Realistic ETA for a functional Arcus
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Hey, all!

I’ve got about 40 1st gen devices and for that reason have been  watching the Arcus and Systronics updates closely.

I’ve decided that Systronics probably isn’t going to be ready to roll by the IRIS shutdown and am wondering if the same is likely to be true of Arcus. I guess I’m just unclear as to what exactly the code going open-source will mean for users. I know thegillion has worked tons of magic already, I just still have the folllowing questions:

1: Will V2 hubs possibly be useable? (Or v1 for that matter)

2. I’m assuming there’s no chance of an app, right?

3. Is professional monitoring an eventual realistic possibility?

4. Would Arcus have all of the same features as IRIS does/did?

5. Anybody have a guess if there could be something functional as a possibility by the IRIS shutdown? (If not, I may have to pick up Ring). 

Thanks in advance! 

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I can not speak authoritatively for the project but I can speak for what I have seen here, and on the Official Iris forum to hopefully give you a clue about what is going on here...

 

1: Will V2 hubs possibly be useable? (Or v1 for that matter)

From what I have seen I believe the V2 hub is the targeted hub, however I wouldn't be at all shocked to see the V1 hub supported either. Thegillion has made explicit mention that they are trying to keep support for the V2 hub so I trust that is the intent moving forward.

2. I’m assuming there’s no chance of an app, right?

I wouldn't make that assumption. It's possible, but not entirely likely that this will end up entirely web browser interface based, but as I understand the intent, it is to salvage as much of the original Iris as possible.

3. Is professional monitoring an eventual realistic possibility?

Possiblity, sure, likelyhood, that's another story. However, a good business opportunity is afoot for sure...

4. Would Arcus have all of the same features as IRIS does/did?

I would count on there being a concentrated effort to make this happen, however there is no telling until the code review is done. I am sure Lowes has to remove code that other vendors own, and remove any trademarks / branding of their own before the release it open sourced. Some features may be proprietary and may not carry over. Time will tell.

5. Anybody have a guess if there could be something functional as a possibility by the IRIS shutdown? (If not, I may have to pick up Ring). 

The likelyhood isn't high. We haven't seen the code release from Lowes yet, and then the project team hasn't had a chance to fill the holes that Lowes will leave in that code...  This takes some time. I am not sure how long the team will take, mind you once this goes open source, this will be on an unpaid basis. With any luck, and any smarts the team will be starting a non profit foundation to handle the business end of things and do some fundraising to allow for this to be a paid effort to speed things up. I personally would donate for sure!

13 hours ago, Phatalbert1000 said:

Hey, all!

I’ve got about 40 1st gen devices and for that reason have been  watching the Arcus and Systronics updates closely.

I’ve decided that Systronics probably isn’t going to be ready to roll by the IRIS shutdown and am wondering if the same is likely to be true of Arcus. I guess I’m just unclear as to what exactly the code going open-source will mean for users. I know thegillion has worked tons of magic already, I just still have the folllowing questions:

1: Will V2 hubs possibly be useable? (Or v1 for that matter)

2. I’m assuming there’s no chance of an app, right?

3. Is professional monitoring an eventual realistic possibility?

4. Would Arcus have all of the same features as IRIS does/did?

5. Anybody have a guess if there could be something functional as a possibility by the IRIS shutdown? (If not, I may have to pick up Ring). 

Thanks in advance! 

 

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1: Will V2 hubs possibly be useable? (Or v1 for that matter)

V2 and V3 hubs only not V1 as they where on AlertMe service and that is gone.

2. I’m assuming there’s no chance of an app, right?

I am sure there will be a new app but the IrisByLowes app will be dead. Once Arcus goes live the domain arcuswebportal.com will have the Iris Web Portal on it with a server switch for whatever server you want.

3. Is professional monitoring an eventual realistic possibility?

I would say no but it may happen.

4. Would Arcus have all of the same features as IRIS does/did?

It would support most if not all of the Iris labeled devices and then open devices like GE switches should work too. 

