Worst case scenario: what would you do?

(Dave) #1

Let’s say the worst case scenario comes to pass. Samsung or some other company buys smartthings and shuts it down. your Smarthouse no longer works. what z-wave platform will you migrate to?

(Dbmet) #2

I have a Micasa Vera lite in the closet as a spare. Not crazy about using it unless I have too. Lol

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #3

If the worst case were to happen, it would probably be because someone else now dominates the marketplace…

Would then switch to that player. Competition is a good thing. Open platforms breeds competitors, competitors breeds advancement, advancement breeds new customers.

Want to see what happens when a company is stagnant in developing solutions? Check out Control4. They announced the Nest integration last year at CEDIA and so far, they will be the last to release.

Sad, but that’s what happens when you think you don’t have competition (oh, and go public…)

(Amauri Viguera) #4

I don’t think it will get to that, but I would hope that if Samsung does but then and decides to Samsung-ify the whole setup, that it will still be the same on the back end, and we can continue to extend the platform with code.

And maybe if some day things do go South that someone can reverse engineer or “jailbreak” the hub or they can open source the old (current) version of the platform. Assuming that that idea fails, then I guess I’d go with whomever is out there that’s most open (and compatible with my hardware) as to avoid a repeat of the same situation.

(esung) #5

I’d probably sell my stuff before it hits THE worst, namely at the point of samsung acquisition. Even if samsung doesn’t completely close ST system it would probably favor android (well, actually galaxy) and won’t get on board with apple’s homekit framework. Since my lifestyle is pretty apple platform centric it’d make ST much less valuable for me anyway, so I’ll switch over to whatever that would integrate homekit well.

(Geko) #6

I think by the end of the year we’ll see more alternatives. I’m personally looking for an integration of the Smart Home with media streaming device and possibly even WiFi router in one neat package. Possible candidates - next gen AppleTV or Google TV or even Fire TV. They all have potential to absorb the home automation hub. Other than that I’m scoping a couple of Z-Wave open source projects.

Reverse engineering ST hub is quite doable because it’s so simple. Question is whether it’s worth spending time on. I’d rather spend time on reverse engineering Wink hub because it’s 10 times more powerful for half the price. :smile:

(Christopher Masiello) #7

Reverse engineering the hub is simple. The hard part is the back end of the entire system. It’s on SmartThing’s servers. For better or worse, that’s where all the magic happens. There’s absolutely nothing special about their hardware - it’s the engine that makes it all go.

(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #8

Yes, but the hub sends and receives events to/from zigbee and Z Wave devices. If I could communicate with the hub directly for these, I could handle the logic locally.

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #9

Not that easy, the hub just relays the data to a server. Would need to replicate the Server the hub connects to.

Wireshark the traffic… it would be pretty tough to recreate but not impossible.

(Amauri Viguera) #10

I thought the backend was simply cloud messaging to keep you aware of the state of your devices when you’re not there.

The way I think it works, the hub manages your devices and jobs, and occasionally connects to the servers to stay in sync. This could be whenever new devices or apps are added or a regular heartbeat, plus the usual “state changed” notification.

I could be seriously wrong though, but this would be the easiest way to do things. Doing all this on their side is expensive, when they can just let the hub do all the work and store a copy of the devices per hub and their status. When you think about it, the hub doesn’t have to do much in terms of processing, it just does zwave traffic and cron jobs.

Or am I missing something?

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #11

You are missing it. The apps connect to the cloud server, the hub connects to the cloud.

Remove the internet, nothing works.

I agree with you @viguera that would be the easiest way to do it, but right now the hub, as far as I can tell, is just a relay between your devices and the cloud server.

Hopefully the hub is far more capable of running local, even running without the cloud, but everything I can see is that the roundtrip is at the cloud.

So, light switch is pressed, sends command to hub, hub to cloud, cloud processes message, sends actions back to hub, hub processes action to local devices as requested.

(Amauri Viguera) #12

Wow that is nasty, inefficient and probably the worst way of doing things :slight_smile:

I’m not putting too much confidence on my setup, and it’s more of a cool convenience than anything, and with this knowledge I certainly wouldn’t trust the setup with home security without some serious backup.

With that said, this could be updated in the future I’m sure to switch things around to a more resilient setup. Having a button press traverse the intertubes and return back as a command to the hub, that’s just not very good (I’m trying to be nice here :slight_smile: )

(Geko) #13

True, but on the other hand, if you’re not running it as a business, it shouldn’t be that complicated. A single-user backend with REST interface can be written in Python or PHP. A mobile app would require more effort than the backend probably.


I’d be nervous spending more money on additional hub hardware if “the worst” happens. Due to that I’d either wait and see what Google/Apple come up with, or look at something like The Thing System which is software taht runs on other devices.