Smart Home Monitor - Touch-Screen Controller


(Bobby) #1

Now that SHM is LIVE! it would be nice to have a device on the wall to fully use it. Something with a touch screen and a keypad would be just awesome! I know many will say use a tablet, but is not the same or as convenient as a plug and play device like Wink’s Relay.


(Ron S) #2

Go buy the iPad Pro, buddy! Spend 800$ on it for the coolness! :wink:


(Realy Living Dream) #3

The touchscreen LCD is the thing I see myself missing the most moving from Securifi A+ to ST V2. However Echo integration giving me voice control over " everything " should also mean that I won’t need the central touchscreen control.


(Tony) #4

I am REALLY hoping we get some sort of solution here…even if it’s just a supported keypad that works locally. I have been playing with HA for awhile but only a few things…like one/two of each type of thing. I am building a house that will be done next year so I am designing the HA now to be put in during construction and tabulating (scary) the costs for what I need.

One thing I have been perplexed about, seeing as I don’t currently have a security system, is the ease of use. I am identifying what doors I will come in and out of primarily…how would I arm/disarm the system. How would my kids do it (all under 7) etc. I think physical pads are absolutely necessary. I also think there needs to be a visible cue for what state the house in so you don’t accidentally walk in not know it’s armed etc. Maybe I am too focused on corner cases and not convincing myself to LEARN to use a security system I don’t know. I do know I want to make it as easy to use as possible though.

Ehhh, I digress. YES controller for SHM :smile:


(Geko) #5

I wonder what people are willing to pay for such convenience. Wink Relay goes for $179 - $199. You could buy a decent tablet for half that price, but you also need wall mounting hardware and creative ways to power it.


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #6

This can be done now but it is a bit of a kludge. I use iRule to control my 'Things. I prefer it to what else is out there primarily due to its ability to design the interface graphically from scratch. But you have to setup endpoints, and even some virtual switches to hand off commands to various things like routines.

Noise has been made that SmartThings will eventually allow greater access to developers so more sophisticated clients can be built. Until then it just requires a bit more effort.

But let me digress for a moment by asking “do you want a Smart Home, or a remote controlled home?” Seems to me a smart home would not require a bunch of physical controls placed everywhere they are needed (that’s kinda the whole point, isn’t it). I mean, if the system knows your present, the alarm disarms, right? Even without a sensed presence, if you have the code to unlock a smartlock, the system disarms, right. And if it is dark lights come on.

The trick is designing the rules for your home so that physical interaction with the devices in your home is kept to a minimum, and the more people you have living there, the more complex the rules will be (a lot more “if… then… else’s” required).

I am happy to say that I rarely touch a light switch anymore, and as things progress, it is getting rare that I even launch iRule. Anything that requires an identical series of steps usually gets automated to a single action by the third or fourth time I am presented with it. And the things that happen automatically, usually have exceptions set up for when I am not there, or someone else is. For me, this is the more creative (and challenging) aspects of HA design.


#7

Interestingly, a different Samsung division, Samsung SDS, has just recently launched a Z wave security system in Korea that includes a touchscreen wall pad.


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #8

Yeah, but its Samsung; interface designers from hell. Here is the result of the last interaction I had with a Samsung product (just yesterday in fact). LOL (c;


(Bobby) #9

Oh, I am happy too that I don’t touch a light switch anymore, but other family members have increased tactile perception and cannot live without touching things :slight_smile:


(Realy Living Dream) #10

While automation is great there are always exceptions to every rule. As well as people reluctant to accept/embrace change. In my case it is the SO, it took me until just last year to finally pry her old Blackberry and old original Nook out of her hand. That was a slow and arduous process.
I will have to see how it goes with the V2 , since as of now the only HA I can get her to use consistently are the lights on WeMo switches controlled by Echo, and obviously she has no choice but to use the Schlage touchscreen locks if she wants to get in the house.
The motion detectors to control the hall and bathroom lights/fan were an utter failure. She consistently just shuts off the power at the wall switches to disable the lights and fan and leaves the night light on 24/7. I am about to the point of forcing her hand and removing all the wall switches so she has no choice, but pretty sure I would be the one being removed from the house if I did that.


