Suggestions/Observations


(Eric) #1

These are a few things I have thought of or observed in the few weeks I have been experimenting with SmartThings:

I would like to see a slightly smaller Multi-Sensor. The current one is a bit too big and blocks the channel in my window frames where the screens fit.

The mounting adhesive has failed on two of my Multi-Sensor. I have replaced it with a wider strip of 3M automotive trim tape (which seems very similar to what you are supplying).

The recesses in the Multi-Sensor for the adhesive aren’t sized correctly for the pre-cut adhesive strips (or vice-versa). Also, depending on application, the recesses may not be on the correct surface for mounting.

While you are re-engineering the Multi-Sensor, it would be nice to make contacts accessible so you can trigger the contacts with a remote/hard-wired switch. I have been able to hack this by soldering wires to the Hall Sensor but that may be more than most people want to do. Note: It appears the Fibaro Door/Window Sensors have this capability.

In light of the failure I experienced with the adhesive strips, it would be nice if there were mounting holes, cast in but not all the way through so they could be easily opened with the head of a screw.

I would like to see you all make a Multi-Sensor that could be used outdoors. Also a motion sensor that can be used outdoors.

When I have installed new sensors and added them to the network, sometimes the battery capacity remaining has been 100% and sometimes it has been 80%. I don’t feel good about a brand new product telling me it has 80% capacity . . .

I would like to have the ability to “Suspend” execution of a SmartApp without having to Uninstall it. Maybe there’s a way and I just haven’t found it.

It seems like I have a lot of different places I have to log in to do various things on the web site. I would like to see some consolidation of that. It also seems like there are too many places I need to go to look for information. I like the re-designed support page - I think that was a big improvement.

I like the developer area and the emulator is cool. I would like a better way to browse and search through existing SmartApps when I am looking for one to plagiarize (re-use).

On the smartphone app, I would like a logical place in the dashboard to put window sensors (probably with the doors and just change the title).

Reliable and timely presence notification using an Android phone (mine seems to take between 20 minutes and 2 hours to recognize I am home).

I Really REALLY want SONOS to work. I see Sonos as the “voice” of SmartThings.

A way to have multiple Modes (there’s another thread here, “Thoughts on Modes”, with some good suggestions).

I’m sure I will think of more . . .


(Brock) #2
I would like to have the ability to “Suspend” execution of a SmartApp without having to Uninstall it. Maybe there’s a way and I just haven’t found it.

I got around this by making a new mode called “Inactive Applications” and just assigning the app to run in that mode only. That mode is never activated, so the app never runs.


(Eric) #3

Thanks, I will give that a try. I think that will do what I want to do.


(Chrisb) #4

@ecm56,

Also a motion sensor that can be used outdoors.
Check out the Motion/Temp/Humidity/Lums sensor from Aeon Labs. It can be used outside. It's Z-wave, rather than Zigbee so does NOT act as a Zigbee repeater when plugged in, but otherwise works really well with the SmartThings setup.
I would like to have the ability to “Suspend” execution of a SmartApp without having to Uninstall it. Maybe there’s a way and I just haven’t found it.
I see Brock already gave a suggestion to this, but another way to solve this if you know how to code a little bit... I've modified some programs so that it asks for an on/off switch along with everything else, then created an virtual on/off tile. Change the program so it only executes when the virtual tile is on. Then just tap the tile off to 'suspend' your app.
I Really REALLY want SONOS to work. I see Sonos as the “voice” of SmartThings.
There is supposed to be some level of support for Sonos in the labs. I don't have a Sonos, so I can't say for sure what does or doesn't work. I'm also looking at getting an UBI, which has some support for SmartThings. I look at UBI as the ears, and hopefully voice, of SmartThings too.

(Eric) #5

ChrisB:

Thanks! I appreciate the suggestions. I have one of the Aeon Labs sensors on order - so far that’s all I have found. Glad to hear you are having good luck with it.

I am on the lab firmware on my hub - I got the bell sound to work to one of my Sonos units a couple of weeks ago - now nothing seems to work. I know they are working on it - it’s just frustrating to see them advertising it all over the place and not being able to get it to work.

Thanks again,

Eric


(Chrisb) #6

@ecm56

Thanks! I appreciate the suggestions. I have one of the Aeon Labs sensors on order – so far that’s all I have found. Glad to hear you are having good luck with it.

Here’s another thread discussion other outdoor options: http://build.smartthings.com/forums/topic/do-you-know-of-an-outdoor-motion-sensor/

I am on the lab firmware on my hub – I got the bell sound to work to one of my Sonos units a couple of weeks ago – now nothing seems to work. I know they are working on it – it’s just frustrating to see them advertising it all over the place and not being able to get it to work.

Honestly, this seems to be a problem with tech companies in general. I guess I liken it to the whole car model year thing. We’re barely into 2014 but of course all the new model being brought out are 2015 models. Why? Well I’d guess that someone years ago started bring out the new model year cars in December so they could advertise: Get your 1985 Chevy in 1984! Well of course, someone had to one-up that… Get your 1986 Plymouth in November of 1985! Then it was Get your 1990 Ford in September of 1989! And now we’re to the point of having to subtract a year from the model year of a car to figure out how old it really is. Stupid… but if the other car companies didn’t follow suit they would lose market to whoever started the process. Who wants to buy a new “2014 Ford” in July of 2014 when you can get a “2015 Chevy” in July of 2014?

Another example is the SmartWatch area… I’ve been a big fan of smartwatches for years and years. Most smartwatches these days will advertise 7-10 days of battery life, and under ideal (ie, Lab controlled) conditions, that’s true. But in reality more like 3-4 days… much less if you’re a power user. Of course the companies who make these things know this. But if Pebble says: “You’ll get 7-10 days!” then MetaWatch can’t say: “Realistically, most users will get 3 days of battery life.” If though that’s true for Pebble and MetaWatch, giving the realistic number will lose you customers if you’re the only one doing it. The Average consumer isn’t going to dig for fully truth, they’ll see the spec sheet… they’ll see: 7-10 days on Pebble, and 3-4 on Metawatch, and they’ll say: I’m getting a Pebble.

What does this have to do with Sonos and SmartThings? In an ideal world SmartThings would beta test this feature quietly with some customers and work out the issues, then announce it to the world. But because HA is becoming SOOO competitive, you kinda have to announce first and work things out later. If SmartThings wasn’t on the cutting edge and announcing new products and features ASAP, they would get left behind by other companies who would announce ASAP.

Long story short: If SmartThings works on Sonos first and doesn’t announce they are, then who’s going to buy SmartThings when they can’t use Sonos (even though they are working on it) when company XYZ is advertising they can (even thought they are still working on it as well)?