My two cents ......... :-)
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With the end of life of version 1 hub and actually the EOL for AlertMe (which has given rebirth to Centra Connected Home w/Hive  (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05782908 ) it could be interesting to see how much if any a “phoneix” will come from the ashes of AlertMe. I went to CES in 2015 hoping to find out more about the changes for Iris as Lowe’s was sharing very little with Iris support techs. In January 2015 the IOT market was hot, very hot, there was much promise of huge tidal wave of new products and features. The promise of Google and Apple jumping in the market driving sales and bring some conformity to the mass of different protocols.

 

CES 2015 was the first time the IOT market had it’s own “space”/area on the CES floor. But even after the first few hours it was obvious this was not going to be the year of IOT. While Smartthings had their version 2 of their hub on display it was under glass. Not a good sign if you are familiar with process of bringing products to market. I went incognito to the Iris “Home” and although a bit late in the day couldn't find a single person at any management level. The personnel “manning the booth” were either from a third party supplier of convention personal or poorly training Lowe’s store personal from the local area of Las Vegas. No new hub and no one even had a clue if there was going to be one coming. Although the Iris “home” was impressive.

 

And the rest of the IOT section at CES 2015 the manufactures were not ready for prime time…….. Not even close………….

 

CES is always the first part of January. A week or two after CES there was a visit from AlertMe (England) and from the new head of the Iris department. (After the podcast leak? Hand writing on the wall?)  There was talk of a new hub a new backend maybe called Omnia. This was going to huge. A huge improvement over the current version. This fell in line with what leaked in a podcast (November 2014?) that a new hub that was to include Bluetooth by Lowes/Iris management.

 

Between the CES show, AlertMe’s visit and a change at the top of Iris food chain………. Things just didn’t seem right. Then came the announcement of British Gas going from a minor investment partner to buying AlertMe out right in February 2015.

 

Going into March there was less and less viable “support” from England. While Lowes/Alertme excelled at keeping those of us with some tech background in the dark, there was at least what seemed an attempt to address issues. There were some other housekeeping red flags but by the end of the second week of March 2016 it was obvious to me things have gone off the rails. By the end of March Lowes/Iris and myself went our separate ways.

 

By June things started to clear up. A FCC filing I found showed the new Iris hub was being made by Centeralite (the same folks making the Smartthings hub seen in January (which also had its own FCC filings)) It was obvious Lowes/Iris didn’t want this known as they later had the FCC pull the filling until November/December 2016 but the cat was already out of the bag.

 

I am sure for what they thought was good reasoning Lowes/Iris were not forthcoming on who/what was going to be the backend of the new system. We all saw the filings for new jobs in the Iris family starting in February 2015.

 

I am sure going into the later summer months we will see a new push for Iris. Lowes has reset all the reviews on Iris hub page (there were at one time over 150 reviews and now there is less than 30). Lowes/Iris has to turn the tide to make it a viable business.

 

I am just curious to see if this rebirth from AlertMe to Centra Connected Home will signal the return of some of the most experienced people in IOT

 

The IOT market still has a bright future. But I feel it is the IOT market itself to blame as no one really picked up the mantle to become the industry leader. Too many standards and too many security issues have stalled the IOT industry.  No one has broken out as a true industry leader. Apple, Google and others have sat on the sidelines yet another year to figure out how best to address the IOT market.

 

Kudos to Lowes/Iris for attempting to hang in there. Lowes is making a huge investment and it isn’t a “tech” company. While I have done my share of bashing, Lowes in not a tech company :-) And the IOT industry set everyone’s expectations too high too soon. I really do blame the industry as whole and not the manufacturers. Yes, yes, yes……. Manufacturers share in the blame but the industry as whole did nothing but over promise and under deliver.

 

In my view the IOT industry as a whole needs a bit of phoenix miracle not just Lowes/Iris, Smarthings, Google and Apple and a reset of our expectations. Time to open our eyes see where we are really going in the IOT market………...

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Hahah oh man, you can't even make this stuff up...  Went to re-write my review of the hub and this is what I get:   (I guess it's just the web's version of the "hmmm... " error. 

 

" Oh, C'mon!

Just when everything's going smoothly, this happens.

Sorry about that. While we work to fix it,

try going to our home page.

"

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Great insight!

I guess my concern is Lowe's finally realizing they are not a tech company and decide to exit the IOT sector.

BTW, what platform did you switch to?