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #11

LOL. All of my switches are placebos (non load bearing). All they do is send commands to SmartThings. That way, at times I can have them do one thing, and at others something else. For instance… there are deck lights in a soffit that are right outside my BR window, and switches that turn them on at three different entry points to the deck. Except they don’t work when we are sleeping. Instead, just some landscaping lights come on.


(Tony) #12

I hear you Scott, but as you said, the more people the more complex the rules. That is the primary reason I am messing with things now…to see exactly what I can and can’t automate. Let me lay out a few things I have observed, would be interested to know your take.

  1. Using presence is a nightmare, not because of the devices (which got better with the new app) but rather determining when to automate routines based on them. I typically always have my phone (but I am crazy :wink: )…but my wife, sometimes leaves it at home, sometimes in her purse in the car, etc. Phones die which I assume would make them look away (haven’t checked the log). For me, I only found one way to really utilize presence…if any phone suddenly “arrives” it disarms my system. So no matter who is out if anyone comes home, it will disarm. Issue there would be if wife left phone at home and comes back…how does she disarm. Point being, between 3 kids (7, 5, 1), wife, and family coming in and out of house, presence is almost impossible to implement. Need something physical to help.

  2. Motion is a bear as well because I have dogs. 3 dogs…BIG dogs (2 st. bernards and german shepherd). So have lights go on and off is a pain. I know i could try and get pet friendly motion sensors but have heard they are hit and miss. I still use them during the day but it’s not optimal. In addition, a limitation I have found to motion sensors (and maybe this is a sensor issue) is to not pick up small movements. For example, in my den where we watch tv, if i have it turn off at 1 minute of no motion, there is times the lights would go off while we are watching tv, because my wife and i are snuggled up and not rustling around (yet ;))…or my kids are reading and not really moving much. It frustrates the hell out of them when lights go on and off. So i created a routine launched by harmony remote to change the mode to “TV time” which disables the shutoff from motion. Again…I don’t think I could honestly get by without switches as a result. (I am using a few now and will use all connected switches in my new home so even physical use doesn’t break ST).

  • There are other things like tiggering morning events, but my wife and I get up at different times, and sometimes my kids…so who controls???

Things like this limit my ability to make my whole house smart. I can automate lights in my garage because it’s straightforward…but there are a lot of places where there are just too many variables. So for me, HA is a combination of making some things simpler, along with general control (at night make sure EVERYTHING is off, etc.) and some security. But until there is AI on the other end, with all the variables of my family, a TRUE smart house I think is not possible today.

Tony


(Ron S) #13

Lucky you! At least you don’t need security related sensors! :smile:

As such HA is always HAHA.


(Geko) #14

Motion sensors work pretty well in small areas, like bathrooms. I have automated bathroom lights in three bathrooms using “turn on on motion, turn off 10 min after motion stops” rule. The trick is to position the motion sensor such that it covers the entire room area.

However, large multi-purpose areas shared by the whole family are impossible to automate. In this case there’s no better option than a wall-mounted scene controller.


(Mike Maxwell) #15

did you have any issues getting this running on V2 hub?
Mine told me to set the password, then said it didn’t match…
Was looking to avoid installing all the SAMI software just to set the device password…


(Realy Living Dream) #16

That’s exactly what I did. Well I set lights for 5 minutes and fans for 15 minutes ,to make sure any steam ( or other gasses) were vented out after somebody left the bathroom. It isn’t that it doesn’t work, she just likes to actually flick a physical switch ( like I said in 2014 she still insisted on carrying her old crackberry ) So She will walk in and turn the master switch off/on to reset the lights, then turn it off again when she leaves. Which of course completely defeats the having fan run for 15 minutes after motion stops. Only limitation of the PIR is that at 5’4" it does not always " see her" in the shower over the curtain so it will shut the lights off after 5 minutes. It has no problem at all seeing me over the curtain.


