In the late 70's I read an article in either Popular Science, or Popular Electronics. It talked about a guy who built an automation system he could control with his voice. This became my dream for over 30 years of tinkering in automation. However, today when it is very easy to do just that, my dream has changed.
Today I am not looking for a system that will respond to voice commands, or to a touch of my smartphone app. I am looking for a system that predicts what I want and gives it to me when I need it. My model is the automation that is found in today's cars. They know when to turn the headlights on and off. They can control the climate and speed of the fan. Some are even smart enough to turn the wipers on or steer when I am driving out of my lane. They do all of this without the internet, an app, or generally without voice control. They are pre programmed and bulletproof.
I do have an Echo dot and use it mostly as a cooking timer. When my hands are full, it is nice to have a hands free timer. The grandkids play Trolls music on just because it is fun to do. However, I don't see it as a priority for my automation efforts. (maybe someday when I get a round tuit)
I also have an OP2 and have had a couple bouts of lightning. I tracked down the problem to wires between my garage and house, and replaced them with fiber. That won't eliminate lightning damage, but it will significantly reduce it.
My OP2 is rock solid. It does not depend on the internet. I never update the firmware. It is not subject to the latest update of iOS. It just works.
I have programmed it to predict what I am going to do and then respond. I have tweaked the program over the past 2 years, but it is getting good enough that the wife almost never complains. (that is my litmus test)
UPB is the least reliable part of my system. I really like the flexibility, and programmability of the switches. However, I have an inverter HVAC system that puts too much noise on my power lines. UPB works about 90-95% of the time, which is less than I would like. I have looked into putting filters on my HVAC compressor and fan, but I don't like the idea of attaching those high energy components to my expensive HVAC system.
I did not connect my OP2 to my Russound audio or Lennox HVAC system. I considered this but the complexity and hit to reliability just aren't worth the risk to me. Both have reasonable stand alone apps. I ran the numbers and, with my energy efficient house, it does not look like it pays to set back the thermostat every time I leave. I only set it back when I go on vacation. I have 5 zones and program them for different temperatures during the day with the Lennox thermostat. It keeps the house comfortable and pretty darn efficient.