Smart Things?
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There's been some recent comparison to the Smart Things platform being better and more stable.  Looks like they are having some major problems as well. Cnet recently reported about the problems with Iris so I guess they felt it only fair to report similar problems about Smart Things.

 

http://www.cnet.com/news/samsungs-smartthings-smart-home-push-hits-disconnect/

rdisom likes this

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The concern that I have is whether or not this is symptomatic of the technology regardless of platform???  Have we all purchased systems that for some reason are inherently not stable?

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Yes, I understand that people have been frustrated with Iris 2, but I have SmartThings also and trust me "the grass is not always greener". To be honest, I think Lowe's has been doing a great job and been very responsive to their customers needs.  Yes, some of us have been having major issues during the migration, but it seems to me the whole point was that Lowe's wanted to bring the system "in-house" so they could be more responsive and less dependent on an external vendor to support the system and integrate new devices. It appears as if they have basically built a new system from scratch and come a long way in a very short time, compared to how long other systems have been in development.  SmartThings has been around for years and I think Iris 2 is already getting very comparable, and in some ways better.  The fact that Lowe's seems to update the system about once a month I find amazing, compared to how long releases of other systems often take.

 

Yes, they have made some mis-steps, but I imagine some of those were hard to avoid, or just part of learning how to develop and support software and hardware products in-house.  Keep in mind that they are dealing with dozens of devices all made by different manufactures and external organizations like cellular vendors that have contracts that expire, etc. I'm not trying to make excuses for them, and maybe some of the planning could have been better, but not everything is always in their control and I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

I guess I'm just saying that I understand many people have had issues and have been very upset, but I personally do think Lowe's is really trying to make Iris 2, and home automation in general, a success and something that even non-technical customers can take advantage of.  They still have a long way to go, but they sure seem to be going there quickly and I look forward to them becoming a leader.  The easy choice would have been to just keep supporting the Iris 1 system through an external vendor and let it slowly die as more and more new devices came in to the market and took longer and longer to add to the old system, if at all.  The tough choice was to invest in developing a new platform with the capability to eventually go well beyond what the old system could do, and I feel like that is what they are doing.

 

Just my opinion.  And I don't mean to minimize the issues and problems some people have been having with the initial switch to V2. I do feel they have a right to express their frustrations, and even switch to another system if they really feel it will work better for them (which Lowe's makes easier now by the way with their new V2 devices that all use standard Home Automation commands instead of the older V1 devices that were not standard). But I also felt like I should express my opinion that Lowe's appears to really be trying hard to create a new system that is really in the best interest of their customers for moving forward with home automation.

 

Maybe it is easier for me, since I have both systems I get the best of both worlds :)  (and the worst of both worlds :( ) right now, but I have a feeling Iris 2 is going to keep getting better and better and I am really looking forward to seeing where things go during the next year or two.

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True, the grass is not greener, it's just the same grass.  

 

However, it's important to remember that we pay $10/month for grass that's free elsewhere.

 

I, too, want Iris to succeed and correct the problems, if only for the investment I have in items I can't take to another service.  7 cameras, 22 door window sensors, a garage door controller, a smart plug, and a key pad.  That's what, $1,500 in items I can't carry with me?  Will the radio thermostat and the water softener work elsewhere?

 

So, if for nothing other than selfish reasons, I want Lowe's to get their shit together.  Quickly.

 

Also, they can integrate with Logitech Harmony and Amazon Echo any day now.

KyRed and usmcss like this

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I was originally seriously considering SmartThings but forum members there recommended staying away due to all the problems. So, here I am with Iris. Time will tell if that was a good choice.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

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I desperately want the Iris platform to succeed, I like others have a sizable amount of funds tied up in a system that presently the only constant is that it fails to preform adequately at random times.  Enough and often enough that it simply cannot be relied on to serve the purpose it was designed and marketed for. 

 

It is notorious for giving 'false' or at the least 'misleading' status, not being stable, dependent on a full  time internet connection with no method of not only backing that up, but also it's inherent inability to recover from a failed connection without a physical 're-boot'. And let's not get started on the connectivity issues with the devices, or the fact that it turns into a not very effective 'brick' when it does lose the internet connection.

It just seems to me that every stinking time I start to feel good about the system something stupid happens... But, *if* the promises that have been made actually do come to fruition then yes, Iris will be a top notch system. 