#17

Couldn’t agree more. I have a house that’s big by my standards, wife, kids, grandma and a dog. I can (and do) automate as much as possible, things exceptions are the rule in my world. Plus, everyone else (including the dog, sometimes) wants visible controls. And given reliability issues, I’d love to have an easy, accessible, and visually attractive control center. I’d pay in the $150 range easily.


(Tony) #18

Yeah, well…unfortunately…depends on the day they are lazy as hell :wink:

Makes for good fear factor (BIG BARK)…crappy for home automation hahaha.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #19

Serious question:

Where does SmartTiles fall short of the requirement?

Is it a step in the right direction? Could it be a component in the solution?


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #20

I don’t use phones for presence (I have three). A presence sensor in each car does just fine.

I don’t use motion sensors as occupancy sensors. They trigger a state, and states change when motion is sensed from location to location. If thens also determine what states are assigned. These if thens also check what devices are on to determine occupancy, and times that we know are part of our routine.

The easiest parts are those that are routine. Coffee maker, morning lights, evening lights, dinner time, etc. But have a party mode that overides those routines when entertaining.

As for multiple people and times, obviously you need to constrain motion triggers by location and time windows or other states that can be used to determine needs. If your wife gets up first, you need to have lights that don’t disturb you (but help her) come up. If your kids get up, do you want to be made aware of it, and how, and who, and within what time window.

As for your den situation… well here is my situation (OTTOMH):

1.) presence detected: alarm disarmed; main AV and garage system fire up and TiVo starts playing the evening news

2.) lights are already on if dark as they are on schedules

3.) garage lights off if motion in house and no motion in garage

4.) Upstairs lights on if motion in hall + dark, stay on until motion is detected downstairs and no longer upstairs.

5.) main AV system is actually an occupancy sensor. It will only turn off after a certain time when motion is detected upstairs and not downstairs.

6.) kitchen lights on at meal time and AV garage off, if no motion is sensed within a reasonable amount of time, kitchen lights go into accent mode.

7.) opening shower door turns on white light. Moisture in shower starts transition to pink when water is warm, orange when shower stall is warm (for winter). Orange light flashes when my water conserving butt has been in too long. Vanity lites on, shower light dims to off over next few minutes.

8.) motion in hall and no motion in bed bath for reasonable time kills vanity lights.

9.) bedtime triggered at time and no motion downstairs and no party mode (oh and pool lights trigger party mode) bedtime shuts down everything and arms alarm, as does no presence sensors (which also check for garage door left open, close it, and notifies me all that happened).

10.) temperature alerts when not home and things are too hot or too cold

11.) notification garage door has been left open, and closes it if > sunset.

12.) Motion in bedroom + sleeping = Hue Go ramps up to red in bathroom, slowly fades to black in 1o minutes.

13.) motion in hall + sleeping = kitchen and office lights, turn off in 5 minutes after no motion detected downstairs.

14.) deck lights on if after dark and garage AV system on, they’ll go off if AV system is shut down.

15.) notifications on mobile devices are text to speech so I don’t have to look at device.

I’m pretty sure that’s most of it. There is a timed event that fires up the BR system to Morning Drive in the morning. Now you have kids and dogs to manage, but it is simply a matter of knowing what they routinely do, where they may access and when, and design the necessary triggers and exclusions for what you want to have happen. Oh forgot motion in closet = lights for a few minutes.

You can’t cover every scenario, but you can cover the ones that repeat reasonably often, and fine tune them when they cause the unexpected. It is very much like programming your house. You will have flaws in initially implemented logic (then it is time for some bug fixin’). Pretty sure a week doesn’t go by where I don’t change up something.

Modes are great for this Home, Home night, Home kids bedtime, etc., where behaviors differ somewhat.