Someone asked the question of whether having all kinds of hubs rather than just one to do HA means STs vision should be questioned. Rather than reply, I figured I’d start a new thread of encouragement.
I think right now it’s a good thing that there are multiple “hubs” to accomplish different things in the HA world. Why? Well, right now is a huge period of innovation within the IoT space. This means that no standards would be able to keep up with the pace of new technologies and features. To me, standards aren’t as important as innovation at this point. I want my automated home to do all of the latest, coolest things. That means a harmony hub, a Hue hub, my hacked together x10 interface, my blue iris server for video, several echos, etc. Oh, and on top of all that, I have Windows IoT running on an Rpi3 wired up to my two garage doors so I can open and close them from ST as well [why not zwave controllers? because my solution was around $90 total vs $180, and it has an 2.42" oled display to show other info as I see fit :)].
Imagine a world where we were limited by standards. We could turn on a hue bulb, but not control its color yet. We could have a motion sensor, but temperature wasn’t yet supported. Irrigation controllers couldn’t be added because the spec wasn’t formulated yet. IR control of entertainment centers only supported power on and off. Video would work, but only at 480p. Locks could be unlocked, but custom voice alerts weren’t supported. These may not be the best examples, mainly because if I was coming up with new things no one had thought of yet, I’d be the innovator ;). But hopefully it helps to make the point that standards can slow things down.
So, imo, having multiple hubs doesn’t mean the vision of ST is misguided. In fact, I would argue that it means that the vision of ST is being realized. We can have all of these new technologies, all working together, all controlled and automated through ST! To me, this is amazing, and is exactly what I always wanted in HA (I’ve been automating since x10 - well, arguably, since I was a little boy and ran strings from my light switch over my ceiling to my bed to turn my bedroom light off remotely ).
For example, this weekend, I added a harmony hub to my other gear. Now, when I go into the basement, I can say “Alexa, turn on theater”. When I do, my apple tv, my xbox one, my yamaha receiver, my epson projector and my monoprice motorized screen all come on at the same time, while all the lights go off, except for a hue light in the bar area behind the seating, which dims to a reddish hue so people can see to get food and such. Oh, and the thermostat lowers itself so it’s cooler in the room. I’ve been doing this a long time, and yet I’m still mesmerized and absolutely amazed to see this all work!
It’s not perfect. Interoperability rarely is. And, of course, ST doesn’t help with its lack of reliability. But these are platform issues, not vision issues. The vision is working. The concept is successful.