 

Thevolget likes this

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I was a fairly early adopter of the V1 Iris system, and I can tell you there was many, many problems. So I'm not really agreeing with the way people are putting it on a pedestal.  But I think if you joined later to V1 it was in pretty good shape, and stable by the time they brought out V2. Early on half of the things that people are expecting immediately for V2 were not in place for V1. I would say that the V2 has progressed through the improvements and bug fixes at a much faster rate than occurred on V1. i think that most people (myself included), just assumed the V2 would start off where the V1 finished up., and that has caused some consternation. I might have delayed my migration if I had realized. But I guess it's effectively a new system and they are going through the product lifecycle that they went though for V1 but in a much shorter timeline. I think the recent updates seem to have solved some major problems, and I expect that the next few updates will iron out many bugs, and get parity with V1 (and more).

Enzo likes this

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As someone who was on V1 for 2 years, jumped to V2 for months, and has now migrated to ST, I'm going to say the grass is greener. All of the problems that everyone is pointing out about ST is older and came from their backend getting overloaded from the amount of users. What did they do? re-engineered, bought loads more of backend SQL power, shifted to AWS, and moved everyone over. Total cost to users: 0$. I've been on ST for a little over a month now, and have had no issues. No disconnects, no loss of comms. It has worked everytime I've needed it and I trust my house security to it. Make what you will but the platform is superior IMHO. Plus....its free!

pavalov, OHTRTA, loonytim and 1 other like this

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So happy today (with new features in the Android app) I picked up an additional "Works With Iris" device. To quote my daughter, "OMG!". The family, while patient, gets to listen to me vent...

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Iris app has come a long way and I felt that 1.8 was a turning point.  The 1.9 updates with sunrise and sunset, with offset, feature was the icing on the cake.  Now to put the topper on the cake, local camera viewing and account switching.

iJester, scunny and TheBagMan like this

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Let me start by saying I love the Iris System when it works!!! It's great. One thing that I can say for sure is that buying two v2 Iris Smart Plugs Fixed all my disconnect reconnect issues I was having with my switches. I positioned them in between the hub and switches the best I could and they act as a relay for the signal. Thanks to Irisusers suggestion I believe!!!

It's a shame that I had to buy them to make it work. I actually wanted another smart switch but where I had to put them, one is not useable for anything. But it did fix the connect disconnect issue.

What's not fixed is the Cameras!!!! It seems the 2,3,7,15....... Second recordings have settled down. But the delay from the time motion is detected until the time the cameras start to record is ridiculous! Ether never catches what set it off or gets the back of the persons head leaving the property.

I can hear it now if anything ever happens; "cops say I see you have a lot of cameras, I'm assuming you have the perp on video!!??" No, they only record after the crime is committed. and even if I did, you would have to take my phone as evidence or break out your phone and record what I got on my phone because I CAN'T DOWNLOAD IT!!!!!!

And to be honest sometimes they don't recoding anything when they clearly should have.

In my opinion this should be one of the top priorities and I hope they are working on it!!!!

It's funny because when I try and watch live stream I get like a 12 to 20 second delay. So I see things that happened before I hit stream. That's what needs to be happening with the motion recording!!!! Like the v1 did. All that needed to be fixed with the v1 cameras in my opinion was the live view which was delayed as mentioned above and disconnects which seem not to happen anymore.

I think it's coming along. Try those v2 smart plugs.

Terminal and baa like this

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I made the switch to Smart Things last week (and no, I'm not lingering around to troll, I have 3 other family members on Iris, and I don't anticipate talking them into spending the money to switch anytime soon).  I had read the threads mentioned above, and knew they had a database issue, but it looked to be pretty much resolved, so I made the leap.  The first day was a little rough with some lingering errors, but even by the next day things were better, and it's been relatively smooth sailing ever since.  I know this will sound crazy to the Iris developers, but the ST staff even announced that a hub upgrade was coming and when it would happen!

 

It *might* be fair to say that Iris and ST are at the same level right now regarding stability and reliability, but what I'm really thinking about is investing for the future. The ST staff are active in their forum (that they actually own and run) and they are often talking about all the staff they are hiring.  There are functional and supported API's, and a bunch of active community developers. I've been very impressed by how hard it is to find a device that *isn't* supported (even if it's sometimes a bit of a hack).  Basically, one developer has made all of the Iris v2 stuff work very reliably - the Iris smart fob is now much more powerful on ST than it is on it's native platform!  And we're using those fobs as random remotes because we don't need them anymore because our phones are our presence sensors now.