5. Anybody have a guess if there could be something functional as a possibility by the IRIS shutdown? (If not, I may have to pick up Ring). 

They are still waiting on the 3rd party to review it.

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On ‎2‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 11:47 AM, thegillion said:

4. Would Arcus have all of the same features as IRIS does/did?

It would support most if not all of the Iris labeled devices and then open devices like GE switches should work too. 

Does that mean it will be limited to just the Iris branded and the GE devices? That's how I am reading your answer to Q4.

It's gonna need to be more 'open' than that to be successful or accepted.

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6 hours ago, sparc said:

Does that mean it will be limited to just the Iris branded and the GE devices? That's how I am reading your answer to Q4.

It's gonna need to be more 'open' than that to be successful or accepted.

Good point, for example non Iris branded, but sold for and as compatible with iris devices such as the Utilitech sirens, the Wyze tilt sensors and hinge sensors etc...

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Not to rain on anyones parade, but waiting for Arcus to become a viable, usable platform once again is something that will likely be measured in months, if not years.  If at all...  Lowe's never promised they would release anything, and qualified even that statement using the term "portions".  

For starters, they'll need to fix or strip anything that the security audit flags.  Then strip out any code they don't have exclusive rights to (i.e. did not write) or that is not licensed for open-source release.  Once those things are done, there may not be enough left to resurrect a working system, or at least one resembling what Iris was, without significant development effort..  I actually can see Arcus being released purely as an HA framework, and not a set of ready-to-compile code.

That said, most Z-Wave and Zigbee devices follow common standards so those devices should be fairly easy to maintain support for.  V1 devices too.  I am already playing around with some Python code to control the V1 devices, so that's fairly do-able.   I doubt Lowe's won't release any code until after the shutdown.  To do so would put the security of the current system at risk and open the door to potential hacking and lawsuits.  It'll probably be a while before this speculation can be put to rest.

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An encouraging development... there is code for an Arcus IOS and Android app at GitHub. I haven’t looked at it other than to see that it is there

I am looking forward to the open source code.  I would be most happy to get a minimaly functioning system for self monitoring running. Realistically, I don’t thIs is going to happen quickly but I have a Raspberry Pi, a zigbee stick and a z wave stick and I am going to see what I can do. Out of curiosity, does anyone know what language Arcus code is written in? C++, python, java? Is anyone planning a group effort for arcus development?

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17 hours ago, Eddie said:

An encouraging development... there is code for an Arcus IOS and Android app at GitHub. I haven’t looked at it other than to see that it is there

I am looking forward to the open source code.  I would be most happy to get a minimaly functioning system for self monitoring running. Realistically, I don’t thIs is going to happen quickly but I have a Raspberry Pi, a zigbee stick and a z wave stick and I am going to see what I can do. Out of curiosity, does anyone know what language Arcus code is written in? C++, python, java? Is anyone planning a group effort for arcus development?

I'm pretty new to github, but it seems the source code is there,  licensed under hte Apache license.  But who released it? I have to assume that this is the first comit done by the Iris / Lowes team. 

And while being an absolute wet blanket, IrisUsers has some valid points. But to naysay their naysaying, as long as they release some of the pieces of the puzzle, and there is interest from developers and a movement toward an open platform, I do believe this can and will gain some traction. Yes it will take some time, and lots of input from devs, but all is not lost, but no, you will not likely have a working alternative by the time Lowes turns off the lights on Iris.

For now, I am getting the alerts I need via Ring, and know when / if there is anyone, or anything on my property I should concern myself with, and I have the ability to trigger a siren and contact the law... 

There is a real opportunity here. I and others are willing to donate our work to make this happen. It appears that Thegillion is kind of spearheading the efforts, or at least locking down the domain names. I have already let them know about my availability, I know a couple of Java devs that can help as well... 

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I have downloaded both the Android and IOS code.   It seems like there's a lot there.   Had some trouble compiling the Android code.   No experience with compiling IOS, but from a quick scan of what's there the IOS code looks more sane!

