Leaving smartthings until local processing and windows desktop are real options


#1

I haven’t had my hub for long, but there are a few things I can’t get past.

  1. I don’t like having to configure my automation through my phone. Maybe there is a way to do it with the desktop web interface, but it wasn’t obvious to me.
  2. I don’t like the limited local functionality (or guessing trying to figure out what is and isn’t local.) I have read the debates back and forth about reliability and server up-time, but I just don’t trust Comcast to not drop out on me and I don’t want my wake up routine to fail because I accidentally included something that required cloud and the internet is down.
  3. The more I think about, the more I think it is super creepy to be transmitting basically every detail of my daily routing to Samsung’s servers. My reading of their privacy policy also suggests an intent to monetize whatever data is gathered (at the very least, it doesn’t seem to do much to protect it).
  4. The lack of local processing in their Smartthings Wifi-Routers, which seem marketed as flahship devices, sends me the message that local isn’t a priority for them.

On the plus side, the community here is obviously super helpful and was one of the reasons why I bought a Smartthings Hub in the first place. I hope things continue to go well and I hope Samsung gets on the ball with local processing.

For now, my hub is going back to Amazon and I am going to try fishing in some different waters.


(Jimmy) #2

:wave: may want to look at the past couple of firmware release notes before stating local processing isn’t a priority.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #3

Samsung will never(1) give up having access to your event data. This is definitely a planned or existing source of revenue.

(1) Only if the entire nature of internet business model (Facebook, Google, Amazon, and yes, even Apple) changs, will Samsung decide that home event data collection is less important than your privacy.


#4

The other companies also creep me out to varying degrees; but I can’t do much about them unless I drop off the grid.

Something about going out of my way to wire up my house with sensors for a company to monitor my every waking and non-waking move goes beyond my comfort level; especially when there are alternatives (though some are more expensive and others more work to configure.)

If I could pay a service fee for privacy (or opt to run in a local only mode entirely), the local worked with more of their automation apps, and I could setup and run automation from the desktop interface, I might reconsider.


(Mike) #5

A well selected list, notable Microsoft was not included, Ms has much better controls for users and there data and to that end make the user feel more in control, but no matter what company or O/s they ALL collect data, masses of data.

Use Smartthings in NON critical situations and you will never have an issue or at the very least have minor irritations, Major issues occur because users expect the internet and servers to have 100% uptime, simply not possible. NON critical keeps things usefull and working

To call out Samsung simply makes no sense at all, a Pc version of smartthings would be fine but the vast majority of modern users these days use handheld Pc`s ( Phones, tablets ) putting any Pc development wayy down the development list simply due to cost


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

Not intentionally. I just listed the first ones that came to mind. Indeed, I’m aware that as of Windows 10, Microsoft has become significantly more intrusive in usage data collection … especially with the default settings.

Yup - The issue of SmartThings’s / Samsung’s data collection motives has come up many times in this Forum. Unless there has been a strategy leak somewhere, or a research paper, or an explicit admission, we can’t be sure if smart home event data collection is intended as a revenue generation stream for this platform; but I’m confident that it is highly likely. We’re only protected by the limits of the Terms of Use / Privacy Policy - but they give the company a lot of freedom.


(Mike) #7

In the States you dont have a camera watching you whenever you leave your house, here in the Uk we basicaly do, you can be tracked for miles by government installed CCTV with the highest density in Towns and Cities and if its not Government installed CCTV it is home owner CCTV so even outside of Town/city you can be tracked

The fight for privacy was a noble effort and justified but it was always going to be a loosing battle, some point out it fights against crime and terrorism and some point out it is an intrusion of privacy

I dont use FB, never have but i can gaurantee they have some Data on me because they bought Whats app, i dont use whats app but users who do have my number and bada boom…

Cut Samsung some slack and enjoy some new Tech, data collection will never get better


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #8

Samsung aside; I miss the days when startups would build products that were sold for what they cost plus a fair margin, and there were no hidden data collection agendas.

