Experience using smart devices for an year now + needed improvement suggestions


(Teo Tod) #1

I have various smart devices for an year now - Belkin, Philips, Samsung, Aeotec - all spectrum of devices (bulbs, sensors, hubs, switches,…) + all spectrum of techs (Zigbee, zWave, WiFi) , spent like $3000+ for ~100 of them.
Here are major pros & cons and request how to improve cons:
Pros:

  1. Ability to monitor and command from distance
  2. Increase comfort while in the location
  3. Monitoring coditions unable to do before
    Cons:
  4. Extremely unreliable systems (plaqued by constant random connectivity problems, fake alarms, bulbs default on, switches default off, systems completly caput when no internet, etc. )
  5. I am more involved serve to the smart devices rather than vice versa (constant need of reconfigurations, reconnects, manually monotoring whether devices are really on/off, etc.)

Suggestions:

  1. Give developers way to obtain signal strenght between devices and hub. (otherwise no sane way to troubleshoot the issues)
  2. Give “execution on hub” without cloud need. I know ypu procraimed the idea “it is comming”, but nothing by now - just promises, no ETA, nothing.
  3. Give us reliable way to track when there are power outages. Hub with batteries and usually connected to UPS does not allow to tell devices like switches command to act upon electricity back.
  4. Reconsider the idea for min 1 min between automated tasks. That guess was done due to cloud communication obligatory requirement, so if you solve prev point, no need of such restriction.
  5. Organize much better the way you work with developers and communities. Curently it is uter mess - info spread here and there, same clones of code all over the net, developer community very disorganized, etc.
  6. Communicate what you are doing out there. Nothing as bugs tracking, upcomming changes, beta version and testing (u really think that the fat pay customers should be your beta testers?)
  7. The documentation sux - so basic you need to redone it from ground. And need for “best pactices coding” inside - more snipets, etc.

Perhaps more to be added, but that comes from the top of my mind.
And that is growing, do not put heads in the sand: http://blog.streamingmedia.com/2016/01/smart-things-unreliable.html

Regards,
Teodor
PS: I’m BIG fan of Samsung - ownig like 15 TVs in my houses, 2 hubs v2, 30+ Samsung smart devices, many appliances. Do not betray my trust. And other Samsung fans’ !


(sidjohn1) #2

http://docs.smartthings.com/en/latest/architecture/#smartthings-cloud


(Ben W) #3

I would spend $$ on a device that can measure signal strength or have the device report that out. I walk around my house using my phone and Wifi Analyzer to see how strong my wifi is.

I would also like to see some improvements on the IDE, like stepping through code or pausing execution at certain points.


(sidjohn1) #4

For zigbee, here ya go:


(Ben W) #5

Thats pretty cool, but would still like something simpler. I know small tweaks like moving router or changing orientation of it can improve signal strength and quality.

If ST could report back signal health that could help with people who have devices that drop off all the time. 2 devices next to each other should have similar strengths, but something else could be causing interference.


(Teo Tod) #6

That was exactly my point, mate.
But I guess you’ve tried a rule when motion to turn on light, what happens if you have dropped Internet connection, right… :wink:


(Teo Tod) #7

I hate to say it but:

  1. that’s a semi-hack as is described in the topic itself;
  2. Na, I won’t disconnect already connected to ST device, just to measure signal strenght and then connect it back, crawling through all Smart Apps to configure again
  3. Why would I use 3rd parti semi-solution, if that should be on ST hub on 1st place? I cannot believe it is not even now, as how the system knows / assures everything is working normally?.. Or it doesn’t, which will be pitty to see half cooked/beta is sold to the customers…

#8

We have been told that Smartthings intends to release better network mapping and management tools, but I don’t think there have been any specifics about what or when. They are needed for both zigbee and zwave.

@jody.albritton might be able to find out more.


(Teo Tod) #9

Yep JD, Unfortunately without ETA, beta code for us to test, etc. that remains what it is - just empty words.


(sidjohn1) #10

Teo,
My point was more simply ST as a product currently is and always has been cloud first. If you are hard set on local execution you have the wrong product. There are several hubs on the market that do local execution like Vera or Zipato, you may want to check them out.