I need some opinions on this.
I am quadriparetic, use a wheelchair and have limited hand function, so I really want everything to be plug and play as much as possible.
Right now we use SmartThings (no hub, like the vast majority of ST users), Apple Home, Alexa, and a few brand – specific hubs, including Lutron, Philips hue, switchbot, Aqara, BroadLink, Ring security, and Flic. There’s a lot of “plumbing,” obviously, but everything works well, and with the exception of smartthings, we do get at least a six-month MFOP (maintenance Free operating period) for all our automations.
(smartthings continues to be the least stable of any of our platforms, but that’s a different discussion.)
iOS devices, mostly, except for one android tablet we needed for one of the BroadLink integrations.
Anyway… we’re very happy with how matter has been working with Apple home. Most devices add easily, and it has allowed us to bring in some devices we didn’t previously have, such as the SwitchBot curtainbots.
SmartThings as a platform is still miles better at complex virtual devices, and some complex scheduling, such as calendar-based triggers, but only if you can run edge drivers. Which requires a smartthings/Aeotec hub. Which we don’t have right now, although we have had in the past.
Also, smartthings matter implementation requires a hub/dongle.
So…would it make sense to get a SmartThings Station just to be able to use some of the virtual device edge drivers like @taustin ‘s VEdge Creator and @Mariano_Colmenarejo ’s virtual calendar? I honestly haven’t found any similar functionality in any other platform except for Homeseer, and for multiple reasons I don’t want to go to that.
(I know the station doesn’t support Z wave, but I don’t need it to. As most people know, there’s just a lot missing from the smartthings Z wave implementation that would drive me crazy. I need my field tech tools. )
I don’t even really need the station for Zigbee, to be honest.
I’d be using it for the community created virtual device edge drivers, and for some matter integration.
If I had a galaxy phone, I think I’d definitely go for it, but I don’t. (iPhone still has much better accessibility features.)
Thoughts? Does this kind of setup make any sense? Is it just going to require too much ongoing maintenance? Is the station itself relatively stable independent of the usual smartthings cloud/app change issues? I’ve been putting this decision off in the hopes that smartthings would add more sophisticated virtual device options for those of us without hubs, but it doesn’t look like they’re going to.