Groups as tags rather than folders


(esung) #1

I wish ‘groups’ worked like tags rather than folders, so that one thing could be in different groups and display different information. For example a multisensor would show temperature under temperature groups and open-close or motion status under security tags. This could be automated like smart folder of Mac OS X, that whenever I add a security sensor it would be added to security groups. This way I would be able to access information in more coherent way that fits each context. I would check security information when I’m away and home monitoring like temperatures and humidity when I’m home.


(Ben Edwards) #2

This is an idea we have had long ago and is still something we would consider. I agree that it would be nice to have a Group called Living Room with some lights in it, but also a group called Lights that has all lights.

Note some of this is alleviated with the Dashboards where you can group (some) things regardless of their groupings on the “Things view”.


(Boris M) #3

That would be very useful.


(Tim Slagle) #4

yes please


(esung) #5

Thank you Ben. It’s true that dashboard works like a smart collection of things but seems limited and could use screen space more efficiently. I feel that smartthings app could present information in a little more coherent way. In my opinion dashboard should be a quick overview of the status of house - a single panel with current mode, weather outside and inside the house (temp, humidity…), number of presences at home and number of open doors and switches turned on. And it doesn’t have to be a list of texts but more of icons and pictures or texts with more different typography, something that gives you the big picture at glance.

Groups could be what current dashboard shows, categories of things but with more variety like temperature/humidity and even some user-defined custom groups of information. Or groups (tags) could be simply a bookmarks within things panel. That whatever tags user brings up makes things rearrange and display proper data on demand. Bookmarks themselves could be linked the modes, that when I’m away things would show more security related tags by default and home weather information when I’m home, or switches when it’s dark, etc. And logs doesn’t have to be just texts with timestamp but a line graph over time axis. For example home temperature change graph with outdoor temperature would be very useful for gauging my house’s energy efficiency.

The data smartthings is collecting about my home could be even more useful if it’s presented better but now I cannot help but feeling that I always have to dig for the stuff I want. And when you accumulate those data over longer period of time the big data (small data?) you generate would be even more useful. Smarthings as company could provide service like what mint.com does for personal finance, providing the personalized recommendation of how to improve smart living. Data should belong to users but Smartthing could provide a paid premium service of consultation and recommendation.


(Iotdit) #6

Yes, I agree strongly!! The direction and comments I’ve seen by the ST team seem to indicate a direction that is positive and mostly aligned with what I think and read posted. And, the more functionality in the Dashboard I see, along with my using Grouped Things in my apps, makes me wish the two were merged. Things are definitely relevant to more than one ‘group’ – I do like to see the status of all lights, temps, doors separately. At the same time, I’d like to see all Motion, the first floor or the Garage. I’d like them to all collapse with a relevant summary like on the dashboard. I would change the order of tabs in a section on the Dashboard, though. Show the summary status, but when it’s open, show the detail status, not the buttons - they come next. See, then do. And, include hooks to all items in that group, whether Apps or Things or phrases. I love the view of the activity stream in thing groups - which it had Apps too. It is very helpful to know why something happened as well.

While you got me thinking, but Down the road…

Before buying into SmartThings, I briefly used and returned StaplesConnect. It was easy, but very, very limited.
I was looking for the Complete Button. Now, after just two months, I walk around saying, “Thank You, Thing!”
(My investment in Devices just grows, but that is separate from the investment in time/planning/logic and in the HA vendor.)
I evaluated existing & emerging offerings on UI & functionality, object model & logic ability, and device support.
I was surprised at device connectivity variance, but shocked at the variance of what features each vendor supports for same Devices.
The logic is critical to full automation. IFTT nor Macros will get us there, but Apps are so yesterday. Bring on Decision Tables!
SmartThings is closest to what I wanted today, has a great vision, and shows progress, but there is competition coming.
I think the comments above in this thread hint at what could be some real differentiators.
While consolidating groups and the Dashboard would take that part of our requests off the table, today’s UI is iphone old…
Their vision of the physical graph could be rendered in a much more innovative manner.
I use mind map software called The Brain that allows any object to have focus and graphically shows all related objects.
I could see this being used here! Not to mention, correlated on a house plan view. Or, in 3D! Be the first vendor there for us? Please?
See it the way we think, then take action. so, bring phrases out of the corner and allow us to put shortcuts to them in groups too.
And, ST could move away from just iphone & android phones. Responsive design that take separate advantage of Tablets to do the above?
That would require leveraging new tools to get those two little teams more productive higher reuse.
These type of changes would absolutely keep SmartThings in front of the competition which would benefit all of us.
But first things first - consolidate groups, the dashboard and phrases into one flexible UI for us.
We’ll keep creating our own Apps till decision tables hook it all up.


(Iotdit) #7

Wow, took me over a day to finish that post in small slices of time and now I see DefCon’s expanded thought! Nice, Brother.


(esung) #8
correlated on a house plan view. Or, in 3D!

I’d vote on this, especially for web / tablet interface. Perhaps some collaboration with autodesk’s homestyler to let users create their house plan. But if it’s too hard or time consuming you can purchase a house drawing service where you send the measurement and ST designers would create a map for the user. As a consumer I don’t like ‘in-app purchase’ deals in general but as a user I would want ST to be healthy and continue to exist without being acquired by a big company, so yes I’m all for services and products that can become additional revenue :slight_smile: