If you're frustrated with ST read this

This might be everyone’s answer to all the issues smartthings has produced.

Looks promising! Will give it some time to get started but will definitely keep my eye on it.

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11 posts were merged into an existing topic: ST Alternative?

Remember… it has taken over 3 years for SmartThings to get where it is today.

So don’t expect miracles from new kids on the block.

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Anyone else here get the lovely ‘We’re starting 2016 with a Bang’ email from ST? You know, the one that talks about controlling your house from your TV, or your car.

Hey, @Ben - I have a crazy idea! Why doesn’t Samsung call off the marketing dogs until your most passionate users (like me) can control their house from, I dunno, the NATIVE SMARTTHINGS APP without wondering whether or not the app will crash, the lights will work, or the automations and Cloud behind ST randomly stops working, or API and backend changes make existing apps break.

Here’s the honest truth from this frustrated user. The ONLY reason I’m still here is that @bravenel’s Rule Machine has single-handedly saved your product from being tossed out into the dumpster. Maybe you all should think about that and have Samsung quit trying to push vaporware or fancy new features when your core platform is broken for anyone who has more than a handful of devices that use Smart Lighting (which doesn’t always work either).

You should be enabling things like Rule Machine to run locally, if for no other reason than it would take some amount of load off your clearly overloaded Cloud platform (don’t get me started on why a company owned by Samsung can’t seem to afford the scale of Cloud services needed to effectively support your user base).

Sorry for the rant, but I know you folks can (and need to) do better. You’re not a startup anymore - it’s time to start behaving like a grownup company that’s part of one of the largest consumer electronics firms in the world.

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I got it, too.
It seems light they are pushing high end stuff on a very cheap platform. ST being $99 was a great entry point for home automation. Now they’re adding in expensive cars, and $5000 refrigerators. They’re pulling away from a lot of their customers who are looking for a self-installed, self-monitored system at a reasonable price.

I wouldn’t be completely surprised if they start offering premium support available either for a monthly fee or a per call rate.

Yes, they have to make money and hardware isn’t the way to do that, but jumping all the way to that higher echelon of premium services seems like a bad move to me. Amazon worked with Ford. Echo costs almost twice as much as an ST hub. Does that mean they should have looked to work with a car that costs almost twice as much as a BMW?

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Well… don’t forget about the mixed message of Samsung essentially “bundling” SmartThings into their 2016 SUHD televisions for free. Those TVs aren’t cheap, but the incremental margin is much lower than that Family Hub fridge…

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Yeah, I also find it a bit out of tune. Those who can afford BMW and a high-end fridge with built-in 21" LCD are more likely to opt for a high-end home automation system as well rather than a beta-quality toy like SmartThings.

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I returned my system last week… I bought it for home security first and automation second. Unfortunately it’s just not consistent enough for security and I didn’t have enough immediate needs for automation to keep it. Bottom line is that it failed the wife acceptance test , and frankly my expectations, in less than a month.

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We are a Creston dealer and they integrate with zigby. If you want a system that works every time, this is it, but it is high end for a house. You couldn’t make changes without calling and paying for a programmer

A post was merged into an existing topic: New Hub Update Coming 1/21/2016

@guywmartin writes: your core platform is broken for anyone who has more than a handful of devices that use Smart Lighting (which doesn’t always work either). Sorry for the rant, but I know you folks can (and need to) do better. You’re not a startup anymore - it’s time to start behaving like a grownup company that’s part of one of the largest consumer electronics firms in the world.

I should probably stop posting since the forum (at least this neck of the woods) has become less about sharing ideas and helping each other & ST than ripping on the product. But one last reply for the heck of it. Is it broken? I’ve always thought of “broken” as does not work at all. A car that doesn’t start is broken. A car that makes noises and needs repair but still runs under its own power has issues but is not broken, IMHO.

I’ll add a caution to be careful what you wish for when you call for them to act like a grownup company. IMHO bundling the product into their TVs may have been their corporate roadmap to conquer the IoT landscape but it seems likely one of 2 things happens. It works, in which case the box you have today represents a small market that a grownup company with grownup accountants will decide isn’t worth supporting and they will end-of-life the product. Or, my guess, the vast majority of the public that used to have VCRs with a display blinking 12:00 because it was too complicated to figure out how to set will find modes and rules and the like too complicated to understand and it won’t be used. Then the grownup company with grownup accountants will simply kill the entire product line the way Cisco killed the Flip camcorder.

