SmartThings compared to VeraLite (or other Vera)


(Kyle Ramsey) #1

I’ve seen a few members mention they are users of both systems. I would like to hear their comments comparing/contrasting the two platforms, particularly with regard to remote access and reliability.

I realize most of us are busy, and I’m asking those dual-platform users to take some time to post their experiences. I appreciate any responses and hope this information can be helpful to others considering a home automation system.

Thank you.


(Skyhopper88) #2

Small world, I was about to make this thread myself. I actually work for a home automation company that installs Veras for our low end systems (ie not bank breaking Crestron/Control4/Savant etc). My experience with SmartThings is lacking as I have yet to poke around the IDE and see what is available beyond the currently available apps. With that said, please correct me if I mistakenly say the Vera can do something Smartthings can’t, and tell me how please lol. I haven’t messed with modes at all, and I have a feeling that’s where I’m missing some key Smartthings features.

As to remote access, it seems to be about the same from mobile apps. You log in to your Vera account and are taken to the Vera server that serves you your Vera unit. When you send a remote command the server SSHes into your unit and executes the command. Not sure how Smartthings’ Cloud does it but I assume it’s similar. As far as reliability from my experience that’s more reliant on the devices/things in your system than the controller. Range is an issue, and the more devices/repeaters you have the more responsive the system is. Also remote access for both is free (unlike Nexia). Beyond that, here are my thoughts on the Vera in comparison to SmartThings.

Vera Hardware

Hardware: The build quality is better but then again it is more mature. However there are some features that would be VERY handy to have in Smartthings. The biggest are batteries and a hardware zwave include and zwave exclude button with a zwave status light (on for ready, blinking moderately for include mode, blinking rapidly for remove). When a device has been included or excluded the LED pulses before going back to the include or exclude mode. Now, you never run it on batteries, but these 3 features allow you to add devices that you may not can easily bring to the hub, or take the hub to a place that you have power or network acess, like a lock at your front door. This allows you move the hub around while you add and remove devices. As an installer this is invaluable.

The Vera 3 has it’s own wifi and DHCP server, but it’s not worth much. Most I’ve used it is to check logs of stubborn devices while the vera is sitting next to the lock and I’m in a comfy chair with my laptop. Which brings me to my first software point.

Software: The Vera has a webUI, but I won’t harp on this because we know it’s coming sometime. It allows you to operate the Vera, no cloud required. Sounds blasphemous with this whole internet of things, but it is handy. When the Vera WebUI or apps are loaded, if they determine they are on the same network as the vera, it talks to the Vera directly which cuts out on some delays. It sounds nitpicky but I have client’s that HATE any kind of delay or status lag. A lot of people will think it’s not working and send a light 50 toggle commands! Though that’s not an issue current SmartThings customers would mind, this is just what I see as an installer. It’s still not instant like say, Lutron’s RadioRA2, but it’s good enough.

Vera Scenes

Scenes VS Smartapps
A scene in Vera and other zwave controllers works in a way similar to Smartapps, but from my experience much easier to set up. A scene in part, is like an All in One SmartApp.
When you create a scene in vera you start with all of your devices, then you select what you want them to do much like you would when controlling a single device in the gui. So I could make a Night scene that turns off all the interior lights, locks the doors, sets the alarm (via a ethernet control module plugged into the alarm panel), sets the thermostat to a good level and turns off the sonos audio (through a finicky plugin, sonos is pretty closed off API wise). As are nest Wifi thermostats but I digress. Anyway, now I have a scene button that I can hit and all of that gets executed. Right now, that would take a monster of a SmartApp.

Now a scene isn’t very useful if you have to hit that button right? That’s where schedules and triggers come in. You can schedule a scene to run every x minutes/hours etc, every day (or specific weekdays or

dates) at a specific time or sunrise, sunset or an offset before or after. This is useful to say create an on the fly scene like say a morning scene that turns on my desk lamp, but only during the weekdays.

I had my vera do this, but have yet to do so on Smartthings, it just does it ever day with the Once a Day Smartapp. Is there a way to do so with modes? You can also add time delays in your scenes. You could have one scene turn a light on, wait 5 minutes, then turn if off.

A trigger is an action of another device that will trigger the scene in an If x then y manner (scene execution). When you set up a trigger you have a selection of each device and events you can select via dropdown lists to trigger the scene. These are similar to SmartApp Events but the scene creation lets you select any number of device triggers. The Vera scene triggers are all independent and any trigger will execute the scene. What I wish for on both platforms would be to execute x with some more logic including nested if, else, and, ors or exclusive ors.

Smartthings have most of these capabilities, if not the potential, but they are “limited” by the smartapps written. I put that in quotes because all of the power is there, but an app has to be written first for each specific combination of scenes, triggers, schedules to allow that functionality. With Vera I can create a scene to do whatever I want, whenever I want without getting or writing a specific SmartApp. This is why I called vera scenes an All in one SmartApp. You can also use lua/luup code in the scenes, which can do some more crazy stuff (but I’d imagine nothing more than SmartApps can do).

Vera also has plugins that can create virtual devices. These virtual devices are often for IP controlled devceslike cameras, alarm panels, and AV systems. Some add more programming logic but I haven’t used those yet. I had a client that wanted a morning scene to only execute during the school year. Problem is, the school year date range changesdepending on the year and district. I’m not automating that lol. I created a virtual light switch that did nothing but toggle ond an off. I set his “morning school” scene check the status of this light, if it was on it triggered the scene to turn on his kids hall lights at 7am and light their way to the kitchen. I had to do that with lua scripting as it was more advanced. Fun fact, the sonos plugin let’s you use the sonos system to speak text, but it’s pretty gimmicky.

A list of plugins can be found at http://code.mios.com/account

Another good thing about the WebUI is that it allows for control of the system from outside the app. I can sent http get requests like:
http://veraIP:port/data_request?id=lu_action&serviceId=urn:micasaverde-com:serviceId:HomeAutomationGateway1&action=RunScene&SceneNum=1
To run a scene on demand

http://veraIP:port/data_request?id=id=lu_action&DeviceNum=4&serviceId=urn:micasaverde-com:serviceId:HaDevice1&action=ToggleState
To toggle a specific switch on or off

http://veraIP:port/data_request?id=lu_action&DeviceNum=14&serviceId=urn:upnp-org:serviceId:SwitchPower1&action=SetTarget&newTargetValue=0
To turn a specific light off

http://veraIP:port/data_request?id=lu_action&DeviceNum=3&serviceId=urn:upnp-org:serviceId:Dimming1&action=SetLoadLevelTarget&newLoadlevelTarget=75
sets dimmer to 75%

http://veraIP:port/data_request?id=status&output_format=xml&DeviceNum=6
To get the status of a device

These can also be done remotely over https to vera’s servers, obviously the format is different.
More info here
http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Luup_UPNP_Files

Anything the vera can do via it’s interface can be triggered by a URL. This is really handy for 3rd party integration (though using drivers or software made using the API is better). With the URL commands I can use say, use tasker for android (which I personally love) to control my lights via voice or my pebble smartwatch directly. Right now with smartthings I set up something something similar where I say a command or use the watch to trigger tasker to text the ifttt.com service a specific phrase and it connects to my Smartthings and executes a command. More info on that here
See http://build.smartthings.com/forums/topic/ifttt-is-live/ and http://build.smartthings.com/forums/topic/use-pebble-android-to-control-smartthings-in-a-round-about-way/

It’s my hope that smartthings developesa system to allow control from outside the app be it URLs or a more official method via an SDK/API. Wow, that was more than I had intended. In conclusion, Vera is more developed right hardware and software wise now but Smartthings has the potential to eclipse it.

Edit: Wow notepad KILLED my formatting!


