Potentially New Customer - Buy or Wait for 2.0


(Steven Piazza) #1

I am interested joining the ST ecosystem mostly due to my need for affordable moisture sensors (monitor basement and sump pump). I will likely add more sensors (door, motion, etc) down the road. Before making the decision to purchase the hub and moister sensors, I’d like to know if I should wait a bit longer for the 2.0 Hub to release.

Thoughts? Opinions?


(Cody Truscott) #2

Depends on if $99 for the current hub is worth it for 3-4 months of service.

I certainly wouldn’t stick with the current hub if the new one proves to be more reliable — especially considering the use case you describe.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #3

The value you get from immediate purchase will vary by individual. If you have even a couple useful automations, that may be worth dipping toes in the pool. It also gives you a head start learning how the pieces of SmartThings fit together, meeting the online Community, etc. if you have the time for this effort.

We hope ST offers some trade-in or recycling value on Hub V1s, but that is completely unknown.


#4

I would wait for 2.0, but I would go right now to Best Buy and pick up the PEQ devices for $19.99 - $24.99 which are a great price.

Oops I think the sale might be over now :confused:


(Ben Edwards) #5

They will still work with either ST hub when/if you jump in, as well.

As for waiting or not, other posters are correct in being unsure what the use case for the v1 Hub will be post v2. We are working on a back.migration tool to make it easier to transfer your setup from v1 to v2 but that is looking like it will trail the hardware release by some weeks/months. If that is the case we will encourage people who have v1 hubs to wait if they want to make use of a tool like that.

We are also looking for ways to utilize the v1 hub in a post v2 world. The simplest use case will have it acting as a repeater. Kinda pricey for a repeater but it’s something. More ideas kicking around too.


(Kurt Sanders) #6

In my mind :anguished: , it really depends if one will be using some of the new features of the ST V2 hub (from what I have read and now interpreting). For example, here are a few of things off the top of my head.

  • The ST V2 hub will have battery backup, which would allow for device Z-wave connectivity and local SmartApp actions in the rare case of a home electrical outage. But one will not get IOS, SMS or email notifications if the home network was also affected by the power outage since the ST needs Internet access for notifications and maybe some advanced cloud processing functionality (yet to be fully understood until V2 is delivered and end user testing). So unless you had some action that could be initiated by another connected Z-Wave device (Like a battery backup Sump Pump), you would not get any value out of the new ST V2 Hub. One could also argue that one could purchase a economical UPS backup and get the same functionality in a ST v1 Hub.
  • The ST V2 Hub will have new USB ports for adding wireless USB connectivity. One could also achieve this feature using an economical client mode wireless access router.
  • The ST V2 hub will have local SmartAPP processing capabilities. IMO, this feature would be an plus for faster processing of events and alerts, especially if they have many Z-wave devices with customized complex SmartAPPs.
  • The ST V2 Hub will most likely be supported longer, since it will be a 2015 model. On the negative side, the newer hardware/software may also have some initial functionality/stability issues, requiring support calls and firmware updates to possibility resolve.

In my opinion, purchase now or wait… just depends if you can wait long enough for your home automation projects since the actual delivery date, pricing and availability of the ST V2 Hub through the authorized retailers has let to be announced.


#7

We don’t actually know yet what the purpose of the battery will be.

Vera, a Z wave only controller that has been around for a while, has battery power which is not used to back up the hub during a power outage, but rather just used for a few minutes at a time so that the hub can be taken very close to devices that are already installed, like door locks or wired light switches, to pair those. Door locks are particularly problematic, because they use a security protocol and will only pair to the actual hub, not a remote controller like the Aeon Minimote.

As you can imagine, that particular feature is especially helpful if someone either is migrating from a competing hub, like Vera, and already has their devices installed – – or, if they were upgrading from a version one hub, and there was no migration utility yet.

Although some people have assumed that having a battery meant having the ability to operate the hub for several hours, SmartThings has not announced that, and that’s not what some of the competitors offer.