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I just want the red banners to go away… If they fix that, I’ll be happy till Saturday!

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Just wrote this about how I feel: Thoughts?

Is Home Automation Really Worth It?

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Full disclosure - I was at Samsung when they acquired ST. A lot of my comments and desires stem from that (and from a very low WAF most of the time with this system).

That being said, I’ll concede your point that it isn’t ‘broken’ (in the sense of not working at all). I’ll more correctly state that is nowhere near reliable enough to be considering adding tons of advanced features (which, yes, from my time at Sammy, I know is a corporate push). ‘Growing up’ includes, but is not limited to, making reliability a top priority, sometimes at the expense of fancy new features.

Also, being pretty familiar with the politics inside of Samsung, I know (but won’t say publicly) what’s probably going on here - however, my knowledge of this is irrelevant to the end-users who just want this thing to work reliably. Yes, it’s consumer grade, so I’m not expecting ‘5 nines’ reliability, but we’re nowhere even close to that these days. Yes, some people have more reliable setups than others, but the fact that that reliability has to be arrived at by constant tweaking and thinking through technical architecture details isn’t sustainable.

I’m a self-admitted geek - I love tinkering with this stuff (much to my wife’s chagrin), but there is ZERO way I recommend ST to any of my non-technical friends/family. To be very clear, I want this platform to succeed, and I’ve been a big supporter of @bravenel’s Rule Machine, and chipped in some small ideas around the override function there.

I’ve tried to be supportive and help out other users fighting through these issues, but, frankly, the lack of accountability from ST on these core issues is alienating even the most hardcore of us.

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Not bad, and kind of to my point as well. That being said, I still don’t think that full ‘home automation’ will be achieved by a product that is so easy that Joe and Jane Sixpack can install/configure it. There are too many architectural details (RF propagation, etc.) that make this prohibitive for people without some amount of technical acumen (or access to it from friends/relatives).

Home Automation is supposed to be easy and I should be able to give it to my parents to setup in their own home without my help

We expect cars to start when the ignition is turned, hot water to come out of the tap when the hot water handle is turned, etc. When these this fail to do so we can say it is supposed to do so, it should work.

HA is different at this point, a developing technology. What you write is what everyone would like to see, but can you point to any other products on the market where this is true? If not, well, why is it supposed to?

Perhaps I’m jumping into the middle of the conversation, but it’s much simpler than this…

SmartThings is supposed to do what is depicted in its marketing materials (including what is implied by Press Release driven 4.5/5 “Excellent Editor’s Choice” “reviews”…). That is literally what I suppose it does… or Does it?

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Bingo! And, no, it doesn’t… except for very small subsets of use cases (turning on a few lights from an app is NOT ‘Home Automation’, that’s ‘Remote Control’).

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Certainly.

  1. Philips Hue Bridge

  2. Amazon Echo

  3. Kuna Porch Light

  4. ConnectSense (HomeKit)

  5. Logitech Harmony ( although this one may require a call to support)

  6. Lutron Caseta plug in lights (HomeKit)

With the exception of 3) and 4), all of these have sold way more than SmartThings. All of them work reliably. None require any particular technical expertise to set up.

None are a complete solution, but none claim to be. They do what they say they do. All solve specific use cases.

Nest is also very popular, I just don’t know how hard it is to set up.

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4 years or so when ST began designing their product the low-cost monitoring and home-automation market was the province of homebrew systems or some wired products built around X10 systems. ST and other pioneers provided real working systems. Does this mean they’re off the hook, anything is excused? Of course not. I’d like to see them grow and improve, and with the backing of Samsung maybe they will (or maybe not, the track record of large companies buying small ones in rapidly innovating spaces is not encouraging).

5 years from now, maybe 5 months from now, perhaps the ST hub will be recycling junk (although, and again to their credit, by using standard Z-wave and zigbee protocols instead of proprietary protocols your purchase of sensors and the like are not junk). But I think they deserve to be recognized for what they tried to do and a pat on the back for what they DID accomplish.

More than 100 years ago Teddy Roosevelt expressed this far more articulately than me

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.