SmartThings Community

Attn: Device Manufacturers, please read this

(Kevin) #1

This is for the device manufactorers out there. I’m going to be a bit blunt, and also very honest.

If you want to sell products, and if you want to not get products returned to your dealers you need to make them fully Smartthings ready.

In the last three days I have attempted to get several different manufacturers products to work properly with my brand new shiny Smartthings hub. Some worked, some did not. I have a HIGH level of mistrust and frankly dissapointment in some of your products right now.

As a consumer I have an Expectation that when I buy something it actually works, and works the first time. I have an expectation that all of the functions that you advertise work properly. That’s why I trusted you with my hard earned money.

My smartthings hub worked right out of ther box. I created a Samsung account, downloaded the app, just like in the instructions and it worked wonderfully. Great job Samsung!

Then I started to pair devices to it. The first thing I paired was some Samsung motion sensors. What a Easy process. Follow the directions, scan the back of the unit, and Wow, it works. Just like you expect it to do. Another smiley face for Samsung.

Then I paired some First Alert Smoke Detectors. Easy process, they paired right up. Yippee.

Same thing with my IRIS/Centralite 3 outlets. Easy peasy. I was on a roll.

Then my spiffy brand new Aeotec SmartSwitch 6 units arrived. I was so happy until I actually tried to pair them. What a difficult process. First they were not listed in the drop down list for outlets. It took me hours of frustration to figure out that they were listed under dimmers. Even then pairing was a slow, unplesant process. I am still fighting with one of them. Then I find out that the cool features you have in your literature do not work with Smartthings. Get your product act together Aeotec! Remember that you are not selling these things to developers. You are selling them through Amazon to Consumers. We have expectations that they actually work, and are easy to pair. Even now when I press the “on” or the “off” button on my app it can take up to a minute for the device to actually make the change, and report back that it’s done. You need to fix whatever issues there are and fix them quickly, or you can expect to get them returned to Amazon.

You manufactorers are not going to make your sales goals selling this stuff to hobby developers. At $50 a shot, you are looking at the consumer mass market as your target customer for home automation. If you are going to be in that market you need to have stuff that works right the first time, out of the box. Whatever you need to do to solve the issue, you need to do it.

Thanks for listening, and I hope you take this to heart. I really want you to succeed, and bring inovation and competition to the marketplace.

Thanks!

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#2

Aeotec and other manufacturers create devices to the Z wave specification. They are certified and listed on the official Z wave alliance products site.

https://products.z-wavealliance.org

After that, it is up to the hub manufacturers to decide which certified devices they want to officially support. SmartThings is only a tiny fraction of the total Z wave market, and has not implemented all of the optional features of the specification. ( The Z wave alliance has said that about 2/3 of all Z wave devices sold are professionally installed, typically through monthly contract services like ADT pulse or Xfinity home.)

So most of the Z wave device manufacturers have satisfied clients using hubs which list their devices as officially supported. The difficulties you ran into are certainly frustrating, but they are due to smartthings, not the zwave manufacturer. So you should direct your concerns to Samsung and ask them to expand the list of officially supported devices.

Meanwhile, if you limit your device purchases to the ones on the officially supported list, you should face much less frustration. For example, the Aeotec dimmer pocketsocket is listed, but the energy monitoring smart switch is not. ( and as always, remember the first rule of home automation: "the model number matters.":wink: )

For those who have a higher tolerance level for frustration and are using the SmartThings classic app, this community has created a number of unofficial custom device type handlers which vastly expand the range of devices and features which can be used with SmartThings. But that’s not a plug-and-play experience, and I certainly understand if you don’t want to take that path. Smartthings themselves have told us multiple times in this forum that the majority of their customers have 15 devices or less and never use any custom code at all. To get a plug-and-play experience, stick with the devices on the official compatibility list.

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(sidjohn1) #3

This may help with the missing features, but I’ve not know Smartthings to support all the features of any device except their own. That is why the zwave tweaker DTH exsist to allow more features than Smartthings does by default. It might be worth looking into as well.

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#4

Model number for the officially supported Aeotec Smart Dimmer:

ZW099-A02

Model number for the non supported energy monitoring Aeotec Smart Switch:

ZW096-A02

image

These are not the same device, do not have the same features, and do not use the same network commands. (They do, however, use the same outer case.) You cannot use the device type handler for one model with the other device and get reliable results. Which means if you are manually pairing the device and select a different model from the dropdowns, the results will be unpredictable and often unsatisfying. :disappointed_relieved:

Sometimes, as with these, two different models will even use the same physical case and look identical, but they will be very different internally and have different features. So if you are manually pairing a device, you need to pay close attention to the model numbers.