 

Bad things?  Well, ST does have a fairly steep learning curve to go with all that power.  It would be great if ST had more local processing (some devices process locally, but only a few - though as far as I know, Iris does none of that yet), and there is sometimes a little bit of lag.  Both platform's apps have a pretty crappy UI, but Iris is slightly less bad, especially for quick access.  Iris seems to have a slight lead on the home security aspects (the only real security keypad for ST is the Iris keypad), but it's painfully obvious that ST was in the middle of implementing that and got derailed by their database issues.  There is no speaker in the ST hub, so that's a bit jarring for a former Iris user.  There is also no cellular modem available yet.

 

I can't compare the camera functionality of the two systems, as I've used separate Hikvision cameras all along.  I don't think either platform is all that great for cameras.

 

I have no love for Samsung, so that doesn't excite me, but at least the ST group does seem to be able to work independently yet also seem to have vast resources at their disposal.

 

Switching platforms cost me about $350.  I had to buy the hub for, 3 door sensors (all of my Iris ones were v1), and I was able to replace my other 15 window sensors with two cheap, reliable, and pet-safe motion sensors.  There are mixed reports of the RadioThermostat working with ST, but I couldn't mine working, so I sent it to another family member.  I could have replaced that with a non-Iris equivalent for $79, but I found an open-box Ecobee 3 for a great price (so I'm not factoring that into the $350). My Iris keypads, keyfobs, glass break, garage door opener, leak detector, wall switches, smart outlets, and smart button all worked fine with ST.  The only thing I lost besides the v1 windows sensors was one v1 smart button.  Saving $10/mo helps with the cost of switching and everything that I had to replace is an improvement over what I had before.

 

At the end of the day, it's not that ST is currently more reliable in any quantifiable sense, but when something doesn't work (or doesn't work the way I want), I have more options available than waiting for Lowe's to fix it. It's not all unicorns and rainbows, but I'm content, and I'm not taking daily flak about Iris from the SO anymore.

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I made the switch to Smart Things last week (and no, I'm not lingering around to troll, I have 3 other family members on Iris, and I don't anticipate talking them into spending the money to switch anytime soon).  I had read the threads mentioned above, and knew they had a database issue, but it looked to be pretty much resolved, so I made the leap.  The first day was a little rough with some lingering errors, but even by the next day things were better, and it's been relatively smooth sailing ever since.  I know this will sound crazy to the Iris developers, but the ST staff even announced that a hub upgrade was coming and when it would happen!

 

It *might* be fair to say that Iris and ST are at the same level right now regarding stability and reliability, but what I'm really thinking about is investing for the future. The ST staff are active in their forum (that they actually own and run) and they are often talking about all the staff they are hiring.  There are functional and supported API's, and a bunch of active community developers. I've been very impressed by how hard it is to find a device that *isn't* supported (even if it's sometimes a bit of a hack).  Basically, one developer has made all of the Iris v2 stuff work very reliably - the Iris smart fob is now much more powerful on ST than it is on it's native platform!  And we're using those fobs as random remotes because we don't need them anymore because our phones are our presence sensors now.

 

Bad things?  Well, ST does have a fairly steep learning curve to go with all that power.  It would be great if ST had more local processing (some devices process locally, but only a few - though as far as I know, Iris does none of that yet), and there is sometimes a little bit of lag.  Both platform's apps have a pretty crappy UI, but Iris is slightly less bad, especially for quick access.  Iris seems to have a slight lead on the home security aspects (the only real security keypad for ST is the Iris keypad), but it's painfully obvious that ST was in the middle of implementing that and got derailed by their database issues.  There is no speaker in the ST hub, so that's a bit jarring for a former Iris user.  There is also no cellular modem available yet.

 

I can't compare the camera functionality of the two systems, as I've used separate Hikvision cameras all along.  I don't think either platform is all that great for cameras.

 

I have no love for Samsung, so that doesn't excite me, but at least the ST group does seem to be able to work independently yet also seem to have vast resources at their disposal.

 

Switching platforms cost me about $350.  I had to buy the hub for, 3 door sensors (all of my Iris ones were v1), and I was able to replace my other 15 window sensors with two cheap, reliable, and pet-safe motion sensors.  There are mixed reports of the RadioThermostat working with ST, but I couldn't mine working, so I sent it to another family member.  I could have replaced that with a non-Iris equivalent for $79, but I found an open-box Ecobee 3 for a great price (so I'm not factoring that into the $350). My Iris keypads, keyfobs, glass break, garage door opener, leak detector, wall switches, smart outlets, and smart button all worked fine with ST.  The only thing I lost besides the v1 windows sensors was one v1 smart button.  Saving $10/mo helps with the cost of switching and everything that I had to replace is an improvement over what I had before.

