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anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 09, 2016 07:56PM
my brother likes gadgets and has gotten my attention. the bit i'm most interested in is getting some color temp tunable led bulbs and, control them with samsung smartthings hub and vary their temp according to time of day.

apparent you can do _anything_ with sensors, lights, and switches but i'm interested in the actual problems people are solving with this stuff.

what are you using smart home tech for?



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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: Jack D.
Date: April 09, 2016 08:18PM
The smart tech around my house consists of 4 self aware BFD's* that protect my home, car and property. They are self activating based on olfactory and auditory cues and function well even during power outages. Reprogramming these units to learn new functions is voice activated and only requires a few minutes of my time (and a few treats). Cost is relatively low requiring some kibble and a few cookies per day. This service also comes with automatic mail retrieval from anywhere on my property and an assortment of squeek toys for offline amusement.







*Big @#$%& Dogs.



- Jack D.




New tasteless sig coming soon!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2016 08:22PM by Jack D..
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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: testcase
Date: April 09, 2016 08:47PM
A friend spent over a thousand dollars on a Control4 system (supposedly one of the better systems currently available). When it works, he can control the lights, locks, his home entertainment system (which has quite a few components) and possibly the thermostat from a master remote (or any of his iDevices). I believe he could spend even more money and possibly control more "stuff". In use, it seems to be complicated. I somehow inadvertently erased the main remote control when trying to use his home entertainment system facepalm. I have NO idea how I managed to do it and, my friend had NO idea about restoring it. The documentation is very sparse and, he's had to have a service tech come to his home several times for adjustments. If my friend had it to do over again, I doubt he'd bother as it seems like these systems are a good idea which unfortunately have NOT had all the bugs worked out yet.
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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: jdc
Date: April 09, 2016 09:52PM
myq garage door opener

[forums.macresource.com]



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: clay
Date: April 09, 2016 10:38PM
so much of this sort of thing feels more like expensive solutions in search of problems than anything else. I tend to try and keep things more on the simple side, so maybe I'm looking at it a bit pessimistically, though. I just haven't seen the "killer app" that is what I am excited about getting into at this point.
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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: Winston
Date: April 09, 2016 10:39PM
I've had a few things on X-10 over the years, the granddaddy of this stuff. Only thing currently working is a relay that flashes some outside lights if the alarm goes off.

At one time I had a Homeminder system that I used to time when things went on and off (got it for next to nothing, I think at a Radio Shack closeout). At some point it stopped working, and some research showed it had a rechargeable button battery inside that when it dies kills the system. Replaced it with a AA rechargeable, and it worked for a few more years until it stopped putting out a video signal, so I could no longer make changes to anything.

I also have an interface that allows a garage remote to turn on the garage lights, but we had to replace the garage door openers and it no longer works.

I think somewhere I've got an X-10 telephone responder, which allowed you to call in and turn things on or off, and a programmable X-10 controller that has something like a DIN 5 serial port that I've never been able to connection to a Mac.

I've found that even the expensive Leviton X-10 switches did not necessarily last. This has made me very wary of spending a lot of money on any home automation that is hard wired. I won't ever get it, but what I want is a 25 year guarantee, with labor included.

And I want guarantees against hacking, if it's internet enabled. I'm not sure any of the automation systems can give me adequate assurance against hacks.



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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: April 09, 2016 11:10PM
I would like to get a notification on my iPhone when someone pulls into my driveway. I move a little slow due to my back surgeries and I wouldn't mind a head start for the door so people don't have to wait.

My thermostat, Honeywell RTH8580WF, is accessible from my iPhone no matter where I am. I haven't found a reason to use that feature but it did notify me last summer when the AC quit working. If I had been away from home at the time it would have been a useful notification.

My oven can be accessed from my iPhone but I haven't found a use for that. Maybe if I wanted to pre-heat it while driving home? I haven't found a use for that either.

So no X-10 type of home automation here. Just a few gadgets.
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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: sekker
Date: April 09, 2016 11:18PM
We have an Amazon Echo that's serving as a central voice-activated home system.

We just installed a few Philips Hue bulbs that can be controlled both by the Echo and from an iPhone.

It's surprisingly nice to be able to specify lighting and levels via voice.

We also happened to have a Logitech harmony hub. The Echo can use ITTT to turn on the tv and our Apple TV.

