NY Times Article on DIY Connected Homes

Interesting article. Can’t wait for next week…


That’s not to say all these connected home devices are frustrating or useless. There were some I really liked.

Lutron Caséta Wireless switches and plugs allow you to control your lights or other devices from your smartphone or the Apple Watch, even when you’re not home. It was so simple to set up that I thought I had done something wrong. When I saw these lights work for the first time, I realized why I had started this painful endeavor in the first place. Telling your phone, “Siri, turn off my lights,” is nothing short of magic.

This is the part that really matters. :sunglasses:

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I think the article should have been called “The pitfalls of buying a bunch of connected devices and owning a crappy router”. When I think connected home I think of many devices working together through a common hub, not a bunch of devices each needing a separate app to control.

How about called “you gotta be smarter than the thermostat dumbass!”

Please keep us posted for next week, because some of the things on the article have me thinking the writer is either a 97 year-old or still writes with a good old typewriter.

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That was my first thought too. And if he reused the same SSID and password, no “connecting every gadget to the new router” would have even been necessary. Still, it’s interesting to see IoT break into the consciousness of mainstream media.

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This is rapidly becoming a deprecated mindset, for better or worse.

Remember that even SmartThings, as discussed in several Topics here, are de-emphasizing control Apps in favor of automation / “smarts”. As such we “shouldn’t” need to enter each native App very often, supposedly, and, in a way, your smart phone is a meta-App for all the various vendors. All that matters in this paradigm is that the devices interact on the back-end.

This is the primary strategy of Nest – it is a hub-less #ThoughtfulHome ecosystem. The Nest thermostat automatically “knows” to turn off the ventilation system when the Nest Protect detects smoke. And everything in the “Works With Nest” program is encouraged to follow this paradigm.

It’s not necessarily better than SmartThings or other hub centric platforms, but Nest marketing does impress me a lot.

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That is Nest’s strategy and they’re sticking to it, even after they bought Revolv and everything. I have Nest products and I like them very much, and the integrations of the Works with Nest program work without problems (at least for my setup). The downside is it is limited.

I’m eager to know how an installation professional will help this writer’s experience. The ones I can think off my head are the expensive ones (Control4, Pella, ADT, etc.) which are not for the mainstream media because of the price and I know Wink has a Pro installation option on their website.

Purely a guess, but this article’s timing may have been inspired in part by the new Xfinity home automation offering. They’re pricing themselves a bit below ADT.

Nest also has a “pro” certification program, and there are a few “retail” vendors that are offering “professional” installation services of various sorts. I’m following the author on Twitter and commented that it’s really impossible to accurately cover a smart home experience in two very short columns.

I think we’re reading far too much into this publication.

Hahaha true. Let’s just wait it out and see. For all we know, it could be an ad paid for by Xfinity.


Well… Part 2 has been published, and it’s 50% nonsense.

The “journalist” calls Z-Wave a “system” (rather than a protocol or standard) and roughly equates it to Control4 (which is a proprietary system sold only through professional installers). To put these into the same context is nonsense.

Oh well… Let’s read more closely and see what we can glean from the Article…

No, don’t make me go in there… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Well, at least he got most of the Control4 stuff correct. But I suspect C4 probably made sure of that…

Wonder what Z-Wave hub was used?

Love how he called Control4 a Walled Garden… AOL is a walled garden :smile:

Oh well, moral of the story, if you have lots of money, you can have lots of automation some one else installs.


Things that caught my attention in this one:

  1. “Nick Bilton is an award-winning technology columnist” is on the writer’s bio. They’re just giving awards away.
  2. Now I want to go and climb the Everest. They have internet signal over there!
  3. With gogo internet speeds, that guy must have taken about 40 minutes to get Homeland on the TV
  4. Control4’s version of the Ring (most likely the other way around) costs 4 times as much and looks like an old security guard intercom from the 70s.

But hey, at least he argued in favor of HA at the end.

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Control4 just upgraded their new door station, it isn’t as industrial now…

For full disclosure, Control4 is an open platform built on zigbee with custom clusters. You can’t simply take any zigbee HA 1.2 device and use it inside Control4.

However, the dealers and developers for Control4 can design and integrate anything IP, IR or RS232 controllable using the LUA programming language and direct, local access to a controller.

So yes, the publicly available Ring, could easily be integrated into Control4 if someone wanted to write a driver for it.

Also, for remote access and a few other things, you need to pay Control4 (via a dealer) for the annual 4sight subscription which can run $99+ depending on region and dealer.