Abode
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Really interesting new home automation and security system from ex ADT executives. I was this close to pulling the trigger on this before I got IRIS because they weren't shipping pre orders for a while. Seeing the state of IRIS 2.0 I wish I would have waited. Free plans allow full automation , self monitoring and limited cloud video storage but there is an option to add cellular backup, 24/7 video recording to the cloud and even a la carte no contract professional monitoring with video verification which is a great feature since a lot of police departments don't respond without verification anymore due to the high amount of false alarms. They also have a full modern system web interface as well as mobile apps which I know is important to a lot of you. Honestly I'm probably going to jump ship. Check out their website.

www.goabode.com

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Any particular reason why Vettester?  I am asking because I am seriously considering moving over to it.  Cost of entry is higher than IRIS but no monthly fees is nice along with a la carte professional monitoring for extended vacations or work trips.

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Mainly because from what I read on their website this product is currently focused on security only.  If you look hard enough you'll find a blurb about home automation, but currently there is no hardware on the site to support this space.  

 

I know the release of Iris's Gen 2 has been a rough ride for a lot of people and I don't disagree that it was released prematurely, but Lowe's has made significant progress in the last month and I like where this is going.

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A friend reports that he's going with an Abode system.  It will be good to have some reviews in case IRIS v2 doesn't get straightened out and offer a web interface.  Overall it seems a bit spendy and it sounds like cameras and some of their core bits may be proprietary to the system.  Expensive cameras that might become paperweights concerns me.

 

I agree that the limited automation options is a minus and it's hard to tell from the information on the site what it really can and can't do with automation.

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I've had my Abode system for a bit now so I'll give a little information about the system.

 

Pros

+ Build quality is good.  Easily on par with the Iris sensors

+ Sensors (with one exception see cons) and app react immediately

+ Good array of security sensors (image capturing motion, vibration, water leak detectors, etc)

+ IFTTT integration! My favorite feature.

+ No monthly fees required (yet?)

+ Excellent customization settings (door bell, delays, beep volume, notifications, etc)

+ Web interface for settings.

+ Loud siren

 

 

Cons

- Accessory and system prices are high

- Motion sensor image capture is sluggish

- Door/window sensor is large

- Can not adjust system settings in app.  Must use web interface.

- Key fob icons not ituitive

- Automation rules are limited.  Only simple IF THEN rules are available.  Can not have rules active/inactive based on mode, time, etc.

 

 

I can't comment on customer support since I haven't had the need to call.  Installation went seamlessly and the system has been stable.  My system is still small with just 4 sensors because I wanted to test the system before I sunk too much money into it but things are looking good and I will purchase more sensors and cellular backup ($8 a month) soon.

 

I went with Abode because I don't want an all-in-one home automation system.  I wanted a security system that can communicate with my other systems for my home.  I want a diversified ecosystem so in the event that a company goes under, no longer supports my hardware or has declining level of service I don't have to do a complete overhaul.  That said IFTTT is somewhat of a single point of failure for my home.  My home automation system includes:

 

  • Amazon echo
  • Philips hue lighting
  • Sensibo (to control my heat pump)
  • Ring doorbell
  • Wemo plugs
  • Leeo (for alarms and environmental)
  • Life360 (for family-wide location rules)
  • IFTTT
  • Stringify (added Early august)
  • Ring Stick up cam and solar panel
  • Logitech pop switches

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Abode is running a sale this weekend. $60 off any order over $350.00. Coincidence that we are 2 weeks from the death of v1? Unlikely...

Well, if nothing else, it will be interesting to see what happens in this industry the next few months.

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I ordered an Abode system today. With no local processing and no cellular my Iris system is useless to me as I travel alot. And with no information about when cellular service will be available again, or when I will recieved the modem ( I was one of the last to recieve my hub) I need to do something. I agree that Lowes released V2 way too soon, has been less than forthcoming about when we can expect parity and what we can expect. My last trip my internet went down. With no cellular I had no way to reboot my modem or router and thats not acceptable. Maybe having one system for security and one for automation is not a bad thing? Redundant systems. Sure there is a cost involved but its not outrageous. I went thru the adjustment period with V1 when it came out and the system eventually became pretty stable. The whole V2 transition has taken too long and been a huge step backwards. But the unacceptable thing is that they went from being a viable product to now being a work in progress with no clear end in sight. I have 46 devices so I have to hope either Abode supports many of them eventually or Iris gets V2 functional. 

 

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I chatted with one of the reps a while back. The v2 sensors are technically compatible, but more development would need to be done to actually make them work on Abode. They were very forthcoming and said it's on the worklist, but isn't a priority right now. So, yes someday v2 sensors may work on Abode.

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Interested to hear how you like Abode.  I'd feel a lot better about it if they had a discussion forum. 

 

My understanding is that they support standard Z-wave and Zigbee devices pretty well.  IRIS v1 Zigbee devices are a no-go on pretty much anything besides IRIS.