It's a start for a simple home system. There's nothing here that we absolutely must have. But the Echo is so good as an assistant, that it's been fun to add to.
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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: April 10, 2016 01:48AM
The only thing that I can imagine would be useful to most folks, and me, is notifications of alarm systems and the control and function of said systems.
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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: April 10, 2016 09:07AM
I believe the foundation of my boss's new home is ELAN Home Systems. He can literally control everything in his home from anywhere. As long as he has his iphone and a cell signal. He can turn lights on and off, adjust climate, open/close shades, monitor his security cameras, control every aspect of his home entertainment system from his phone. Or a web interface. He doesn't actually have any toggle switches in his house. Every room has a touch screen that can adjust climate, lighting, music etc for that room/area. It's pretty awesome.




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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: sekker
Date: April 10, 2016 09:41AM
Quote
bazookaman
I believe the foundation of my boss's new home is ELAN Home Systems. He can literally control everything in his home from anywhere. As long as he has his iphone and a cell signal. He can turn lights on and off, adjust climate, open/close shades, monitor his security cameras, control every aspect of his home entertainment system from his phone. Or a web interface. He doesn't actually have any toggle switches in his house. Every room has a touch screen that can adjust climate, lighting, music etc for that room/area. It's pretty awesome.

Interesting. IMHO, if you aren't using voice control, it's already obsolete.
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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: Winston
Date: April 10, 2016 10:02AM
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.



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Be seeing you.
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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: April 10, 2016 10:04AM
Quote
Winston
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

I can imagine a video of some dude trying to get into his house...
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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: April 10, 2016 12:22PM
Quote
mrbigstuff
Quote
Winston
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

I can imagine a video of some dude trying to get into his house...

Dave's not here man.

(If Hall 9000 had been programmed in Washington state.)
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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: Frank
Date: April 10, 2016 04:19PM
I have a lot of X-10 devices. I use motion sensors to activate lights. A car or person approaching the front or side of the house triggers lighting all around the house. A motion sensor turns on the lights in the master bath and also activates a recirculation pump to provide instant hot water. I can hit a remote button to close the garage door from upstairs if I've forgotten it. One button on the remote turns on several different light switches in the living room and allows dimming of all. Other buttons turn on ceiling fans and allow speed control. Its not a perfect system but the components are cheap and pretty reliable. I also have Sky Link motion activated sensors at the entrance to the driveway and in the mailbox that notify me of cars or people coming in and mail delivery.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2016 04:20PM by Frank.
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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: Carm
Date: April 10, 2016 10:40PM
Installed the NEST in my cousins house. I didn't like it. Found the extra features useless. A programmable thermostat with override features can cover 99% of my AC needs. AC going out notification is the only feature I would have liked. My TWC network is spotty at best and can't rely on that. Especially in my rental.
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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: April 10, 2016 10:51PM
I have a security camera which reports through a base-station that pings my phone and records when motion is detected.

It's fussy and not fun to use, but it's caught some repair guys making an unscheduled visit in violation of my lease and I've got some very cute vids of my cat playing in front of it.

... so it's been useful.



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Re: anyone using 'smart home' tech? What are you doing with it?
Posted by: Done
Date: April 11, 2016 11:21PM
My sister in-laws roommate works for computer chip company, so I asked don't they give you some cool toys? So she went to her room and brought me out a home automation kit, it was about a $400 kit, so I have been adding light switches to it but they are a little pricey. So far I have two wifi cams, motion sensor, Nest thermostat, 2 on/off light dimmers, 3 light switches, leak detector and a open close sensor. Mostly it's a toy for grown ups but it's nice to put switches and lights on schedules, my wife laughs at me playing with my new toys.
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I want...
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: April 12, 2016 05:13AM
...an electronic door viewer to remplace the basic door viewer in my front door.

It would look just like a standard viewer from the outside.

Inside there would be a an optical viewer for 'manual' use, just like always.

There would also be a black box on the door that had the electronics for motion detection through the door viewer itself or a microwave sensor, either of which would recognize a person approaching the door.

The action would trigger a recorder and shoot a few stills, and also send a notification to my 'Phone. From there I could monitor the recording and play back any previously recorded video.

I could also just turn on the camera from my 'Phone to look out if I heard a noise, and remotely initiate recording.

Optionally, I could communicate with someone at the door via the 'Phone, but again, without anything on the outside of the door.

Some have stuff on the outside such as a doorbell, speaker, camera lens, etc., alerting someone to the presence of possible surveillance.

Some don't take any video until the 'doorbell' is pressed. Some take video from the moment motion is sensed but can't send it to a phone.

There are electronic viewers that do some of these things, but none yet that do all of them.




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