Why I am moving away from using SmartThings?
Posted On 2019-10-09
When I first saw SmartThings, when it was a kickstarter, I was enamored with it. This tiny device, with a an IOS app and a development IDE, I knew I had to have one. It was even better when it came to fruition.
I was instantly hooked on home automation, learning what I could about zigbee and z-wave. I started investing, at $40 a device, in z-wave light switched, plugs, motion sensors, and contact switches. The community was writing drivers for a lot of devices which opened up the possibilities. At the time of this writing about half of my house has been wired, with parts to finish most when time and motivation permits.
Then the next version of the hub came out and it even potentially offered even more capabilities. Battery backup was an awesome addition, so if the power dipped the hub would not reboot. And the big one, the promise of local processing at a later date.
What happened? Well to put it simply the version 3 hub came out and Samsung removed the battery backup and all processing still happens in the cloud.
While the battery was a nice feature and I did have issues with batteries corroding it was the lack of local processing that finally turned me away from them. This day with powerful minicomputers like the Raspberry PI, Edison, etc. There is no excuse we do not have local processing.
In the day were peoples information is the commodity, I do not want my information collected and and mined for some kind of analytics. While I do not think that when I turn my lights on and off is or should be considered a state secret. I do believe that all of us these days are responsible to be vigilant about our data and who collects it.
I have also started looking at replacing some devices from z-wave to WiFi with open sourced firmware, that again does NOT report up to the cloud for processing or analytics.
I am not completely off of the SmartThings hub. I still have to switch over the z-wave locks and the door/window contacts. This is a chore that I work on a little bit at a time, as not only do I have to pair them to the new system, but setup the automations for them as well. But rest assured it will get done! Someday.