Could be worse.... could be WigWag

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(Benji) #1

Now this is definitely not intended as a bash against WigWag, I really like their idea and was one of the three solutions that I considered when I researched the Home Automation world, in fact it was probably my favourite out of all of them.

I think WigWag is awesome idea and the Filament may be the first genuine competitor to Philips Hue bulbs and VERY cheap in sufficient quantities, but it all remains just that, an idea. I just went back to their forum to find out what’s going on and realised they crossed the two year anniversary since the Kickstarter campaign… two years and not a single product released whereas a LOT has changed in the field:

  1. Wink was born and consequently may have a shaky future.
  2. Revolv was born and later swallowed up by Google/Nest.
  3. Platforms like OnHub and Apple HomeKit were born and are starting to evolve.
  4. ST came out with V1 of their hub and are now on V2

I actually feel really bad for the WigWag guys who pledged on the KS campaign. The forum is literally now a thread that’s “When will I get my WigWag”. Supposedly they now have devices in beta and WigWag seemingly keeps winning awards but no one has an actual final product in their hands.

And you all thought it was painful waiting for hub V2… at least you HAD a hub V1! Let’s hope WigWag can get something out there, competition is a good thing but I can’t see me switching from ST any time soon.


WigWag Relay
(Edward Pope) #2

Yes, and it is very easy to make something look reasonable to attract interest. It is much harder to actually pull it off. ST has done that, with some issues. But, I am still here and I trust in the Community. ST needs to work with the community in a more finely tuned way. They do better than others and worse than some as well. I am proud of what they have accomplished and happy that we have such an active community.


(Benji) #3

I’m sure once they have put a lot of the bigger fires from the V2 upgrades out they’ll participate more on the forum again. I think right now a bunch of support techs/coders are running around with their hair on fire. Once things have calmed down it’ll be easier for them to dedicate time back to the community again.


(Chrisb) #4

I was a little jealous of WigWag and almost considered jumping ship with some of the initial delays and problems with ST… but very glad now that I didn’t try it.

I think it’s very important to remember: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” when looking at new tech upstarts like this.

Someone in another thread just posted something about a new iveehub on indiegogo. Looks potentially promising, but… it isn’t due out until April 2016… which means fall of 2016… maybe.

And like anything else brand new it’s going to suffer it’s fair share of growing pains.


(Benji) #5

Let’s not forget, if I am not mistaken, SmartThings was originally funded by a KS campaign so I guess the real question is, where did ST succeed where WW (might have) failed?


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #6

Oh WigWag definitely deserves to be “bashed”. If I recall correctly, they published an estimated delivery time frame of 4 months from close of funding.

There is no longer an excuse for setting optimistic shipping dates… There are hundreds of KS projects available as data points for other Creators to reference.

The only reason optimistic dates are used is to establish the appearance that the product is much more ready than reality, and give the impression that “Rewards” are actually discount “Purchases”. Keep your eyes on Oomi Home which published a 6 month delivery estimate and has already delayed that 2 months (I predict many more delays).

The problem becomes more frustrating when it sets the precedent for fully operational companies (eg, Samsung SmartThings) to repeatedly shift release dates (Hub V2: April, July, … September) and then rush-released with bugs, missing features and under resourced support teams?


(Benji) #7

Agreed but my view on this is that ST should have honestly never had let anyone even know of the existence of a V2 hub, if no-one knew about it, there couldn’t have been any delay disappointments. I feel the same applies to many companies.


(Chrisb) #8

Yes, ST was a KS campaign. I was one of the backers. As for where did ST succeed? They produced their product.

I know that sounds sarcastic, but it’s the true. ST wasn’t all that and a bag of chips when it first came out. It had issues and problems, but it evolved and developed and came of age, kinda. Users got enthused… the product matured and was supported.

WigWag, assuming it got out in a timely manner, may very will have had the same success. But when you’re this late to the party AND the party is getting very crowded… I see it very unlikely that it makes any sort of splash in the HA world.

Contrast this with Pebble which was also very late getting out into customers hands… BUT… they SmartWatch world, at the time, wasn’t nearly as crowded then. There wasn’t another player out there who was as good or that had a loyal, strong following.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #9

I very much agree… but…

Personally, I am comfortable with a company announcing clearly “draft” plans of products under development, with no release dates, and with repeated disclaimers.

The Hub V2 problem was that SmartThings repeatedly and publicly stated that "all" of their resources were focused on that project, as an explanation of why no other major interim fixes or features were being deployed. Therefore, they made their own bed: They set (or seeded) extremely high expectations for Hub V2, they drove up demand and impatience for Hub V2, and they can’t be surprised if some folks are disappointed by those expectations.

Hub V2’s rating on Amazon is 3.2 Stars (including 30% reviewers giving it only 1-Star which really = zero :zero: ). Hub V1 rating was 3.8 Stars.


So … the challenge that WigWag faces is not just being late to the market, but they also need a year or two “in the wild” to work out the bugs and establish a reputation, find long term investors, determine their next iteration strategy, etc…; if they can even survive long enough for any of that to matter.


(Chrisb) #10

I remember when I backed LaMetric last summer. Discussion started on the KS page at one point about timeline and I said I assume any tech project on KS will be AT LEAST three months beyond their stated deadline.

LaMetric people assured me that their timeline of January 2015 was very realistic and that they’d already built in delay and anticipated no issues with making their deadline. Guess what literally arrive about 2 hours ago… only 9 months late. :smile:


(Chrisb) #11

Kinda one of those catch-22s… If you announce something new coming, everyone is begging for info on it and when it will be released and why it hasn’t been produced yet.

But if you don’t say anything and keep it secret, you run the risk of people not viewing you as innovative and start to look at other system assuming your staying with older, less flashy hardware.


(Benji) #12

All very fair and valid points guys.

It’s going to be interesting to see how well WigWag does, hopefully they’ve built in a enough user friendly things to allow a lot of people to use it without coding knowledge. That was my main concern when transitioning from Wink to ST but you were all correct, as it stands right now I have more functionality than I did before with Wink and I haven’t touched a single piece of code…

What I’m worried about is it being like this:

Wink (doesn’t require any coding knowledge) --> ST (may require a little coding knowledge to do everything you want) --> WW (very dependent on your ability to code).

This may not be the case with WW but I’m worried if it is, they’re doomed. I feel like ST strikes the perfect balance right now, if I want more advanced functionality I can dip into some coding, otherwise it’s extremely functional out of the door.

I see Wink as the iPhone of the HA world and Android as the ST of the HA world. This is not meant to be derogatory, I just base this on -

Wink = Less overall functionality, with a (somewhat) nicely polished and complete interface that requires less tinkering.

ST = More functionality, less of a polished interface and may require some tinkering to get it how you want it.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #13

What I found appealing about WigWag’s proposed design is that it was going to include a graphical rule builder (when, if, then) right out of the gate.

The platform would also include an open JavaScript-like development language for device handlers and complex rules (“Device.js”) – similar to SmartThings’s choice of Groovy. In fact, this was the most attractive feature of the product. The hardware itself looked a little clunky and various bits of redundancy in the “Sensor Blocks”, etc., were not as streamlined as SmartThings.

Based on that proposed design, WigWag would actually be easier than SmartThings to create automations!


(Chrisb) #14

Yeah, the basics of WigWag were supposed to be easier… that’s what appealed to a lot of people, and I think motivated some of the changes in ST (For example, the Smart Lighting App seems to try to replicate some of what you were/are/might eventually be able to do in WigWag).


#15

Most controllers have a rules engine these days. Nothing unusual about the one wigwag proposed. See insteon, Iris, Wink, Staples Connect, and Fibaro, to name a few. All of these are real products available to ship and install now. :wink:

For that matter both obyrules and simple rule builder (third party apps that work with Smartthings) have rules engine functionality.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #16

What’s unusual is the lack of one natively in SmartThings. Sure… It is difficult to cover all scenarios, but we’ve already seen the Proof of Concepts in other products and for ST by Community developers.

WigWag’s proposal was particularly attractive due to their descriptions and depictions of GUI rules building alongside “Device.js" coding on the same screen.

[Insert extremely attractive screen renderings here.]


(Edward Pope) #17

Agreed, I know ST is working on a Rules Engine. I was expecting it to be a major part of the V2 upgrade. What we received was better, but not worth the money IMO,


#18

WigWag has announced shipping to begin. As an original backer I’m still excited to see what they deliver.
The kit that will be delivered is certainly modern. The whole system has evolved before any production units have shipped. The market is certainly different than when the KS campaign started for WigWag.


(Chrisb) #19

Wow… how old is that campaign now? I briefly considered backing… at this point I’m glad I didn’t. Not saying that WigWag won’t eventually be a good product, but this is REALLY running late.


#20

I joined the WigWag Kickstarter in August 2013 and it was about a month old then I think.
So roughly we are 2.5 years from start to shipping announcement.