(Chrisb) #3
The biggest are batteries and a hardware zwave include and zwave exclude button with a zwave status light (on for ready, blinking moderately for include mode, blinking rapidly for remove). When a device has been included or excluded the LED pulses before going back to the include or exclude mode. Now, you never run it on batteries, but these 3 features allow you to add devices that you may not can easily bring to the hub, or take the hub to a place that you have power or network acess, like a lock at your front door. This allows you move the hub around while you add and remove devices. As an installer this is invaluable.

SmartThings is designed for your mobile device to be the primary method of interacting with your network, so a physical add/remove button on the hub isn’t really necessary, though it would be nice. The batteries and ability to add/remove devices while walking around through, would be SWEAT!

A scene in Vera and other zwave controllers works in a way similar to Smartapps, but from my experience much easier to set up. A scene in part, is like an All in One SmartApp.

It sounds like scenes are closer to modes in the SmartThings environment than SmartApps. Modes (which can be scheduled I believe) can make broad changes to your devices. Modes can also be called my SmartApps. I also disagree that it would take a monster smart app. It actually would be pretty straight forward. You’d just subscribe to multiple devices and flick 'em on or off or set temps with a thermostat. I’m by no means a master programmer but I think I could whip up a program to do this in a few hours, max. Then it would be simple to share with anyone else.

A trigger is an action of another device that will trigger the scene in an If x then y manner (scene execution). When you set up a trigger you have a selection of each device and events you can select via dropdown lists to trigger the scene. These are similar to SmartApp Events but the scene creation lets you select any number of device triggers. The Vera scene triggers are all independent and any trigger will execute the scene. What I wish for on both platforms would be to execute x with some more logic including nested if, else, and, ors or exclusive ors.

Oh, absolutely this can be done in SmartThings. I have apps running that have a level of nesting. For example, my garage door opens when I come home in my car. Then when I open and close my side door, it closes my garage. But this action happens ONLY if the garage was opened by this app. If the garage was already open before I came home, it doesn’t close it. If I’m just come home from a walk or just open the door after working in the yard the app will not try to close the door.

I have a app that turns on my hallway lights at a dim level when motion is detected at night. But only if the lights are off. I have apps that turn on indoor or outdoor light when doors are opened, but only if it’s after sunset and before sunrise.

There is an app out there that will turn on a porch ceiling fan if motion is detected on the porch and then temp is above a certain level and wind level is below a certain level.

I put that in quotes because all of the power is there, but an app has to be written first for each specific combination of scenes, triggers, schedules to allow that functionality. With Vera I can create a scene to do whatever I want, whenever I want without getting or writing a specific SmartApp.

This all depends on how the app is written. A well written app will provide flexibility. For example, when I get some free time I’m going to work on writing an “On when open” app that turns on a light when a door is opened. The user, when installing, will be able to specific: Only after sunset before sunrise for a given zip code. Or only after a set time and before sunrise. Or only after sunset and before a sett time. Or just between a set time. They will also have the option to have this time turn off after x number of minutes, or just stay on. Now, of course the app writer has to build in this flexibility, but it certainly can be done.

Some add more programming logic but I haven’t used those yet. I had a client that wanted a morning scene to only execute during the school year. Problem is, the school year date range changes depending on the year and district. I’m not automating that lol. I created a virtual light switch that did nothing but toggle ond an off. I set his “morning school” scene check the status of this light, if it was on it triggered the scene to turn on his kids hall lights at 7am and light their way to the kitchen. I had to do that with lua scripting as it was more advanced.

I’m assuming then that the user had to toggle this light on or off when s/he wanted the scene to turn. This could easily be done as a “run when tapped” app that called a specific mode or another SmartApp to happen at a specific time. If I was doing this I’d setup a SmartApp that runs at a given time (determined at time of install) to turn on some specific things (determined at time of install). I’d then setup another app as the ‘toggle switch.’ When tapped the toggle app would schedule the other SmartApp to run M-F at whatever time was indicated in the first app. I’d probably also setup a light to blink on and off three times at a give time (around bedtime) when the app was schedule to run the next morning.

It’s my hope that smartthings developesa system to allow control from outside the app be it URLs or a more official method via an SDK/API. Wow, that was more than I had intended. In conclusion, Vera is more developed right hardware and software wise now but Smartthings has the potential to eclipse it.

I think that’s fair. Though, as I said in a different thread, I think “potential” isn’t the right word. I think much of the potential is already reality. Granted, SmartThings does need to add some things to get it on par with Vera and it has to potential to be able to do those things, but many of the things SmartThings can already do. And I think SmartThings can go beyond Vera in other areas (such as conditional triggering).


(Skyhopper88) #4
SmartThings is designed for your mobile device to be the primary method of interacting with your network, so a physical add/remove button on the hub isn’t really necessary, though it would be nice. The batteries and ability to add/remove devices while walking around through, would be SWEAT!

For general usage? Yes, I agree. But for setup I don’t want to have to run an ethernet cable to my front door to install a lock at the front door. Not a problem when you first install it but if you have to readd it later for some reason I’d rather not remove it from the door. And access from any browser would certainty be welcome. I may be using my laptop and not want to pull out my phone or tablet to turn on a light. The IDE is a nice start for sure.

It sounds like scenes are closer to modes in the SmartThings environment than SmartApps. Modes (which can be scheduled I believe) can make broad changes to your devices. Modes can also be called my SmartApps. I also disagree that it would take a monster smart app. It actually would be pretty straight forward. You’d just subscribe to multiple devices and flick ‘em on or off or set temps with a thermostat. I’m by no means a master programmer but I think I could whip up a program to do this in a few hours, max. Then it would be simple to share with anyone else.

Ah, see I told you I misunderstood modes! I thought they were more like triggers. So you could set Home or away modes for instance and then have smartapps check those, as in "if mode=away (set by presence) and time = after 8am, lock the front door. Which is possible obiously but I didn’t know modes had actions you could tie directly to them. So you could make a mode that when activated - turns on a light and when deactivated, turns off a light. Thanks for the clarification!

Oh, absolutely this can be done in SmartThings. I have apps running that have a level of nesting. For example, my garage door opens when I come home in my car. Then when I open and close my side door, it closes my garage. But this action happens ONLY if the garage was opened by this app. If the garage was already open before I came home, it doesn’t close it. If I’m just come home from a walk or just open the door after working in the yard the app will not try to close the door. I have a app that turns on my hallway lights at a dim level when motion is detected at night. But only if the lights are off. I have apps that turn on indoor or outdoor light when doors are opened, but only if it’s after sunset and before sunrise.

There is an app out there that will turn on a porch ceiling fan if motion is detected on the porch and then temp is above a certain level and wind level is below a certain level

Well that shut me up. The Vera is incapable of that without heavy scripting that won’t have it’s own gui la a smart app to configure it when you’re done.

This all depends on how the app is written. A well written app will provide flexibility. For example, when I get some free time I’m going to work on writing an “On when open” app that turns on a light when a door is opened. The user, when installing, will be able to specific: Only after sunset before sunrise for a given zip code. Or only after a set time and before sunrise. Or only after sunset and before a sett time. Or just between a set time. They will also have the option to have this time turn off after x number of minutes, or just stay on. Now, of course the app writer has to build in this flexibility, but it certainly can be done.

Oh absolutely, I just hate waiting. I should stop being so lazy.

I’m assuming then that the user had to toggle this light on or off when s/he wanted the scene to turn. This could easily be done as a “run when tapped” app that called a specific mode or another SmartApp to happen at a specific time. If I was doing this I’d setup a SmartApp that runs at a given time (determined at time of install) to turn on some specific things (determined at time of install). I’d then setup another app as the ‘toggle switch.’ When tapped the toggle app would schedule the other SmartApp to run M-F at whatever time was indicated in the first app. I’d probably also setup a light to blink on and off three times at a give time (around bedtime) when the app was schedule to run the next morning.

I hadn’t considered crosstalk between smartapps, that will definitely lead to some interesting possibilities.

I think that’s fair. Though, as I said in a different thread, I think “potential” isn’t the right word. I think much of the potential is already reality. Granted, SmartThings does need to add some things to get it on par with Vera and it has to potential to be able to do those things, but many of the things SmartThings can already do. And I think SmartThings can go beyond Vera in other areas (such as conditional triggering).

I see your point. When I say potential I mainly mean “ll the awesome smartapps that haven’t been written/published yet”.

One thing I am unclear on, and this may not be the topic for this, but how much of the hub’s functionality is in the cloud?. Do smartapps and modes require the cloud connection to operate once it’s set up? If I have a mode change and a smartapp turn lights on in the morning and my network is down at the time does the hub still act accordingly are are the rules local on the hub once configured?


(Todd Wackford) #5

The answer to the last questions are:

“Yes” and "No"
With the caveat of; “at least until ST updates the hubs with simple/scheduled local control (which is coming)”.


(Chrisb) #6

Following up on what twack said, I personally think local control is a ways out yet and will be quite limited when it does comes. I have no inside knowledge here, just my opinion. I think ST was always conceived of as a cloud-based system. Many of the apps I run require internet access to be able to fully function (Apps that look for sunrise/sunset times. Apps that text me or send push notifications to my phone. Any App that’s tied into IFTTT.) Because of this I don’t think that ST ever planned for the Hub to do much heavy lifting and I’d be surprised if it had the brains and memory for it.

Like I said, I have no inside knowledge and maybe I’m talking out of my butt here (if someone from ST wants to correct me, please do!!) but I wouldn’t expect to see local control soon, or extensive when it gets here.


(Chrisb) #7

@skyhopper88,

I hadn’t considered crosstalk between smartapps, that will definitely lead to some interesting possibilities.

After re-reading what I wrote and your response to it, I think I should point out that I don’t know for sure if crosstalk between smartapps is possible. When I thought about the processes involved I sorta assumed it was but upon further review, I’m not sure if it’s possible or not. Perhaps a question worth directing to SmartThings.

On a side note, if smartapps can’t communicate directly, there would be a way to do it in a round-about, clunky way. If I run one app and I want it to call another app I could do something like have the called app watch for a specific combination of lights going on and off. (For example, I could turn on a light in my basement in an area that is rarely used to minimize the change of disturbing someone, then turn if off, then on, then off, then on. The other app could watch for this time to follow that pattern in a 20 second time frame: On-Off-On-Off-On. When it sees that, then it activates.) Like I said, clunky, but it would work.

This is where a virtual device (like Vera can do) would be really handy. Or a “smartbutton” that you just push to trigger an app or function (something that’s been talked about since ST was first introduced I think).


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #8

Another great discussions, thanks!

1. As y’all know of my reservations with SmartCloud dependency, I have become more interested in Vera; I suppose it is about twice the price at least, and does not support quite as complex logic or integration as SmartThings, but I’m impressed with the positive benefits presented here: built-in web server, and, battery backed ability to move to edge-of-range locations of Z-Wave devices for JOIN purposes.

The current SmartThings hub will never have a full web server running in the SmartHub; but perhaps they could expose a good “local API”… particularly if that API could somehow facilitate the latter functionality (device join), while being physically detached from your router, temporarily. Yet that is a difficult problem: It would have to cache the known-device-types signature table pre-join… Somehow, I think that SmartThings totally overlooked this use-case! – i.e., Z-Wave mesh networking does not kick-in until the device has joined the network!!! They are going to have to come up with some sort of hack for this, I’m afraid.

2. Crosstalk between SmartApps (already pretty easy to do some of this…).

(a) I’ve read here (or IRC or Office Hours) that the ability for SmartApps to directly call each other is definitely on the upcoming list of features. This is essential to permit modular programming style – i.e., SmartApp as sub-routine, or SmartApp with public methods.

(b) In the meantime, it is possible to create “Virtual Momentary” buttons that are events any Smart App can subscribe to (and/or trigger). If you need SmartApp “A” to call SmartApp “B”, then create a Virtual Button “button-B” and have SmartApp “B” subscribe to it’s pushed event. Then, have SmartApp “A” call “button-B.push()” whenever it wants to call SmartApp “B”.

I already use this to have the Sunrise/Sundown SmartApp call instances of my modified version of Scene Machine that is subscribed to Virtual Momentary buttons (one per instance). A nice side effect is that the Virtual Momentaries are “soft” buttons in the GUI that can directly trigger the Scene (except, perhaps you don’t want this for some sub-routine SmartApps not meant to be called by the user directly).

I can elaborate if you wish – probably not belong in this thread.

Regardless, I’ll close with my rough code for Virtual Momentary Device Handler:

/**
 *  Scene Activator Momentary
 *
 *  Author: tgauch@gmail.com
 *  Date: 2013-07-26
 */
 // for the UI
metadata {
	// Simulator metadata
	simulator {
		status "pushed":   "pushed"
        status "unPushed": "unPushed"

		// reply messages
		reply "pushed": "unpushed"
	}

	// UI tile definitions
	tiles {
		standardTile("button", "device.switch", width: 2, height: 2, canChangeIcon: true, canChangeBackground: true) {
            state "push", label: '${name}', action: "momentary.push", icon: "st.momentary.off", backgroundColor: "#aaaaaa",
            	inactiveLabel: "false", nextState: "push"
//			state "pushed", label: '${name}', icon: "st.momentary.off", backgroundColor: "#111111",
//            	inactiveLabel: "false", nextState: "push"              
		}

		main "button"
		details "button"
	}
}

// Parse incoming device messages to generate events
// This code will depend on the type of messages that come from "real world" momentary buttons.
// So this is pretty much dummy code now, just used in the Simulator.
def parse(String description) {
	def newState = [
    	canBeCurrentState: false,
		isStateChange: true,
		displayed: true,
		descriptionText: description,
		value: description
	]
	def value = description
	def name = value

	log.debug "Parsing Description: " + description

	if (value == "push") {
		push()
    } else {
    	value = "push"
		newState = [
        	canBeCurrentState: false,
			isStateChange: true,
			displayed: true,
			descriptionText: description,
			value: value,
            state: value
		]
        
    }
    
    def result = createEvent( newState )
    log.debug result
	return result
}

// Commands sent to the device from the GUI.
// e.g., Perhaps physical momentary push buttons will blink briefly.
def push() {
	log.debug "Called push()."
    "pushed"
    
    //e.g., Insert code here to cause the physical push button to blink or beep as confirmation of pushing.
    //Or does that go in the parse() as a reaction to state change? Dunno.
    
    //TODO: In the meantime, is there any way to make the GUI tile button flash?
    
	//The next line is an alternative or additional action: i.e., send a "custom Event".
    //sendEvent(name: "momentaryStatus", value: "pushed", display: true, isStateChange: true)
}

/* =========== */
/* End of File */
/* =========== */

…CP.


(Joel) #9

This discussion has cleared up some concerns I had on the whole scene functionality in ST’s. Sounds like it does a great job and triggers are really easy to setup as well…

thanks!


(Jim L) #10

I have both. I won’t repeat everything stated here but I will throw a couple of things out there.

The Vera WebUI is just f’ing awful. They obviously never had any real UI/UX developer. Everything about the UI is inconsistent. There are many instances where you much “save” things by clicking multiple ok/save buttons. From day one, I hated the UI on the vera. Just terrible.

Next up is development for the Vera, it just stinks as well. I am a computer science professional. So I am not your average person. I started looking at doing stuff in Lua for the Vera, I just got to the point I decided it wasn’t worth the time and effort.

With smartthings, I was able to bang out an app quickly.

Now, there are MANY things that the Vera currently does correctly that smartthings doesn’t. First, my kwikset locks don’t function correctly. The smartthings hub can get out of sync if you manually unlock or lock a door. Additionally, I cannot setup passcodes on my locks. Next, internet outages, I have comcast and unfortunately it is really my only choice. It really is too bad there isn’t any sort of local capability. Many times I haven’t been able to get into my house with using my key because comcast was down…or recently, amazon outage.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #11

@jleonar: Thanks for sharing your experience with Vera…

I think many (most?) of us here are/were very attracted to SmartThings because we knew the various drawbacks of existing systems. There are some super ones out there, but those tend to be marketed only through integrators and are a significantly higher price point (even if a lot of the underlying technology is the same!).

Conversely, the DIY home systems (Vera, Iris, X10, …) have stalled from their reasonably functional promising origins. Various levels of complexity and reliability.

As a “negative guy”, though, my concern with SmartThings is that (as your examples…) … while they started fresh in many areas and created a great foundation for parts of the platform… they took a big step backwards in other areas. Web / Internet access is “functional” on Vera (etc.)., and is “better” in SmartThings … except for the weak link of SmartCloud dependency.

It’s easy to be an arm-chair quarterback, I suppose: But I think I would have envisioned and prioritized some major features differently. Products with obvious ancestors, should be a clear improvement over them; not this uncertain state we are in. The fact that I am really considering moving to an older platform (with the expense and inconvenience that entails), means that ST is failing me in a significant way.

Heck… I still find it incredible how long it is taking for the Android App to get the ability to dim lights!

…CP.


(Jim L) #12

@tgauchat

I totally agree with your assessment. I never put all my eggs in one basket. I still own my Vera. Around the same time as smartthings, another kickstarter project call Almond+ was up for funding. I also backed it. While I am not certain that the almond+ will have nearly the platform as smartthings, they might shock me.

One thing that is nice about the Almond+ is that the group is proven when it comes to hardware. I just hope they can get the software right where so many have failed.

http://www.securifi.com/almond-2


(Chrisb) #13

@tgauchat

Heck… I still find it incredible how long it is taking for the Android App to get the ability to dim lights!

One thing that has really surprised me is how much I’m NOT using the app anymore. I fully envisioned when I originally backed SmartThings and all through planning what I was going to do and waiting for my package to ship… well, it’s nothing like how I’m actually using it.

I really anticipated I would use the app as a sort of Remote Control. Turning on/off things from my chair… maybe some simple programs to turn on a light when I open a door to alert me to a light left on or a garage left open.

But in reality I’ve found I’m automating as many things as I can so that it doesn’t require me opening the app. Not because I hate the app, but because it’s just so much more convenient to have lights turn on automatically when needed, garages to close when I leave and open when I come home without having to pull out the app and touch a button. If I can find a way to make it happen without my intervention, I’m doing it.

So what I’m saying, in a very 'round about way… it honestly doesn’t bother me that I can’t dim a light with the app right now. Don’t get me wrong… I want it eventually, but right now I don’t need it. Any dimming I want (which admittedly isn’t much) happens automatically.


(Csader) #14

@chrisb I think your case is the epitome of what Home Automation is all about. However, I have concerns about getting it to a point where the average consumer would be able to configure it at the same (or similar) level as your home. You’ve obviously had to do some manual work to make that happen.


(Joel) #15

Chrisb - how much work was it to get where you are now in ST’s? Like csader says, have you had to do manual work?

I would love to hear about how you go about automating your dimming… i’m guessing you just use the motion sensors around the house?


(Solardave1) #16

There are a ton of user developed / alternate UI’s for Vera, some of which are absolutely stunning (skins) and incorporate the ability to integrate other data sources (like IP cameras streaming) within the UI.

As for clipped dependency: http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/09/18/is-the-cloud-ready-for-mission-critical-apps/?fromcat=all


(Dan) #17

@solardave1, where do I find some of the skins to vera that you mentioned?


(Leads Rating) #18

SmartThings exceeds VeraEdge in every aspect. It’s way better than other Vera’s too.