Opinions needed: Add Station to add Virtual Devices and Matter to ST Setup?

I need some opinions on this. :thinking:

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. :wink: )

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.

If your planing on creating a few Virtual devices and matter in the future I personally would go for a hub. But if it’s only for a few devices and virtual devices the station should do the trick

1 Like

I’d ask @JDRoberts about this. :sweat_smile: He is the king of this platform. All kidding aside, I have very few issues with my ST setup on my V2 hub. I do like the ability to do different things with virtual devices. That said, much of it can also be done in Sharptools. If I was you, I’d look at that first. I’m sure @joshua_lyon can help you with the more complex stuff.

2 Likes

I have 2 ST locations.

One location always had a ST hub.

The second location did not have a ST hub for a couple years. It had a cheap Tuya hub for Zigbee devices. But with Groovy shutting down I broke down and purchased a used ST hub for the 2nd location last December. I did that so I could use vEdge Virtual devices (Alexa Switch), Edge Drivers in general, Matter, etc. Things work a little smother this way.

1 Like

A Station for virtual devices wouldn’t be a bad idea. A Station for Matter devices may depend if you need Matter bridge support. The station is currently on firmware 47.X which doesn’t support Matter Bridges. We’ll see if there’s any news on that from SDC this Thursday.

1 Like

Didn’t realize that, thanks. Matter bridges are essential for me, that’s how we would bring in the aqara devices.

Hi,

I have no experience with the Samsung station, I use a v3 hub.

Virtual device drivers are very stable in my opinion, since they do not depend on network transmissions and device information.

Normal changes in the firmware libraries do not affect them as much, since code already written in the driver is used and normally only the default ones are used to emit events or capture commands from the app or API.

They are never shown offline in the app except for lack of internet and are local to the routines.

1 Like