 

Oh my....... no....... Lowes will never leave the IOT sector. It fits into their model of servicing the Home Improvement market. Yes some major mis-cues have been made by Lowes, but I still feel it is the IOT industry as a whole that dropped the ball. What I do see is Lowes is in a very unhappy marriage. Divorce may happen at some point but right it is making sense to hang on and give it at least one more good push. Getting it up and running and sell a portion off but maintaining control. One of the largest profit centers for ALL major box stores in any market is their "extended" warranties and "service" contracts. Lowes is forward thinking enough to realize at some point everything in home will be talking and there is a huge profit center hook there.

The "mistake" that Lowes and ALL of us did was believe the hype that this was just around the corner. Like a lot of things the technology is there, just no one to lead the way.

So I wouldn't expect Lowes to every drop out completely..............

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Great insight!

I guess my concern is Lowe's finally realizing they are not a tech company and decide to exit the IOT sector.

BTW, what platform did you switch to?

 

I am just a geek........ an old fart geek :-) For personal reasons I had to stay in ABQ and couldn't move to find a better job so I ended up at the call center in ABQ. First in sales where I saw Lowes basically doing to Iris what it did to a riding lawnmower that was to double as a emergency generator. Great idea!!! But they couldn't work out the details that were making the chassis hot. lol so they just dropped that POS. Iris is different as it really does open doors to all areas of possibilities of additional income.

 

I wasn't in the first Iris group as Lowes didn't even try to hire from existing personal but I weaseled my way into the second group. For a month or two I drank the kool-aid but it didn't take long to start questioning the folks in England. The basic part of the system was firm. Good idea. The hardware except for the Iris range extender (which never really worked) was pretty solid, the real issue was the backend. Now it is easy to bash Alertme too, but they at the time really were years ahead of others.

 

What did I switch to??......... oh my........ lol ........... being the geek that I am I have ran almost everything at the time. There are few that I haven't tried. All the systems which their major selling point is "plug and play" really suck. Actually version 1 of Iris came the closest IMHO....... Right the best P&P possibilities I feel are Smartthings, Iris and Simplethings (which personally Simple Things isn't for me)

 

Although the basics of home automation/security are kind of, almost there. For several systems for any serious person the Home IOT Market is basically still in a hobbyist / beta phase. Smartthings would be my choice if I was still wanting to invest this hobbyist time investment. But with Samsung at the helm it would not surprised ST could be sold off at some point.

 

Actually well over two years ago I was floating the idea through management that Lowes should have purchased ST. It was obvious to me at that time they were very similar and they share the same hub manufacturer at this point. It would not surprise me at some point this actually happens. Just pure speculation on my part.

 

It is with some sadness because the IOT market as a whole has failed, but the two best options for P&P and only part time hobbyist are Iris or ST. For the full time hobbyist the amount of options is almost endless.  

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Hahah oh man, you can't even make this stuff up...  Went to re-write my review of the hub and this is what I get:   (I guess it's just the web's version of the "hmmm... " error. 

 

" Oh, C'mon!

Just when everything's going smoothly, this happens.

Sorry about that. While we work to fix it,

try going to our home page.

"

 

Although some might think sneaky...... restarting the review count on Lowes Iris hub page.......... actually for those who want the system to succeed it is the only possible smart move. They will probably wait unit after the June cutoff/switch, maybe even wait until the fall for a hard relaunch. They still have a wave to ride of folks switching over. They should have the vast majority of kinks worked out and Iris can move on to bigger and better things. Those of us old enough can remember the change to Intel chips that Apple/Mac had to make. It was a rough year or so.......... again the IOT Market as a whole worries me most. Until someone like Google or Apple is really committed all this is is a step above X10 

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Until someone like Google or Apple is really committed all this is is a step above X10.

Thankfully, it is a dramatic improvement over that! I mostly had the Radio Shack equivalent: "Plug 'N Power!" Even with all its problems, V2 is an ever-so-much more pleasant experience than the X10 days.

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Thankfully, it is a dramatic improvement over that! I mostly had the Radio Shack equivalent: "Plug 'N Power!" Even with all its problems, V2 is an ever-so-much more pleasant experience than the X10 days.

 

Thank you for your insight, and a bit of behind the scenes.

 

I had to drop Iris today...  although V1 worked fine for me V2 could not make it through my router/modem unless i turned off the firewall or opened all external ports.  Neither "solution" acceptable.

 

I saw some months back that Lowes was looking for an "Agile" developer to head their team, and to quote from Star Wars, I had "a bad feeling about this..."

 

I do not want to subject myself to a V1 turn off ever again... so my solution has got to stand alone, and not be dependent on third party software which I do not own or hold a license to...   

 

Here is my goodbye to iris thread:

 

http://forum.livingwithiris.com/index.php?/topic/2930-end-of-my-affair-with-iris-v1-was-sweet-but-time-to-move-on/

 

Thanks for your insight.

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