They still exist - even in the smart home space. But it’s becoming more and more rare.

I attended a presentation by the founders of “Petcube” a couple years ago: An IP cam for watching your dog or cat, which included a laser pointer you could trigger remotely to play with them (and maybe a cookie dispenser … or was that something else or future plans; anyway…). In the second part of the presentation, they made it 100% clear that their profit plan was to monetize “social networking of pet owners” (i.e., use the app as a data collection trojan horse). Why, why, why? The device was nifty, didn’t cost a tremendous amount to build once the kinks were worked out, and could be sold at a reasonable price. Can’t that be enough?

Nope: That would leave far too much potential profit on the table.


(Dave Gutheinz) #9

GREED wins out over common courtesy and respect of privacy ANY DAY. My real problem is there are NO options that allow total privacy - even at a cost. Think of the model of a google without ANY data collection that costs $10 per month. How many would pay? How many even clean out their “cookies” on a regular basis? How about visit the settings on various web sites and maximizing privacy (this is purposely made difficult)?

Bottom line - privacy is not highly-valued by the majority of people


#10

At the end of the day, these companies are just giving people exactly what they want. If people really cared about privacy, all of them could offer paid solutions. But the majority don’t want that.

This is how capitalism is supposed to work.


(John) #11

Have a look this. It’s not nearly as mature as Smartthings but runs everything local. I don’t have one yet but I am very close.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #12

Absolutely correct. The 10’s of millions of Alexa units sold by Amazon are proof of that. Though, honestly, most people are really unaware of how valuable their personal profile and activity data is. With “big data analysis” and “deep learning”, businesses are now able (or steadily becomes more and more able) to psychologically manipulate consumers beyond comprehension. Frankly, I predicted this before Facebook was popular, and I even sketched out a text-message based system that would immediately target users with coupons based on their most recent purchases: Like offering a discount on a different beer brand right after buying their usual beer. So … not rocket science, but the effects of this monster are only barely understood.

That’s why I am absolutely convinced that household activity analysis is the primary goal of mass-market smart home companies (Nest, Alexa, … SmartThings). They don’t even know what the payoff will be, except they know it will be huge, and that consumers, on average, will not resist.


#13

I had noticed Hubitat. I might give them a try if my other plan doesn’t work out.

I bought a z-stick to try out Home Assistant at the same time I bought the Smartthings Hub. At the time I was thinking I could get up and running with Smartthings, and then play around with Home Assistant until I got comfortable with it.

If that proves too frustrating, I might get a Hubitat.

I really don’t want to go with another closed or partly closed system like Caseta or HomeSeer, after finally escaping RadioRa 2 (I also was very unsatisfied with the RadioRa2 CL switches and the Caseta switches with Neutrals are a lot more expensive and seem less capable than HomeSeer equivalent)


#14

Alexa creeps me out too.

I could maybe swallow Google Home, if only because they already know everything about me. Just because I give one friend a key to my house, doesn’t mean I want all my buddies to have a copy.


(Robin) #15

I’ve been running ST for a few years in one home and for the past month I’ve been bench testing Hubitat in my second home.

My first impressions of Hubitat are very good, it runs every device I’ve thrown at it, with only very minor tweaks to the handlers, and it’s even running webCoRE locally!

But Hubitat is very immature, it does not have an app, and the app that’s being developed will not be based around device tiles and manual controll… Hubitat is all about automation so that’s gonna be a big put off for a lot of people. Where ST has a nice customisable tile with a nice icon / image for toggling on/off, Hubitat has two plain grey tiles that don’t even highlight to feedback the current state (you have to read the device states from a different part of the page).

You can’t view all devices at the same time like we can on the ST dashboard / things page, you have to enter each device to view the state / control anything.

