Home Automation

User Forum Topic
Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 20, 2016 - 11:51pm

What so the engineers here think of home automation? Apple or Google?

What's the future of home automation?

The Home app coming with iOS 10 should cause a lot of people to buy home automation stuff.

Submitted by spdrun on July 21, 2016 - 7:24am.

Spyware, plain and simple. Unless it talks to a device directly via NAT/VPN or ipv6, of course. Goes for Apple, M$, and Google equally.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 21, 2016 - 9:28am.

Yeah, spyware. But I don't care. I want convenience and easy of implementation.

What company will have ease of implementation? I have a second home and I want to control locks, lights, etc... I now have different things and it's not seamless.

Privacy issues raise a lot of questions. Will law enforcement be able to access data to investigate?

Submitted by plm on July 21, 2016 - 1:03pm.

I'm trying to automate things in my house as well and I chose Amazon since I don't carry my smartphone around with me when at home. Several Echo's placed around the house allow music and light switch control via voice commands but they do need to integrate in more devices. I'll be more automated once I install an Ecobee thermostat I just bought.

But to be honest, the main use is music.

I've found the most important thing is ease of use so voice commands is a must for me. Google Home may be interesting when it's available.

Submitted by spdrun on November 8, 2017 - 6:10am.

.

Submitted by dumbrenter on July 21, 2016 - 5:06pm.

spdrun wrote:
Spyware, plain and simple. Unless it talks to a device directly via NAT/VPN or ipv6, of course. Goes for Apple, M$, and Google equally.

Spyware, schmyware... it is all about music. Folks would give away their names, relationships and location on social/dating sites for free... you don't need to mine that from echo

Submitted by spdrun on July 21, 2016 - 5:57pm.

Big difference between putting a hot microphone in every home, and people posting information that they choose to post on social/dating sites.

Also, most social/dating sites are free, so no need for them to be tied to a real identity. A lot of people use burner emails and a second prepaid cell for such things.

BTW - music, schmusic. It's free on Bittorrent, and then it's stored on your own HDD under your control. If you want to support the band, go to a concert, don't buy their songs.

Submitted by moneymaker on July 21, 2016 - 7:53pm.

Was watching Terminator the other day and when Skynet is mentioned just immediately thought about Google. Most people don't have a clue of the power they have to spy. They know where everybody is, where they are going, more so than the government. As far as home automation I would like to have motorized shades and windows that will crack open according to temperature outside compared to inside.

Submitted by spdrun on July 21, 2016 - 8:39pm.

Shades and windows don't need to communicate with anything outside the home.

Submitted by moneymaker on July 21, 2016 - 8:52pm.

Wifi garage door controller? Would anyone use it from afar? Suppose for a McMansion or senile person it might make sense.

Submitted by moneymaker on July 21, 2016 - 9:07pm.

spdrun wrote:
Shades and windows don't need to communicate with anything outside the home.
Wouldn't it be nice though to have all the windows crack open say 6-8 inches when it is cooler outside than inside,then close again when the temp differential started increasing again. Personally wifi jacuzzi would work for me. Had a rough day? Fire that puppy up before leaving work.

Submitted by spdrun on July 21, 2016 - 9:13pm.

Sure, but none of this requires Scroggle, Crapple, Amazon, or M$ to act as intermediaries. Just a few sensors, a hub/brain box, and a few motor controllers.

If there was a common standard for connecting to devices in the home, I shouldn't need to use an intermediary to fire up the jacuzzi either, just connect to my home's router (ideally with an outward-facing static ipv6 addy) and be able to see my Jacuzzi's mobile web interface directly.

Submitted by ltsddd on July 21, 2016 - 9:24pm.

self-cleaning solar panels would be nice....I post this after taking a peak at what MM posted on another thread.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 22, 2016 - 9:52am.

I agree with you spdrun, for my own home. But I allow friends and family to stay at my second home and I need to monitor it, because i can't totally trust other people.

For example, I like the Nest Thermostat because it has an auto away feature. My brothher who has wife and kid uses it too because his family will not set back the thermostat when they leave the house. It's not something you program for a family that is in an out all the time.

The products all require an intermediary, so you got to buy what's available or do without.

Moneymaker, I have the Chamberlain app to open my friend's garage door. Sometimes i stop by to check the mail. It tells you the status of your garage door. Did you ever forget to close your garage door?

Submitted by dumbrenter on July 22, 2016 - 11:11am.

spdrun wrote:
Sure, but none of this requires Scroggle, Crapple, Amazon, or M$ to act as intermediaries. Just a few sensors, a hub/brain box, and a few motor controllers.

If there was a common standard for connecting to devices in the home, I shouldn't need to use an intermediary to fire up the jacuzzi either, just connect to my home's router (ideally with an outward-facing static ipv6 addy) and be able to see my Jacuzzi's mobile web interface directly.

Why don't you just go buy those instead of dissing honest, 'do-no-evil' nice corporates like crapple, amazon etc.?

They need to intermediate on the data to help people save energy because the people are too freaking lazy to shut the lights off or set the thermostat before running off to their low-wage jobs in the morning. They would rather slave away for longer hours and oursource that job to msft or aapl to shut the lights off for them

Submitted by spdrun on July 22, 2016 - 11:35am.