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(Kevin) #5

Actually here is a link, from the smartthings.com web site showing the smartswitch p/n zw096 as working with smartthings

I got to that page by
smartthings.com -> works with smartthings -> aeotec

Here is also a photo of Amazons product page (amazon is the sole US distributor according to the aeotec web site.

This is exactly the kind of thing that I mentioned in my original post.
As a consumer I choose a product based on it being recommended by the manufacturer, at the manufacturers web site.

Then I went to the retailers web site where I got the same information regarding compatibility.

So I bought three of them.

Now they are on the way back.

I bought the Samsung outlets. I am certain that they will work.

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#6

I owe you an apology.

For reasons known only to themselves, smartthings has classified the dimmer under “outlets” and the smart switch under “lighting.”

If anything, those two should be reversed, but as it is, they are in separate categories and I missed the smart switch.

You are right, it is on the official list. So I don’t know why you weren’t able to pair it automatically out of the box. Again, that’s a SmartThings problem, not an Aeotec problem, but it’s definitely not your problem.

And now I don’t know which model number you found under dimmers. Maybe you did have the right one.

All of which is a symptom of exactly the problem you’re pointing out: this stuff is way more complicated than it ought to be. :scream:

I will stand by my original point, though, that this is not the fault of the manufacturers. It’s about the design of smartthings, both the platform and the UI. So that’s who you should direct your feedback to.

For almost 5 years, I have been suggesting that smartthings put more resources into improving the setup process. You’ll see some of my suggestions throughout the forum, but specifically:

one) more information on how to set up the network backbone

Two) more information on how to select devices, and specifically on the difference between officially supported and custom code

  1. protocol and model number information for each device on the official " works with" page, not just the picture

  2. better information on how the rules engine works, and specifically on some of the most common use cases like turning on a light from a motion sensor trigger, grouping lights together, setting up a virtual three-way, and using modes.

I still think that, I just don’t think they’re going to change it. :disappointed_relieved:

But in any case, I was 100% wrong in saying that the device you selected was not on the official list, and I apologize.

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(Kevin) #7

Not really, you went with the information you had at your disposal.

Thats why I started this thread. This seems to be a site frequented by developers, and probably manufacturers employed developers as well as hobbyists.

With Smartthings being the “recommended” replacement by Lowes for their IRIS system. Smartthings is being thrust into a whole new market, that of the consumer/previous IRIS customer, who was typically a DIY homeowner who saw the IRIS display in a Lowes retail store and got interested.

Thats where I am hoping that some Manufacturers employees read this and get the idea that the expectations of their clients is changing, and that they need to step up to the plate.

Myself, for round one of my Lowes replacement I’m going with off the shelf working units. I have a time deadline to meet for round one.

Round two is a different story. We’ll talk about Round two in another thread as I see a real nitch market for a smartthings hub combined with and pre-programmed for a couple applications I have in mind.

*** EDIT *** YOU ARE A GENIUS!!! I looked under lighting, and tried to pair it as a light switch, and it worked perfectly!!! YIPPEE!!! I hate sending things back!

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#8

Well…I am a genius (cough cough), but that doesn’t mean I can’t be 100% wrong on occasion, and I still do owe you an apology. But I’m very glad you got it working. :sunglasses:

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#9

And since we’re into the things that smartthings doesn’t tell newfolks:

The SmartThings brand pocketsocket uses zigbee. The aeotec uses Z wave.

Zigbee repeats only for zigbee and zwave repeats only for Z wave.

Pocketsockets are popular repeaters because you can put them in pretty much every room, but you may want to think about which model you put where in order to strengthen the mesh appropriately. :sunglasses:

See post 11 in the following FAQ, then go back up to the top and read the whole thread.

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(Kevin) #10

Well…

While I’m sure you are a genius :slight_smile: trying to pair the smartswitch6 as a dimmer only worked for one of the three. I tried the other two very unsuccessfully.

I tried exclusion mode, i treied everything. They would act like they were pairing, where the switch would think it was paired but the hub didn’t see it. Or the hub would see the switch and the switch would not think it was paired.

Then I went to the aotec web site and they under their support section do not show the smartswitch 6 as compatible.

I’m not going to be frustrated, they are just going back to Amazon, and I already have samsung branded replacements on the way.

There seems to be a industry disconnect going on between hub manufacturers and device manufacturers. I look at it as a device manufacturers responsibility to write code like a driver for a computer to make their hardware compatible with the hub. Perhaps I am wrong, and the responsibility is actually the hub manufacturers.

Either way I (and pretty much all non developer types) need devices and hubs that work together, without me spending half days here and there of my time to figure it out.

If this home automation stuff is really going to catch on big time then as you indicated it’s going to have to be easier. It’s going to need real interoperability.

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