RIP Staples Connect?


(Geko) #1

Looks like another one just bit the dust. Noticed that Staples Connect hub (D-Link) has been removed from the Staples on-line store (it was only available on-line). The older Linksys version is still available, but the cylindrical D-Link have been replaced by similarly shaped Amazon Echo. :slight_smile:

http://www.staples.com/Home-Automation/cat_SC5529


If this was an expensive automobile would we consider this just as acceptable?
(Bobby) #2

Oh no, you’re onto something. Click buy a hub from the connect site below and see what you get…

http://m.staples.com/skmobreswidget/sbd/cre/marketing/staples-connect/staples-connect.html

I get this…that’s not good, unless they are coming with a new one, but judging by the last update they did, which now is pushing a year…it may signal the end?!?


(Geko) #3

Right… The new one is called Alexa. :wink:


(Ben Lebson) #4

I’m ok with it, my Staples Connect hub is sitting as a secondary z-wave controller allowing me to use my wall-mounted pico remotes to control z-wave and hue lights. I haven’t opened the app in about 6 months.


#5

Several things going on here, not the least of which is the intended merger between Staples and Office Depot which is being held up by an FTC suit. When your CEO is preparing to testify before a judge, a lot of projects get put on hold. :wink:

But I do think the echo introduction for in store sales is significant, and even more so since Lutron Caseta will now work directly with it.

But we’ll see what happens. Dlink (who made the now missing Staples connect hub) is expanding their own line. They just added in IFTTT channel for their Wi-Fi pocket sockets, as well as direct echo control of those specific devices. They haven’t added any of their other devices yet, it may depend on how this first one goes. But it’s interesting. They’re pushing plugged in Wi-Fi devices, though. Not zwave or zigbee.


(Ben Lebson) #6

The Staples Connect wasn’t directly managed by Staples, it was managed and developed by Zonoff. In theory this would allow it to be isolated from the merger issues but it seems that support was pulled about a year ago (or at least there was no priority put on the platform).


#7

Zonoff has its own issues. It’s being sued by Icontrol for patent violation on much of its home automation line.

The point is that staples is probably not going to make strategic decisions about a self branded home automation system in the middle of their merger project.


(Michael K) #8

I used vera for YEARS and when i gave up last year I tried the staples solution for a little while before giving up becasue it was unsupported and then i moved on to ST.

It never made ANY sense to me that an office supply place would have a HA hub. But on paper it looked good and there’s a staples a few blocks away so i tried it. The displays for HA stuff at my local store have been seeing less and less love ever since. I keep looking for clearance items but none of the devices have been in the bins yet. Just seems they dont restock

I hoped that zone off would keep it going when staples inevitably gave up. But they didn’t even keep it going when staples was selling it.

Maybe zoneoff will move on to other logical partners like petsmart, carpet kingdom, and AMC theaters. LOL


(Geko) #9

And their prices are falling. Currently most WiFi sockets are cheaper than Zigbee/ZWave ones. Considering that Echo is rapidly becoming a dominant home automation controller, this is the right direction to go for OEMs.


(Brian Diehl) #10

Not only is Echo becoming a dominant home automation controller, but the WiFi sockets don’t require a controller.
Your zigbee and z-wave outlets will work with the push button locally, sure, but for remote on/off, there is no app without a controller.

I’m thinking of getting a few WiFi ones just to have for emergency.

On topic for Staples though, I did have a Connect hub and loved it. I just wish it offered more devices for compatibility. I got mine for free so I can’t complain (it was free with the purchase of 2 or more connected home devices priced 30 or higher). I always planned to switch to ST once hub v2 was out, so I made smart decisions about buying devices that only worked for both environments so I would have no loss when switching.

My hub is still sitting on a shelf. I might have kept using it if the stupid WiFi worked on it.


(Brian Diehl) #11

Updating this.

Just got an email from Staples confirming the death of Staples Connect (hardware).