So we’ll just have to wait and see what actually arrives.


(Kurt Sanders) #8

Good point @JDRoberts on the capability of the “actual features” of the ST V2 batteries and other pre-announced features that may or may not actually materialize…After all, in the fast paced world of product pre-release announcements, any and all features are subject to change, be deleted or be moved to a future release.

In my mind, I was thinking that if the ST V2 Hub can be removed from the DC power source for some temporary period to supposedly allow it to be closer to the new Z-Wave device for pairing (as the Vera Hub), it could still “potentially” communicate with other existing Z-wave devices in some limited capacity.

We won’t actually know until it is finally announced whenever :turtle:


(Steven Piazza) #9

Thank you for all the feedback. I can see this community is very active and that is very encouraging. The battery backup is a nice feature but I will likely have the hub plugged into an extended long UPS – so that is not an issue. The one ‘feature’ of V2 I feel that I would miss out on is the local SmartAPP processing capabilities.

I see some users of the product express that some of their triggers don’t always work as expected and the cloud sometimes gets in the way of quick responsive triggers. Sounds like V2 will help with this situation.

I’m going to think about the purchase some more over the next few days and then make a decision to buy or wait.


#10

Exactly–local processing should remove the schedule problems caused by having to go to the cloud. (whether it will introduce new schedule problems, remains to be seen, and it will depend in large part on the capacity of the local device). This was mentioned by the CTO of SmartThings in the followung recent post:

The big unknown from hub two is the announced inclusion of a Bluetooth antenna. We still don’t know what that will be used for. While it’s true that Apple’s homekit is going to use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in a bridge and tunnels topology, just having a Bluetooth antenna doesn’t mean that smartthings will be able to participate in the homekit ecosystem. It’s interesting that Samsung’s new smart bulb uses Bluetooth mesh, so ST might be getting ready for that. But who knows?


(Erik Thayer) #11

I have gaps in my property, large amount of land… so using the v1 hubs as a repeater doesn’t get me out to my garage where a EoP connection does! V2 might mean buying 2 or more new V2 hubs to replace my V1 hubs, and even during a internet outage, I assume the V2 hubs will still need to dial out to connect (share logic and event data) to other V2 hubs on the same LAN.

Which brings me to this question:
Will two V2 hubs talk to each-other via LAN, or will they still be limited to WAN?


(Ben Edwards) #12

In a setup with 2 v2 hubs, one will only act as a repeater. They won’t be sharing app processing logic. There re scenarios e are considering that would allow multiple hubs on a location or multiple locations to share logic, but these are not imminent.

When v2 (or v1) hubs talk to each other it will be over LAN. SmartThings hubs do not have wi-fi radios. At time of release of the v2 hub (this month), neither hub will work as repeater. We expect to add that functionally after launch but — like many things — it’s complicated. i.e. which network to extend, ZigBee or Z-Wave?


SmartThings Hub Version 2.0
(Erik Thayer) #14

Thanks for answering my question, Ben. SmartThings is definitely a game changer, and being a leader in the industry I’m sure that there are many complex problems your team is tackling everyday.

I’m aware that the hubs do not have wifi radios. The setup I have now, has a router repeating the wifi signal I have where zwave and zigbee don’t reach. The hub is then connected to the router via ethernet and then ‘repeats(?)’ the zigbee/zwave network to control my garage devices.

In your response, it sounds like a hub connected via LAN (not zwave/zigbee) will be able to include devices in the network and control them from a V2 hub connected to the same LAN network… or at least eventually.

At any rate, keep up the good work. I’m looking to seeing the V2 hub hitting the market. I’ll probably adopt one pretty quickly after things get sorted out.


(Matt G.) #15

@Ben, did you mean to provide this firm of a release date (at this point, a release within the next 10 days)? That’s pretty freaking exciting :smiley: Should I let myself get excited, or is this not accurate anymore?


(Kyle) #16

Wait, what did you just say? “this month”…


(Kyle ) #17

@Ben this month aye . . . Do tell us more :wink: