Yeah, if you literally just think of this as an extender to harmony, and not a competitor to other home automation hubs, what does extender give the average person who doesn’t want to code at all?
And the answer is obvious: sensors as triggers for activities. Motion sensors, and a few contact sensors. Open the closet door, your Hues come on. Nothing complicated. Contact sensor becomes a switch. The Hue bridge doesn’t have that right now, although it will get it through HomeKit. But it will get it cheaper through the Harmony hub extender.
If you want more than that, you look at the Harmony/smartthings integration. But if you just want a few sensors, this is a good way to extend the Harmony system.
I don’t think the extender has to be more than that to be successful within the Harmony framework for now.
It just comes back to the use cases. First decide what you want to do. Then look for the tools that help you do it.
Judge a Tool in Context
Really really famous engineering school story. Every engineer has heard it. I still love it. It’s about customer-facing design.
So this design firm comes in and has a meeting with a new client, a big luxury hotel chain. And client says “we want a cutting tool.”
The design team goes away and they have a bunch of meetings and they do all kinds of research and evaluate all kinds of technology. And they come back to the next meeting and they are so proud of themselves. They walk in with this battery-powered chainsaw. It is gorgeous. Every bell and whistle, Wi-Fi notification, safety features, you name it. And it’s a great price too! And they added a custom panel on the side in the hotel chain’s logo colors. I mean this thing is beautiful.
They put the chainsaw on the table, and they stand in front of the clients, and they’re beaming. And the project manager says, “Now, what do you want to cut?”
And the client says, “butter.”
Now it’s not just that a butter knife costs four dollars and the chainsaw costs $400. A butter knife is a better tool for the job. Appropriate technology. You can’t cut butter for the dinner service in a 4 star restaurant with a chainsaw. The results are not beautiful.
So, customer-facing design. Start by defining the use case. The tool can only be judged in context.