Actually, they don't. CPU power and memory is cheap. No reason for a learning thermostat or controller to need to communicate with the Borg Collective, back and forth.

All data that it needs to develop its program is available locally or via the user's phone.

IPv6 (practical meaning: static IP ranges for all homes) is coming. There shouldn't be any need for an intermediary (other than data theft for profit) once every home is routable. Phone can talk directly to a thermostat, possibly via a VPN.

I'd be willing to pay say 2-3x the price of a Nest for a thermostat that doesn't engage in data rape.

Good stuff here:
http://www.networkthermostat.com/product...

About $450 a device, but WiFi enabled, built in Web server, and cloudfree.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 22, 2016 - 12:19pm.

spdrun, I have used thermostat that have dial up interfaces back in the day.

Nest is the only one with auto away features as far as I know.

True, smart home companies want the data. They are working with utility companies.

SDGE gives out free ecobee thermostats if you allow them to mess with your temperature during peak demand.

Submitted by spdrun on July 22, 2016 - 12:36pm.

Easy enough for that to be a one-way street -- thermostat that's given free to an end-user can be programmed to check a utility company's site once in a while for instructions. It doesn't have to send personal data back.

Haha -- it would be amusing to take a utility's free thermostat, take the discount, then install an SPST switch in parallel :)

Submitted by plm on July 22, 2016 - 12:50pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
spdrun, I have used thermostat that have dial up interfaces back in the day.

Nest is the only one with auto away features as far as I know.

True, smart home companies want the data. They are working with utility companies.

SDGE gives out free ecobee thermostats if you allow them to mess with your temperature during peak demand.

Looked at the ecobee offer from SDGE since I just bought one. The one they are offering is a cheaper model. The Ecobee3 that I bought has the remote temp sensor support which I bought it for and also the auto way feature but not planning on using that.

Submitted by spdrun on July 22, 2016 - 12:55pm.

You can probably add a remote temp sensor by desoldering the existing sensor from the board and connecting it remotely using relatively thick (read: low resistance) wires.

It's likely to be just a thermistor.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 22, 2016 - 12:59pm.

The remote sensor is useless, if you ask me.
I'm assuming that your only one 1 AC unit, or 2 at most.

Unless you have fancy mechanical dampers, all the remote sensor will do is make the AC run more to cool that one room where the remote sensor is located. That in turn will affect the temp in the rest of the house.

BTW the more fanciful thermostat use the same smart phone interface.
If you get the sdge free thermostat, you get a little credit on your utility bill also. You can always bypass the temp they set for you.

Submitted by spdrun on July 22, 2016 - 1:04pm.

Or just connect the thermostat to the Internet, but not to the HVAC unit, then use a different 'stat for the actual control.

I think the remote sensors are good for certain situations, like if a thermostat is mounted in an area (kitchen or near a window) that doesn't reflect the true temperature of the rest of the home.

It might make sense to have it in a certain place to maximize ease of access (or because the home was built that way with the wiring), but that doesn't make putting the sensor there a good idea.

Submitted by plm on July 22, 2016 - 1:08pm.

Remote sensor is important for me because its a large house and I've got the vents adjusted to give more cooling/heat to the master bedroom. But the thermostat is not in the master so its really difficult to dial in the proper temp so I have to get it up and adjust it when its too cold or hot. Sensor would fix the problem of measuring an accurate temp in the master while the Echo should let me adjust without touching a thing.

Downstairs unit, I don't care about since its hardly ever used.

Perfect use case for me but not for everyone.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 22, 2016 - 1:17pm.

Spd, The number displayed on the thermostat is just a number. Just set it to to whatever is comfortable.

If the thermostat is somewhere where there is no airflow, then I can see when a remote sensor would make sense.

My dad has the free ecobee. SDGE might mess with you by a couple degrees. Not a big deal in San Diego where the weather is mild. That might be a deal breaker in hot/humid areas.

Makes sense plm. If I were you, I would fish new wires down the attic and relocate thermostat to master bedroom

Submitted by plm on July 22, 2016 - 1:23pm.

Weather outside affects the temp where the thermostat is so its not possible to use a single temp setting. On hotter days, need to make the temp higher to avoid freezing.

I'm not very handy. I think its easier to replace the thermostat than to relocate since you need to fish wires and also patch the old hole. New thermostat also gives voice control. Hoping to program the thermostat to use the remote sensor when it detects a person in that room and just the main thermostat if I'm elsewhere.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 22, 2016 - 2:05pm.

Actually, it is a single setting because the main thermostat operates the unit. The remote sensors just tell the main thermostat what they want. Essentially the main thermostat ignores its own reading until the remote sensors are satisfied.

Submitted by spdrun on July 22, 2016 - 2:19pm.

You mean, just ignores its own reading. It uses the remote sensor, period -- just ignores the internal sensor entirely.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 22, 2016 - 6:14pm.

Yeah. I don't have remote sensors, but i am assuming that, with remote sensors, in cooling mode, the AC will run until such time the coolest temp requested by a sensor is reached, regardless of the temp in other parts of the house.

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