What does "No Hub Required" really mean?

pete_c said:
force widespread adoption of IPv6?
It's already here and there and everywhere.
Just recently enabled IPv6 on the PFSense firewall (late to the game I suppose).  The PITA pieces are configuring same firewall rules for IPv6 (well they are sort of automagically configured any how).
I keep hearing it is already here but I never seem to come across it in my day-to-day life. I'm not seeking it out because I don't need any new complexity in my life but I assume when it is really really here I will come to a situation where I have to deal with it because there is no alternative. 
Yes here personal roots of networking was very easy....
Vampire tap
A vampire tap (also called a piercing tap) is a device for physically connecting a station, typically a computer, to a network that uses 10BASE5 cabling. This device clamps onto and "bites" into the cable (hence the vampire name), inserting a probe through a hole drilled using a special tool through the outer shielding to contact the inner conductor, while other spikes bite into the outer conductor. The vampire tap usually has an integrated AUI (Attachment Unit Interface), from this a short multicore cable connects to the network card in the station.

Vampire taps allow new connections to be made on a given physical cable while the cable is in use. This allows administrators to expand bus-topology network sections without interrupting communications. Without a vampire tap, the cable has to be cut and connectors have to be attached to both ends.
The twinax wire is running token ring. On the arcnet cable I calculated resistor values to make my own custom passive hubs that have the exact number of ports I need instead of being stuck with the standard splitter configurations.
So getting back to the point it looks like the consensus is that the future of Home Automation favors "no-hub" solutions which seems to mean Ethernet and MQTT. In other words Zigbee, Z-Wave, Thread, Clear Connect. etc. are all already dead they just don't know it yet. I wonder what it will be like, once every bulb, switch socket, appliance, and sensor (doors and windows) have their own IP address? Having a broadcast domain with 500+ IoT devices in it should not be a problem I guess...? 
Millennials (spoon feeding) really only care about function and end results and the less they know about the grey areas the happier they are.
Easy button automation.
I've understood "No Hub Required" to be marketing shorthand for "You don't need to buy anything else to use this bulb/switch."
That's in contrast to buying a Philips Hue bulb, or Lutron Caseta switch, etc where someone may find themselves returning to the store to buy the little plastic box that makes it all work.
But what can it actually do without a hub? You might use a phone app to get it set up but you wouldn;t actually want to pull out a phone to operate your lights. So without a hub what can it do beyond what a plain toggle switch does for control a local load? My Lifx bulbs don't need a hub but once I set the colors I want I still need to use switches controlled by some other technology to turn them on and off. For direct control I need something that can talk over wi-fi which means a hub or gateway or something.
Without a central controller you aren't really doing automation. You are doing basic control with some very simple extras that could be charitably called automation, but not really. In order to have a real automation system you need something that is in control of everything and watching the state of those things all the time, so that it can react to changes in them, so that it can coordinate them as a system, so that it can report unusual events, so it that can link actions one one device to results in other completely unrelated devices, so that it can do things on a schedule, to provide the central input mechanism for voice, touch screen, phone, motion, etc... control.
upstatemike said:
So "no hub required" really means there is a hub but it is in the cloud so you don't have to configure one at home?
...or local from a mobile phone acting as a controller. 
If we then call all controllers a Hub then everything needs a "hub", save a few protocols, like Insteon connected to other Insteon and a few others.. No automation, but basic on/off/brighten/dim/fast On/fast Off control between devices.
The smart WiFi devices (IEDs) sounds good but what decisions could they make other than real timer switching? They would need to watch every status passing by to do logical decisions. Sounds like a whole new WiFi channel would be needed. 5G?
upstatemike said:
So "no hub required" really means there is a hub but it is in the cloud so you don't have to configure one at home?
No. It literally means you don't need a hub to operate the device. Period. End. Full-stop.
You're attempting to view 'No hub required' through the lens of home automation. Don't. All the manufacturer is offering is a device that can be remote-controlled by a phone app (no really, check the packaging).
Got Wi-Fi? Excellent, now you can control your Lifx, HomeKit, etc gadgets using your phone. At most, the manufacturer claims you'll have a "smart home" but we here know it doesn't mean the same thing it used to. Nowadays, if you can remotely control it (remotely within the range of your Wi-Fi coverage or via someone's cloud service) well son, watcha got there is a 'smart' device. Ahem.
As for their use with home automation systems, that largely depends on whether the manufacturer was generous enough to provide an API, or someone took the time to reverse-engineer it, or (if based on an ESP8266) wipe out the device's firmware and replace it with Tasmota, ESPeasy or ESPurna and use MQTT to control it.
As for the devices that require a hub, the hub is often a ZigBee controller (or proprietary RF protocol in the case of Lutron) and it doesn't profess to offer 'home automation' functionality. Basically, it's an Ethernet to ZigBee converter so, once again, your phone can control the bulb or switch.