Dear Valued Customer,

Staples will discontinue selling Staples Connect in our stores and online, but the Staples Connect service and related products will be supported in collaboration with Z-Wave Products, a leading provider of Z-Wave enabled wireless technology including security, lighting, and energy monitoring products, and smart home software company Zonoff. Z-Wave Products will work with Zonoff to continue to make updates to the Staples Connect App ensuring that it continues to operate with your existing home automation products. For customer service support you can continue to call 1-800-380-1518 or visit www.zwaveproducts.com/shop/staplesconnect.

If you are interested in other home automation products compatible with your existing Staples Connect device, you can also go to www.zwaveproducts.com/shop/staplesconnect.

As a token of our appreciation for being a loyal Staples customer, we would like to offer you a $50 Staples Gift card*, which is redeemable by going to https://staples-redeem.cashstar.com and entering the following code and pin number.

CODE: XXXXXXXXXX

PIN: XXXXX

We thank you for your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused.

Sincerely,

Staples

*The promo code is valid to claim your Staples gift card between 6/5/2016 and 8/6/2016. Once claimed, please treat your gift card like cash and safeguard accordingly. Your gift card may be used just like cash toward the purchase of merchandise and services at Staples U.S. retail stores and Staples.com. Each promo code and pin is valid to claim one gift card. Replacement gift cards will not be issued.


#12

I think this is hopeful. Zwaveproducts.com has been expanding into private labels (DragonTec) and of course they are fully committed to Z wave. This gives a niche home for a niche product, but a pretty good one. It’s several levels simpler from a technical standpoint than vera or SmartThings, and about equal to wink although not as slick.

It’s biggest weakness is also its biggest strength: a very limited set of devices and almost no cloud service. So it’s simple and reliable and if your use cases happened to fit the devices it offers, it’s nice. Excellent integration between a zwave controller and Lutron Caseta devices.

it doesn’t work for me because it has no voice control options. But for someone whose mostly interested in lights, window coverings, a smart lock, a simple thermostat, and a simple camera, this should work.

And zwave products should be able to handle the customer service, especially if they don’t go crazy and advertise it into non-technical markets.

We’ll see what happens, but unless this is just a way of selling off the last of the inventory, I like it.

JMO


(Brian Diehl) #13

I agree. Zwaveproducts is a very respectable site and that was a good move for them and it allowed Staples to bow out gracefully (and accept that the Echo is their biggest selling Home Automation product in stores or online).

I wish there was a good way to bridge the hub with ST as I know a ton of people have been clamoring for Lutron support.

I got the product as an entry level HA system for free (they offered a promo where you got it free if you bought 2 or more qualifying products), so the $50 gift card essentially made those Ecolink door sensors nearly free for me.

Staples wasn’t pushing any boundaries with the product and they weren’t having Zonoff keep up to date with product additions. Hopefully Zwaveproducts will expand the list of compatible products as it allows them to create custom bundles and get more sales.


(Geko) #14

I doubt it. Most likely, Staples was able to convince zwaveproducts.com to purchase all their remaining Staples Connect stock at heavy discount or maybe even for free, in exchange for continuing support of existing customers. I’m pretty sure Staples Connect is history.


#15

Could be. There’s no way to tell yet. It may be that that DLink and Zonoff are also waiting to see how to goes.

I can also see a third possibility to the options of death or continuing as is, and that is that they sell out the existing inventory and then release it as a stripped version with just zwave and Wi-Fi. I noticed there’s barely a mention of the lutron antenna in the product description now.


(Marc) #16

Either way, they handled this a lot better than Google did with Revolv. Google should learn.


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #17

To be clear, Nest handled Revolv, not Google. Google actually stepped in to make it right by refunding a lot of hubs.

I know it is all traded under one symbol, but Nest has so far operated autonomously (and not very well).


(Ben Lebson) #18

I’ve been using my staples connect as a secondary z-wave controller to allow me to use pico remotes with select z-wave and hue lights… and now I get $50 to go towards an Amazon Tap for my front porch :slight_smile:

I’m pretty ok with this.