 

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2 hours ago, BigHoss said:

And while being an absolute wet blanket, IrisUsers has some valid points. But to naysay their naysaying, as long as they release some of the pieces of the puzzle, and there is interest from developers and a movement toward an open platform, I do believe this can and will gain some traction. Yes it will take some time, and lots of input from devs, but all is not lost, but no, you will not likely have a working alternative by the time Lowes turns off the lights on Iris.

This wet blanket has been doing this a heck of a lot longer than you have.  My experiences proved accurate when I predicted the demise of Iris 3 years ago for the mostly the same reasons that it died.  

A lot of devs?  The only one I've read who has any interest is Gill..  That is a big lift for a single person, even one as capable as him.  Call me whatever childish names you wish, but the truth is anyone who believes that someone is going to have near-functionally equivalent system to Iris within 6 months is delusional.  

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2 hours ago, IrisUsers said:

This wet blanket has been doing this a heck of a lot longer than you have.  My experiences proved accurate when I predicted the demise of Iris 3 years ago for the mostly the same reasons that it died.  

A lot of devs?  The only one I've read who has any interest is Gill..  That is a big lift for a single person, even one as capable as him.  Call me whatever childish names you wish, but the truth is anyone who believes that someone is going to have near-functionally equivalent system to Iris within 6 months is delusional.  

I go back to the open sourcing of Blender back in 2002 - 2003. I may not have the deep history within home automation, or DIY home security, but I do have a deep background in open source projects.

You are making an awful lot of assumptions based on no direct evidence, just conjecture and personal feelings. No doubt based on your experience, and I am not discounting that. 

What I am saying is it ain't over 'till the fat lady sings. Blender went directly from a proprietary product to open source with very little rework. The commercial company wanted to simply stop supporting / developing it and walked away. 

No Lowes didn't PROMISE anything useful would be released, but they certainly alluded to an open source release. Depending on how complete it is, and how messed up it is will result in how much work it takes to get it going again, or making use of the abandoned code. 

There IS interest in keeping this going, and a greater interest overall in making for an open DIY Home Automation / Security platform that is not vendor locked. 

You are absolutely and positively correct in saying this project is a huge lift for one person. Thegillion has had offers of assistance that have not been replied to yet. There are many skills, not just development involved in starting, and running an open source project. Not the least of which managing the project and getting the help needed for the project. Instead of naysaying, it might go a lot further to simply say this will be hard to do.  That I agree with, impossible? Not exactly, and a guaranteed way to insure failure is to not even make an attempt. 

Depending on the intent of Lowes, and if they see value in holding code close, or relasing it based on proprietary, or legal reasons I.E. someone else owns and they are using via license this or that hunk of code, they can either release it all minus branding and trademarks upon shutdown of Iris, they can release absolutely nothing ever, or some point in between the two extremes. The fact that they are bothering to even open up the possibility of open sourcing their Iris code and paying a third party for an independent code review tends to make me think it is their intent to release as much as possible, as soon as is securely reasonable.

Is a drop in ready to go open replacement going to be ready to go when Lowes turns off Iris? Absolutely not. They haven't fully released the code yet, and likely won't until after they shut down Iris for proprietary and security reasons.  Will this be ready within say 6 months? I have no way of knowning, and unless you have some sort of special insight into Iris that the rest of us do not know about, you have no way of knowing either. Again you are only guessing. 

And lastly, I didn't say "A lot of devs" I stated that I know a couple of Java devs. A couple is not a lot. 

I think the issue is one of perspective. And perhaps I am misreading your intent, the written word is often a poor means of communication.  The perceived tone I get from you is one of "all is lost, don't bother". My perspective that I am trying to communicate is, "Be patient, see what is released, and dig in to help get this done if something somewhat useful gets released".  Glass half empty vs. glass half full point of view thing I would say.

So again I say, while it isn't looking exactly awesome, all isn't necessarily lost, when you think that all is lost, remember...

On November 3rd 1948 the morning Chicago Daily Tribune headline read "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN"

We all, at least should, know how that worked out...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewey_Defeats_Truman

So hang in there, and wait for the fat lady to sing.

