New competition, OOMI?

I am curious if anyone is looking at the new OOMI? I signed up on their list for email and from what I’ve seem it looks very interesting. It will be interesting to see how they develop as people start using their product once it ships in October.

Anyone have any thoughts on it?

Interesting product… quite ambitious…

IndieGogo’s are speculative ventures… Gambling “oopportunities”… … They are not products. The discounts are meaningless due to the lack of any existing retail sales market. A lot can change between the campaign and, more often than not, extremely late delivery.

Come back and let’s talk about it once (if) they actually ship.

There is no value in exchange for the tremendous risks of being an early adopter.


Oomi hits some of the missing pieces nicely: camera, IR blaster, glass break sensor, touch panel, local processing. Voice is a big miss–you have to tap the touch panel, then dictate. Not a handsfree listener. Pricing looks like it will be high.

I agree with @tgauchat , though: for a complex system like this I will wait until it’s shipping to evaluate. Too many moving parts to judge on spec.

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The only down side to OOMI is the price tag. It costs more than ST does…

Pretty much everything is going to cost more than SmartThings does unless the hub is a loss leader to get you to buy a lot more devices from that seller (the Staples Connect business model).

If Oomi delivers IR and camera and zwave, works reliably, and adds a lock with the features I want and Amazon Echo integration, I’d pay 5 times what ST costs.

Plus remember the OOMI cube does way more than the ST hub: it includes the camera and the IR blaster in the same device.

But I’m not backing it now, I’ll wait until it comes to market to evaluate.

But I do think this kind of thing, if they improve voice so it’s a listener and you don’t have to hit the dictation button, will be the zwave competitor to HomeKit.

Maybe not Oomi specifically, but this approach.

We’ll see.

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I wouldn’t qualify Staples Connect as a loss leader. It sells for $80, which is comparable with other similar hardware. Mind you, it’s manufactured by D-Link who buys silicon in huge volumes and at hefty discounts. In fact, Staples Connect looks virtually identical to D-Link WiFi routers that sell for $40 to $100 depending on features.

SmartThings hub on the other hand is quite expensive, considering its low-end hardware. The PIC32 micro controller cost around $5 and total BOM is probably no more than $40 even in low volumes.

Agreed, at the retail price SC isn’t cheap. But it’s often offered at reduced cost, sometimes even free, if you buy other devices.

This is very true. Also, while I can understand advantage of crowd-funding for small projects that are unlikely to attract attention of VCs, I’d be very suspicious of a project of this magnitude using crowd-funding to raise capital. What it means probably is that they were not able to find VC’s that bought into their idea.

People who risk their money by funding projects via KickStarted or IndieGoGo are not investors or entrepreneurs. VC’s can interview executive team, review business plan and make informed decision before risking their money. And even if they do, they sit on the board of directors and have tremendous leverage and control over the company they funded, while people who “invest” via crow-funding are simply taken for a ride. I call it “Pay-n-Pray” :smile:


This would be sweet with Echo integration. These last few days with Alexa (please allow additional names soon) have pretty much set me on voice control as a mandatory feature.

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Amazon says they will add new awake words “soon.” Mostly for the roommate issue: 3 roommates who each have an Echo in their bedroom will collide right now.

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To revive an old thread: yes OOMI looks cool. And certainly, some of its claimed features and integrations would be wonderful.

But the concept of a tablet as a media remote control on your living room table does not make sense. It’s been tried by multiple vendors, and in most cases been rejected by the masses. Certain things come to us ‘naturally’. For example, some of you might remember Lotus 123 and WordPerfect and other programs. They were set up by programmers, for programmers… and the end-user experience was secondary. But once the graphical interface became the norm, the computer programs that comprise our workday started changing. They started resembling something humanity has been working with and developing for hundreds of years: the file cabinet. We open a drawer, we grab a file folder, we retrieve the needed document from within that folder, and we work on that document. Or we use a tool to create a new document, decide where to store that document, and put it in the appropriate folder in the appropriate file cabinet drawer. And so the computer interface began to resemble, more and more, that filing system that we already know so well!

The tablet as media center remote flies in the face of that. Humanity has now spent 50+ years developing the remote control for home use. Some of the early ones were fairly large rectangular objects with lots of buttons (think the old Jerrold wired cable controllers), some were pistol-shaped (Zenith Flash-Matic)… but as the tech shrunk in size, the devices began to adopt a quite standardized shape. Human ergonomics and logic have done that. A device with buttons that fits in a single human hand became the standard NOT because manufacturers demanded it, but because humans demanded it! And as different as we may want to believe we are from each other, our ergonomics and logic remain pretty similar.

So I’m not saying oomi will fail. It seems to have a lot going for it. I’m just saying that what seems to be one of its ancillary sales pitches is likely a non-starter… and given the entry cost, might see something like oomi necessarily be a little further in the future than they might like. Voice control of media (which oomi has) is of course a great drawing card, but again you apparently have to drag this tablet round with you. And voice control of an entertainment system running beyond X volume will always have inherent challenges.

So I just don’t see oomi, or any system really, displacing the handheld media system remote control. They might supplement it, but vanquishing it is not in the near future.

It’s not about displacing. It’s about adding choices. And choices good. For example, the Aeon minimote will still work with Oomi, so if you want a button
controller, you have one. ( i’m not evaluating in the process one where another, I’m just saying that adding a tablet option doesn’t remove the handheld remote choice.)

SmartTiles is probably the most popular third-party app for SmartThings, and it’s a tablet dashboard. Because many people want a dashboard. Getting information at a glance, being able to drill deeper, and being able to change color on RGBW bulbs are all things that button controllers just don’t do very well if at all.

If there’s one thing that the success of the Amazon echo and the Flic has taught us, is that people like to have multiple control and information options even for very low cost Home Automation systems. Both came on the market around the same time. Both appear to have competing purposes – – voice control and a simple button press. Both filled a gap that low-cost home automation systems had missed: a user desire to control a group of smart devices on demand. And instead of competing with each other, many consumers ended up buying both devices. Choice is good. :sunglasses:


I agree with you JD. I’m working with a wall-mount control tablet myself, along with Echo Dot etc!
I’m merely addressing the oomi video that claims they wish to have their tablet controller eliminate the handheld remote control from your living room table… I don’t see it happening.


BTW: Just noticed the horrible review that OOmi Home has received.

And probably deservedly. What joke this “industry” is (well… some of the players, not all!).

Avoid the overpriced and overly complex Oomi smart-home hub. Stick with Samsung SmartThings or the Wink Hub 2, which are less expensive, easier to use and more versatile.