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SmartThings on Kickstarter


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#1 tasandkrs

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:30 PM

Has anyone looked at the SmartThings project on Kickstarter. It looks really interesting. It is based on Zigbee, but says it supports Zwave and possible more protocols in the future. I would post a link, but it won't let me.


Tom

#2 Dan (electron)

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 06:56 PM

Looks very interesting. It's stuff most of us are already doing (and then some), but it's always nice to see the home automation space grow. I couldn't find any info if they were going to charge for their 'cloud' service, and if you can run your own service.

#3 tasandkrs

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:43 PM

If you back them on kickstarter the cloud service if free. I did see them post in the comments that they were going to charge $4.99 month for the cloud service for non kickstarter purchases. Seems like the app for the iPhone is developed the be pretty user friendly.


#4 Dan (electron)

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:55 PM

So they are basically competing with the services Verizon, Time Warner etc offer now, where you pay a monthly rate to control your (rented) home automation hardware. They definitely have nice products, but the subscription thing really bothers me (so many companies are going this route now) :/

#5 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 12:27 PM

FYI: Article on CNN.com today:

http://money.cnn.com....html?hpt=hp_t3

#6 Jigabits

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:44 PM

I would lilke to hear your thought on the Almond+ router on kickstarter. It integrates 802.11ac router, Zigbee & Z-Wave controller and a touchscreen for $99?

 

ps: I work for Securifi that makes Almond and Almond+



#7 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:11 PM

I interviewed SmartThings at CES a few weeks ago.
 
They manufacturer the sensors themselves, has a presence tag which tells if it's in Zigbee/ZWave range, it can speak both Zigbee and Zwave, Android and iPhone apps. Some cool devices and it looked good during their CES demo; until I heard those words of death for a home automation system...
 
IT NEEDS TO BE CONNECTED TO THE CLOUD TO WORK!
 
This means if you have your iPhone connected to the WiFi in your home and you want to speak with a Zigbee device in your home, or see the status of a sensor, you NEED to have full internet cloud connectivity to work!  This is how they 'integrate' everything to their hub!  And there will be a subscription service for those not supporting them initially on KickStarter.
 


Edited by BraveSirRobbin, 24 January 2013 - 06:13 PM.


#8 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:15 PM

I would lilke to hear your thought on the Almond+ router on kickstarter. It integrates 802.11ac router, Zigbee & Z-Wave controller and a touchscreen for $99?

 

ps: I work for Securifi that makes Almond and Almond+

Please update your profile, indicating your affiliation with your company.



#9 az1324

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:40 AM

A mod should break these Almond+ posts out into a new thread.

It definitely seems like a good deal and will be sufficient for many people as is, but for even more success it should be able to function as a simple Zigbee/Z-Wave gateway and allow an external device to take over all the advanced automation features through a rich API. Hope it supports Philips Hue at launch/ship.

Edited by az1324, 25 January 2013 - 12:41 AM.


#10 elvisimprsntr

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:56 AM

Over the next couple of years, we will see a large number of companies dropping an ARM CPU in a pretty box with wireless HA and wifi, and charge customers a recurring monthly extortion fee for the privilege of controlling ones home. The question I have is when 99% of these companies go bankrupt after they bleed their kickstarter funds dry, what will you be left with? A doorstop and a bunch of devices you hope don't use a propitiatory communication which can't be used with one of the surviving HA controllers. It will be fun to watch from the comfort of my already voice controlled automated home.

Edited by elvisimprsntr, 25 January 2013 - 04:59 AM.


#11 drvnbysound

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:25 AM

I agree with what's been said here about cloud based services, and those which have are going toward a monthly fee for use. I know many companies are going this direction, and I understand it's usually part of a business strategy to create continuous revenue for a company. However, since the recent economy issues I've tried to make a point to reduce ALL of my re-occuring costs - I obviously can't cut all of them, but I've done what I'm comfortable with so far. I'd much prefer to pay a little bit more for a product upfront than to pay for it over the lifetime of it's use. Over the lifetime it simply costs more and if I were to have any sort of financial crisis it's one of the first things that I'd cut because it's not a necessity - which is why I've chosen to try and cut all of these out upfront.

 

Additionally, I don't care for cloud based services... at least not ones which provide me with a "service". For backup purposes I feel that cloud based services are fine (though many have issues). However, the simple fact that you lose that "service" when your connection fails is a major issue for me. Sure, it's not this company's fault that my ISP is may be having issues, but if I can't use your product in these cases it's no good to me.

 

Hollywood has introduced Ultraviolet - cloud based viewing of movies that you've purchased (or at least have acquired a license for). Sure, that's great when you have a solid connection, but what happens when you are on a road trip with your kids and they are streaming the movie via their 4G phone and service drops when you drive through a rural area? Sorry kids, movie time is over...  I've heard there may be ways to store off-line versions, but I have to believe that it's too complicated for a normal consumer to use. Additionally, all of the streaming services via cell service end up having me use more data, which in turn means that I have to buy more from my cell provider, thus increasing that bill too...  no thanks! I'll gladly hold on to my LAN and local storage for as long as I possibly can.  /rant ;-)


Edited by drvnbysound, 25 January 2013 - 08:26 AM.


#12 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:34 AM

You guys are spot on!  What are you going to do with a bunch of sensors and hardware that you installed in your home that no longer works because the company's cloud server is no longer in existence?

 

I am still using X-10 technology in my home (yes, it's very reliable when you set it up right).  Can you imagine if they had this type of cloud service back when they started?  Also, a LOT of other companies can send and receive that protocol with their hardware and software products!

 

Belkin is also going this route with their WeMo (did a little blurb on that already)!

 

I agree with drvnbysound, these companies just want to build that continuous revenue after they sell their products.

 

It's really a shame to see that latest and greatest home automation products going this way. :(



#13 Mr Spock

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:41 PM

...until I heard those words of death for a home automation system...
 
IT NEEDS TO BE CONNECTED TO THE CLOUD TO WORK!
 
This means if you have your iPhone connected to the WiFi in your home and you want to speak with a Zigbee device in your home, or see the status of a sensor, you NEED to have full internet cloud connectivity to work!  This is how they 'integrate' everything to their hub!  And there will be a subscription service...

 

Truer words have not been spoken.  There is no way in hell I will accept a HA product that requires internet connections to work OR requires reoccuring (monthly) subscription fees.  I do accept the option for an HA OS to offer paid annual upgrades.  This keeps the OS current and gives the company some additional revenue to support their product, but it must be optional.






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