I can create programs but I don’t want to program if I can avoid it.  Unless we’re using the work program differently.  For me, program means writing code, php, java, whatever.  I would just as soon not.  Did you look at the PLEX plug-in?  It’s  form based.

My first very simple example is I want to detect when someone comes in the door and if it’s dark, turn on the lights.

(Todd Wackford) #10

Yeah, there is no problem with “if this - do that” kind of functionality. There will be many Apps that allow you to pick a sensor(s) and then on state change do things to multiple devices.

For instance, if you open a door when its dark turn on the light in that room. If you add in a presence tag to the scene, you could say if a door opens and no presence tag present, and if it is light or dark, turn on all the lights, turn on the flashing siren and text me “SOMEONE IS IN THE HOUSE, CALL 911”.

Or, instead of the lights, siren and the text, you could "Lock all Doors, Unlock Rocky the Rottweiler’s cage, Turn off all the lights, Wait 15 minutes,  Text me “Call Ambulance, Rocky is eating something besides food”

There are going to be tons of plug-in functionality coming to bare as Developers and Makers get on board. We’re just now starting to get the bits to be able to begin. Just wait, there will be some great things (SmartThings) coming.


( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #11

(The:  post was written on my birthday!)

Regardless, one item that post did not address was the option of “personal clouds” (i.e., either cloud/hub-like devices run in the home, such as “SmartThings Home Cloud Software for Windows” (does not exist…), or various little Linux (pi) / Android / third-party devices … Ubi’s …?).  And/or the use of alternative off-site clouds (head-offices, Amazon Web Services, Open-Stack…).

In other words, it’s obvious, and, currently, reasonable that SmartThings is centered not on their HUB, but rather their CLOUD.

Yet some of us will always be wondering if (and hoping that) Physical Graph Corporation will someday let the platform become truly open and give us the option of disconnecting from the SmartThings cloud completely, and using our own choice (or third-party vendor developed…) intelligence engines.

Things that make me go, hmmm…


(Jim L) #12

So as someone that came from a Vera Lite to my smartthings hub, I think I am qualified to talk about things as they exist today.

The Vera Lite is currently FAR more advanced on what you can do out of the box.  Notice, I said out of the box.  Vera has way more flexibility on setting up scenes, triggers, and devices.  This also comes at a cost.  The Vera interface is TERRIBLE.  I mean having to click save multiple places.  Losing changes.   Slow to load in general.

The issue I have with smartthings right now is that out of the box, we are severely limited by what apps are available for installation.  They are all pretty basic and all the features of some core devices aren’t ready.  Here are some things that I lost when I reconnected all my Z-wave devices to my smartthings hub instead of my Vera Lite.

-No more PIN codes for Kwitset Locks.  This feature is supposed to be coming.  This means that I can’t give out short lived codes to people like maids or service folks.  Or friends or family that only work during a certain time period.

-Related to the locks, there is no app available to lock my doors based on time of day.  On my Vera Lite, I would have my doors lock every night at 10pm.  So far there is no app to do that, the only apps are related to presence devices.

-Lack of an App for scheduling lights on a per day basis.  On my Vera Lite, I could setup a schedule were my lights would turn on at 6am M-F and turn back off at 7:30am.  Then they would turn back on at 4pm M-F and turn back off at 10pm.  On weekends, they would come on at 7am and stay on until 10pm at night.  With the current smartthing apps, that type of flexibility isn’t possible right now.


So my view is that smartthings is in its infancy and the sooner developers can get access to the IDE, the better.  I have no doubt that once people start cranking out some apps for smartthings, I won’t have anything to miss about the Vera Lite.

As for some positives about smartthings.  The whole process of adding devices to it is 100000x better than the Vera.  The smartthings hub is also much faster at performing actions.  For instance, when my Vera would issue the command to operate one of my deadbolts, it would take ~10 seconds for it to happen.  With the smartthings hub, it is more like 2-3 seconds.