Non-cloud (offline) modes

(Jtodd) #1

Perhaps there is a thread on this already, but there are thousands of posts. If there was an upvoting system of some sort, that perhaps might have been a better way for me to express my opinion…

I was very excited when I saw and the various devices. But then I discovered that they’re entirely “cloud based”. This disqualifies all of these great devices and widgets from consideration. I need at least to have local input/output capability for any control system. My internet access is often down for hours (or days) as I am quite remote. I also don’t like buying devices which become doorstops when the small tech company I bought them from goes out of business (as most do - no insult here, that’s just the way it is.)

It seems like “local” is no more complex than “cloud”. Sending triggers via web calls or taking configurations via XML or even just a configuration web page seems like not too much of a stretch given that your system has do to almost all of that work already for the cloud instantiation of the service. I don’t want or need a super-computer figuring out if my keyfob is in the house or not - this is a simple home automation system, not a model of an atomic explosion. An Raspberry Pi can do everything that I want. Don’t build to the maximum complexity required.

I’ll check back in a year or so and see if you’ve got a local capability.

(Yes, I did read and it seems like the reasoning is defensive and hollow.)


(Im Brian) #2

@jtodd - they’re aware of the desire for local controls. For most of what the platform provides, having cloud based is desirable - but for basic controls (when door opens, turn on light), it’s lacking. I would imagine they’re looking into a solution there.

In terms of cost - the hub costs $99. Every other piece of the SmartThings ecosystem is Zigbee, Z-wave or IP based. If you buy a device to work with SmartThings, there’s a very (very) good chance you can get it working with Vera, custom Raspberry Pi (with Razberry or a USB dongle) with very little effort.

The “setup cost” for ST is quite cheap - and for most people, it offers a richer platform than is available elsewhere. That’s not to say it’s without it’s faults (as you’ve described) - but as a new company, I’m happy to see they’ve been making great progress.

If local control is important to you - yeah, ST may not be a great option in the short-term. But if you wired your house with compatible devices, you can switch between Vera and ST based on which one suits your needs better.

If you’re interested in hearing what they have as top-of-mind, I’d suggest joining in on one of their biweekly meetings - or reviewing the recordings:

(Jtodd) #3

Thanks for the references. I might try baking my own.