“We can’t recommend this smart home hub to users with any level of experience.”
It’s an interesting article, and I think well represents a typical Best Buy consumer. They have some technical knowledge, but haven’t researched network protocols in any way. The fact that the reviewer doesn’t even mention local processing, which would ordinarily be considered one of vera’s advantages, is telling. A typical Best Buy customer doesn’t know the difference between cloud processing and local processing and doesn’t care. Or the difference between “exclude” and “delete.” They just want what they buy to work.
This review is total BS. Vera Plus currently sells for $127 on Amazon. Sure, it’s a whooping $28 more than SmartThings, but calling it ‘expensive’ is nonsense, considering that any SmartHome setup is going to run into thousands once you add all your devices. Besides, with Vera Plus you get a working USB port, a working Bluetooth and a working WiFi. Well worth extra 28 bucks on my books.
I cannot blame the guy who wrote it. He reviewd what he was provided with, a hub with a price tag of $150 and 3 devices of which 2 didn’t work. I would have given one star too…muahaha
I like this part the best "What does it mean, for example, to “exclude” a problematic product from the network? Uninstall it? Reboot? Unpair and try again? "
Shocking! So, the guy puts on public display his ignorance and inability to learn a few simple concepts. I’m sure it’s Vera’s fault.
I would think that if you really want to be a consumer product sold at the likes of Best Buy, you should be listening to what he has to say. There is zero chance my parents or most of my friends would spend the time to learn half the knowledge needed to get any integrated smart home solution working. Could you imagine if you bought a fridge and you had to plug it in, turn off the icemaker, Unplug it, Open the crisper drawer three times then plug it in again to get it to work? How about that then go turn on and off the circuit breaker and do it all again?
Too bad I don’t think he’s actually worked with any of the hubs he praises as they all can have the exact same issues.
I would respectfully disagree with this viewpoint. There’s nothing to say he’s unable to learn “a few simple concepts.” But many people don’t want to have to. Alexa, harmony, HomeKit, Nest, and Phillips hue don’t require that people learn anything about Network protocols in order to get them to work.
The vera documentation, as I know you know, assumes that people are pretty familiar with the protocols to begin with.
So it may well have been a mismatch between the manufacturer and the columnist as far as whether he represented their target audience. And remember he wouldn’t have had to know anything about exclusion except for the fact that two of the three devices that they sent to him didn’t work the first time.
He didn’t spend any extra effort after the first plug-and-play attempt didn’t work, other than getting in touch with the company, but there’s no reason why he should’ve had to if this is being sold as a mass-market device. Which, to be fair, is more true of SmartThings and wink than it is a vera. That’s why I wonder if there was a miscommunication as far as what market niche the columnist represented and was writing for.
But this is not a fridge we’re talking about. There’re many consumer products that require either professional installation or a wilingness and ability to learn a few new concepts and acquire some new basic skills. Smart Home gear is one of them. It’s not a “rocket surgery”, but there’s a learning curve involved and if you’re not willing to learn, just stay away from it. At any rate, Vera is not more or less difficult to learn than SmartThings or Wink and the review is still a BS.