 

The clock is ticking for me.  My v2 system has been generally stable if a bit buggy, but local processing, cellular backup, and a web interface are all essentials that need to start being addressed very soon.

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Got my Abode yesterday. Got the hub, 4 door contacts, keypad, power plug, remote, and the motion sensor camera. I was able to pair several of my GE wall switches, and my iris v2 smart plugs ( they only do on/off..not power usage). Thats all I have tried so far. Notifications are email or in app, no phone calls or texts unless you get proffesional monitoring. You can set schedules but, not schedules that only run in a particular mode. 

 

Wasnt able to get cellular to work at first. Called support and talked to one of the co-owners of the company. He was quick to resolve my issue and went out of his way to explain features of the system to me. 

 

Had no real problems pairing devices and the range seems quite good. I have alot of wireless devices and gadgets in my house and interference did not seem to be an issue. Have some streaming cameras on back order. Will report on those when they arrive. Like another reviewer posted, the motion camera seems a bit sluggish. 

 

In the home automation role the system has lots of room for improvement and expansion. The security side of things seems robust enough for my needs and having cellular backup again is huge for me. Overall I think I am going to like this and will probably end up running it side by side with Iris well into the future.

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You can do phone calls with a custom text to speech message via IFTTT.  I have the message tell me what mode triggered the alarm, the time and what sensor was tripped.  You can do similar things with text but I prefer the phone call / app notification combination.

 

You can also tie IFTTT and Stringify to create more complex rules although it's a bit hacky.  Here's an example of what I do:

 

  1. Abode mode changes to away.
  2. Using the mode change as a trigger IFTTT rule writes a new text file to away folder in box.
  3. Stringify detects new text file in away folder in box and sets stringify mode to away.
  4. If stringify mode is away and it is sunset turn on selected philips hue lights.

 

The example above turns on my lights at sunset only if i'm not home.  I do this because my kid sleeps at around 8 and sunset during the summer is 9PM here.  I don't want the lights to turn on automatically while my daughter is sleeping but I do want the lights to turn on automatically if we're not home.  There are a lot more complicated flows you can set up using stringify but I want to show an example of how I get adobe on IFTTT to interact with a more complex rules engine like stringify.

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Thanks for the head's up on this.  I ordered a starter kit today.  I figure I'll give it a try. I'll hook up the handful of sensors that come with it and try moving some Z-wave stuff.  It will be interesting to see if it can run my GE Link bulbs reliably.

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I got an Abode starter kit to play with and so far it's a mixed bag.

 

I hope they're not depending on accessory device sales for their business model. They're larger than the competition and they're not going to win any industrial design competitions. The motion camera is a clever bit of kit but they're really large and not particularly attractive.  They're probably not quite as obnoxious for people replacing old fashioned alarm systems.

Automation has a couple of really crippling problems right now. The first is that motion detectors (at least the one I got with the kit) cannot trigger automations at all. That's crazy. They say that they have a motion detector coming to trigger automations so hopefully that means any motion detector will be able to trigger them.

The second issue is that you can't schedule a time for the automation to be active. So if you want the lights to come on when a door opens then they'll come on day or night.

Security functions seem much more complete. It's tough to test thoroughly since I'm not replacing my IRIS until they can handle automation and that will require more motion detectors. Has anyone tried to pair an v2 IRIS motion detector with Abode?

The web interface is a welcome relief from the wrong turn that IRIS took toward all mobile devices. IFTTT integration is a great feature and they're all-in on it where IRIS seems intent on maintaining a closed system.   That, along with their deep Nest integration suggests to me that they're on the right track even if they're missing some pieces right now.

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I didn't attempt to pair a motion, but did attempt a v2 contact and a ct101. Both paired with the Abode hub, but weren't useful. The ct101 would only act as a thermometer. The hub also didn't know what to do with the contact sensor. Even though I defined it as a contact sensor, it couldn't determine an open or closed state. I imagine the motion will behave similarly. I don't think the hub has code to process the activity of the other Iris sensors once paired yet.

I'm still quite happy with the security functions of Abode. I can wait for better automation to develop. Reliable security was my emphasis.

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I didn't attempt to pair a motion, but did attempt a v2 contact and a ct101. Both paired with the Abode hub, but weren't useful. The ct101 would only act as a thermometer. The hub also didn't know what to do with the contact sensor. Even though I defined it as a contact sensor, it couldn't determine an open or closed state. I imagine the motion will behave similarly. I don't think the hub has code to process the activity of the other Iris sensors once paired yet.

I'm still quite happy with the security functions of Abode. I can wait for better automation to develop. Reliable security was my emphasis.

 

I returned a couple of IRIS v1 contact switches yesterday so I used the money to get a v2 motion to see what it would do.  It pairs as a thermometer with no functionality or automation available.

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