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On 3/1/2019 at 5:48 PM, BigHoss said:

I think the issue is one of perspective. And perhaps I am misreading your intent, the written word is often a poor means of communication.  The perceived tone I get from you is one of "all is lost, don't bother". My perspective that I am trying to communicate is, "Be patient, see what is released, and dig in to help get this done if something somewhat useful gets released".  Glass half empty vs. glass half full point of view thing I would say.

 

I am as much as a Hater on Lowes as the rest of the members here, but seriously why is "IrisUsers" still on this forum? You left Iris 3-4 years ago, why do you come back here to continue to complain about how much Iris sucks and how we are all fools. You want us to bow down to you because you had the vision that Lowes would eventually shut down Iris? Not Going to happen! You told us 4 years ago the sky was falling, and you were wrong for 4 years straight. Finally it happens and you continue to gloat here. You are adding nothing here. move on to someplace else unless you want to contribute something.

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On 3/2/2019 at 4:42 AM, sparc said:

Okay that's funny right there I don't care who you are...

Sadly the analogy is somewhat imperfect. The immediate battle might be slowed down, or even lost, but the war is far from over. 

 

A naval reference might make more sense... The ship we are on (iris) has a huge hole in it, but we have teams that are trying to seal that hole, and pump the water taken on back into the ocean, there is another ship, say Smartthings, but just about any proprietary platform would fit the bill, is more or less Shroedingers cat of ships. It's either sinking, or its not, and the only way to know is to jump onboard and see if you are getting wet...

The way I see it, the whole smarthome market is right now in a disaterous state, with proprietary platforms popping up all the time, and those same platform vendors appearing and failing at a shockingly fast pace. The only way I see long term survivability in this market, and honestly a less abusive approach to consumers, is to have a set of established open tools that everyone can use. Zwave and Zigbee without the proprietary extensions would have been a fantastic start,  and hubs that implement those standard sets of features. So for example you can mix ring cameras with a smartthings hub and Iris contact sensors etc... 

A good example is I can use an HP printer on a Dell computer with no problem. I should have the same sort of compatibility with home automation and security. I know it's a lot to ask, but consider it like say the hubs would be akin to a PC, with the required radios etc... And a general purpose operating system optimized for HA / Security. Each vendor would provide drivers just like the various vendors of PC hardware do, and then the UI software and quality of the hardware would be the differentiation space between vendors. Say some vendors provide contact sensors with heat, and maybe humidity sensing capacity, 

The problem at this stage is, each player in the game right now wants to be king of the hill, and by means of proprietary extensions, and designed in incompatibilities, we end up with a mess of tiny hills, that are really no more than piles of sand, that are unstable, and unable to withstand the wind shifts of the market place and do not provide a secure foundation for consumers.  The approach I am talking about is building a MUCH bigger hill, out of much more solid materials where even though there would be more entities vying to be king of that hill, there is room for many more on the hill itself...

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VHS or Betamax...who will win? Only time will tell, and did. In the end they both ended up in the same place.

Apple or IBM-PC who won? Depends on who you ask. Totally different marketing strategies, be a hog and keep it all to yourself or license the heck out of what you developed and sit back collect the rewards.

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On 3/3/2019 at 1:16 PM, mikeyc said:

I am as much as a Hater on Lowes as the rest of the members here, but seriously why is "IrisUsers" still on this forum? You left Iris 3-4 years ago, why do you come back here to continue to complain about how much Iris sucks and how we are all fools.

As far as my contribution? I’ve assisted over 30 people in their migrations to other platforms since the Iris announcement in January which is why I am here.  Don’t like what I say, don’t respond to my posts., I won’t be offended by your silence.

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Anybody know what this fellow on the irisbylowes forums is talking about????
   
New Member
 
4 hours ago

 

Arcus open source now available

It does appear that all of the open source software is now available!  Now the question is "what to do with it?"

Can I load it on a linux machine and use it as is, or does something else have to happen?