 

At the end of the day, it's not that ST is currently more reliable in any quantifiable sense, but when something doesn't work (or doesn't work the way I want), I have more options available than waiting for Lowe's to fix it. It's not all unicorns and rainbows, but I'm content, and I'm not taking daily flak about Iris from the SO anymore.

Thanks for the honest comparison. Are you using the V1 alarm keypads on your ST setup? Also, which motion detector did you use - that sounds pretty impressive. I'm in a similar situation, and with the deadline looming, I'm considering options. I only got into Iris because of the combo deals they had a while back at about half price, but have been quite pleased with V1. It's a shame it is being terminated.

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Thanks for the honest comparison. Are you using the V1 alarm keypads on your ST setup? Also, which motion detector did you use - that sounds pretty impressive. I'm in a similar situation, and with the deadline looming, I'm considering options. I only got into Iris because of the combo deals they had a while back at about half price, but have been quite pleased with V1. It's a shame it is being terminated.

 

All of the Gen1 Zigbee items are proprietary to Lowes and will not work. Zwave devices are not and will port over. Gen2 Zigbee however are compatible. I've had great success with everything else, and at this point actually use the IRIS sensors for ST. I love that the remote can actually be used to trigger 8 different actions now. It makes it quite useful. 

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So Smarthings has limited offline processing. I know for a fact the lighting works offline when using it though. All of my motion sensors, rules and lights work as i want without the cloud.  I've just started working on my security side of it, but have been waiting for my SO to be gone before testing the alarm functionality to keep from driving her insane. So I don't have an answer on that side. I simply built a load balanced router with a cell connection to handle offline stuff. I've not had ST be the reason for the offline, so much as my ISP. 

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Thanks for the honest comparison. Are you using the V1 alarm keypads on your ST setup? Also, which motion detector did you use - that sounds pretty impressive. I'm in a similar situation, and with the deadline looming, I'm considering options. I only got into Iris because of the combo deals they had a while back at about half price, but have been quite pleased with V1. It's a shame it is being terminated.

 

Sorry for the delay - I really did mostly leave the forum.  The motion sensors I'm using are the Ecolink pet-friendly ones on Amazon.  In about 2 months I've never had a false alarm, I have a sunroom  with 12 windows and a study with 4 more.  With Iris I finally had to buy sensors for all of them due to mulitple daily false alarms (from the sun, heat, cats, everything).  The Ecolinks have been so reliable that despite the big smartthings sale going on, I am having a hard time justifying the purchase.  BTW, anyone want 13 Iris V1 sensors? ;)

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Does Smart things to sms text alert? Will it set off the siren if there is no internet and the door/window/motion is triggered?

 

There are SMS options in the configs, but I've not used them.  The push notifications have been completely reliable for me, and I'd rather not deal with double notifications.  I'm happier getting "too many" informational push notifications than I am with even a handful of SMS'es.  

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Just wanted to chime back in as it's been almost a year since I moved to ST...and I still couldn't be happier. The latest update brings notifications if items go offline and it has proven to be 100% rock stable. I love that just about every device out there whether its officially supported or not has a community of people behind it getting things to work. The IRIS keypads work awesome under it. Took a 1600 line driver, but they work. I've now got a fully functional system. Add Arlo in and you can pretty well monitor everything you need to. I could go on, but in my opinion the grass really has been greener on this side of the fence. At the rate I keep seeing IRIS devices going on clearance I have to wonder the rate they are actually committed to it. I'll take it though as it means cheap devices for me. 

loonytim likes this

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I too am very happy with my ST install in my home.   I'm 'meh about my IRIS setup in my office.  Its been working as long as I don't pay much attention to it.  

For example, I went to test my 5 First Alert smoke/CO detectors on Tuesday...  I tested each one, and 4 of 5 went from battery level "OK" to "0%" and then started beeping to have the batteries replaced.  -- I replace them about every 3 months.   Not a single alert until after I tested them, then the emails came.  

Tuesday I also disconnected a smart-plug that had a small heater attached to it.  Thursday morning I got an alert that it had been disconnected from the system. 

They're small things...  Until they're not.  

I have been slowly migrating my office away from relying on IRIS.  My cameras are now a stand-alone unit.  My thermostats are now stand-alone units.  I use IRIS for door locks, lighting control and a motion controlled alarm at this point.   I do feel that they have been making some progress, just not in the areas that are important to me.   oh well. 

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