There’s no ActionTiles on Hubitat, so those that have the old code are using an older version of SmartTiles instead which feels like using a Blackberry instead of an iPhone.

Response times are certainly faster than ST, but actually not as much as I thought they would be. My ST home has things very refined and ST cloud lag has greatly improved over the years. Hubitat is basically just a re-flashed TV streaming device with zwave / Zigbee dongles plugged into the USB (it still has the redundant HDMI, IR and audio ports lol), so with hardware that wasn’t designed to run HA it seems to lack local processing speed compared to ST.

So ST cloud use actually isn’t that slow, and Hubitat local use is slower than it I hoped, mostly cancelling out the speed benefits of going local on Hubitat.

I haven’t suffered much from ST down time, mainly because I don’t rely too much on the automations and all my devices can be used manually via wall switches if / when things do fail.

There are obviously huge privacy benefits in using Hubitat, but I’ve personally never been too concerned about that. I remember a post on here from ST assuring users that they don’t sell our data, and even if that’s not true, all they would sell is anonymous meta-data which does me no harm and may be used by device manufactures to improve the overall HA market.

I’m conscious that when the Hubitat app gets released, if it allows control when away from home then it will be talking through a cloud, so my data will be exposed anyway… maybe I’m being naive but I trust Samsung with my data more than a I do with an unknown startup.

That said, here I am using ActionTiles and I’d be interested to know from @tgauchat what measures are in place to protect data and how it’s being shared / sold?

The ST community is awesome and that counts for soooo much, there’s no problem to big that can’t be solved on here!!

Unless ST completely screw things up with the migration / new app / new API, I have no intention of moving my ST home over to Hubitat. And I’m still on the fence regarding using Hubitat in my second home / recommending it to anyone, it’s staying on the test rig for now.


(Dan) #16

Hubitat released an update earlier this week which added IFTTT support and their own Dashboard solution. The Hubitat team has been doing a great job of adding functionality and squashing bugs.

I have enjoyed the last two months of 100% uptime, quick response time, and privacy using my Hubitat hub. I still have my ST hub running for Ring doorbell integration.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #17

To stand on safe and consistent legal ground, I must refer you to our official Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. If the contents of those references are unsatisfactory, you are advised to not use ActionTiles.


We believe that our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy are not significantly more permissive than most similar consumer targeted software products and services. We would rather consumers agree to and assume “the worst”, even if we aim to practice business a substantially safe distance within the boundaries of those agreements.

PS: If it appears these are somewhat similar to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policies of SmartThings; this is intentional. ActionTiles is a service primarily for SmartThings customers. Logically, it is efficient to not have major practical differences in our official terms and policies from them.


#18

If anyone is wondering…

After Day 1 with Home Assistant, I completely understand why anyone would be hesitant to switch; However, after spending about 8 hours reading tutorials and fussing around with automation, I got my basics setup and working smoothly.

A lot of the time I feel like I wasted trying to get their semigraphical automation scripting to work, before just writing the scripts by hand.

Setting up Home Assistant on a Linux VM on top of a Windows host also took some extra time, as the basic support is much more focused around Rasberry Pi.

At least one bonus is that the 30 minute dim from off to on for my morning wake up routine is a lot smoother.


#19

It’s not just not being aware of personal info privacy. They don’t care about it as much as before smartphone and similar technology was a normal part of everybody’s’ lives. Technology has made it very convenient to do things at the expense of privacy.

When Facebook was in the news last week, one co-worker was like it’s no big deal since he don’t have FB. He didn’t know that somebody with FB contacting him with a messaging app (FB, whatsapp) would then cause his data even a limited amount to be available to FB. Another co-worker considered it no big deal at all that FB got users data and he is constantly on it.


(Lighty) #20

WOW!

Nothing is private, period. This includes Hubitat, do not be fooled. Once something hits the cloud , it will remain there. If something is in the cloud it is vulnerable. Hubitat now uses cloud for backup & IFTT.