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1 hour ago, joeses said:
Anybody know what this fellow on the irisbylowes forums is talking about????
   
New Member
 
4 hours ago

 

Arcus open source now available

It does appear that all of the open source software is now available!  Now the question is "what to do with it?"

Can I load it on a linux machine and use it as is, or does something else have to happen?

There is a lot more that needs to happen. WIthout even glancing at the code, there is a cloud component to it, that would have to be set up, and the rest of the pieces would need to be pointed to the cloud part. Any missing holes in the code need to be filled in, and tons of testing needs to happen.

The code right now is sitting at https://github.com/arcus-smart-home

Anyone can grab it, and have a good run at it. I'd rather see this handled in an organized, sensible fashion, with one project working with multiple team members trying to achieve a common goal, nothing of that type has visibly emerged yet, but there are hints and whispers of such a project... Be patient..

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Hi,

I'm new to this forum (and Iris in general), but I worked over last weekend to get Arcus setup, so I want to let you know that what Lowe's put out is reasonably complete (I'll get into more detail in a sec). The challenge is making it approachable for more people to setup - at present, onboarding took me about 20 hours to go through and troubleshoot all of the various issues that came up. My deployment is also still not stable - Lowe's left out their production configuration (for good reason), so it takes quite a bit of operational work to ensure that the system is always operating.

Anyway, here's what I've confirmed is working:

* Contact sensors (first gen)
* Motion sensors (first gen)
* Leak detector
* Siren (paired at least)
* First and second generation smart plug
* Radio Thermostat
* Schlage Deadbolt lock
* Iris 2nd generation hub

And I'm sure plenty more devices, since there's really nothing unique about Arcus v.s. Iris in this respect (except for the few companies that didn't want their source released). Obviously the iOS and Android apps don't work since they're hard-coded to work against Lowe's servers, and I don't have time to work on fixing those (though I'd be grateful if someone else could). I've already gotten some questions about the wifi smart plugs - I don't have one to test against, and it's not a priority for me to look into at the moment, but it sounds like they can be made to work as well, so don't throw them away.

I do not plan to host Arcus for everyone, since the costs and liability/effort involved are significant, however I do plan to make all my notes and contributions public for now, with the caveat that I'm likely to add custom functionality or prioritize other factors like security over other priorities that the community may have.

If you are interested in setting up Arcus yourself, please review https://github.com/wl-net/arcusplatform/blob/master/docs/quickstart.md as I continue to work on it. Please let me know if anything is missing that is not configuration related. There is still a considerable amount that is not documented, especially around the configuration files.

Here's some "proof" (please note that not all of the services are operating, just the important ones to my use case):

docker.thumb.png.6f73c4cf5736915f73e9fab61a345fa5.png

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14 minutes ago, awraynor said:

Iris is a prime example of you don't appreciate what you have until it's gone. 

The Iris interface was definitely designed for ease of use, but the system itself was constrained by corporate bureaucracy.  With Hubitat I have learned to appreciate the true potential of home automation and security.

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I can see why they struggled with v2 - the tech stack is very complicated, but it’s reasonably well thought out. Adding features is hard in this infrastructure, but once done has a better chance of working reliably and scaling out to all of Lowe’s users. I think I can overcome some of those limitations by bridging Arcus to my collection of existing python services, so I can support Insteon and other platforms.

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8 hours ago, AndrewX192 said:

I can see why they struggled with v2 - the tech stack is very complicated, but it’s reasonably well thought out. Adding features is hard in this infrastructure, but once done has a better chance of working reliably and scaling out to all of Lowe’s users. I think I can overcome some of those limitations by bridging Arcus to my collection of existing python services, so I can support Insteon and other platforms.

I got a ver 3 hub, and it really seemed to work great. I'm pretty sure it's range was a whole lot better. Seriously a crime that the system got dumped so fast after being released. I wish I could understand the stuff @AndrewX192 has done, but it's just over my head. Hopefully if you get things going, it might be possible to make it all easier to understand. Glad you are doing something though :)

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