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How do I compare HA UI without buying multiple hubs?


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Dear internet:

I am interested in a new home automation hub.


I am disappointed with my current hub


Here is what I need from you: is there a way for me to have tirail of your {name of hub} hub’s interface?


With my current hub I found that there is no way to set the house into a vacation mode which would automatically override scheduled activities.  The only thing I could come up with was to enter each activity and delete all of the days of the week and then when we got back from vacation reverse this.  From what I was able to read before purchasing the product I expected a better UI.


Also I have connected my current hub to some locks. Apparently those same locks (when connected to a different hub) can send out a notification of which user opened the lock.  With my hub (and at least one other) the lock does not report which user opened it.


Finally my hub recently did something very strange and now the only way I have been able to login is to use Chrome in incognito mode. (The guy on the phone told me that I was supposed to set my browser to delete all cookies and autofill info every time I close the browser. Trust me I will never use that setting I’m too lazy (hence the desire for home automation)).


I’m not knocking the manufacturer of the current hub, in fact they have announced a new version with more radios and if that solves the problems I have with the current one I will go with the new version.


I want a 10 day demo:

The way the current hub works is that I create an account and then add a unique device code. I can then program the hub over the internet.  What if I logged into a virtual hub (a unique ID not associated with any actual hardware) and connected virtual devices ie a virtual thermostat or virtual light switch.  Then I could try to build the activities I want.  I could use the actual interface to build the activities and see what the notifications look like.  I could see what is available for a vacation mode setting.  I could see how one device is used to trigger an activity in other devices.  I could see how presence sensors work (I  have heard of presence sensors that think the house is empty if the all of the adults with phones are away, but my youngest still does not have a phone. Similar to a vacation mode I might want a baby sitter mode which overrides certain lights off activities.  Or a late party setting that does something similar.


What I am trying to say is that I was burned by a UI that did not have the features I wanted and expected.  (the radios and individual devices all work fine)  

I am in the market for a new hub, and I want to see the UI in action before I buy.


Back in the days when Software came with a user manual I could have tried reading the manuals.  Since manuals don’t exist anymore I need a trial of some sort.  

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I hear ya!

Great post!

In my dream world, there would be a simulation tool/website, so I could test things.

I am enjoying SmartThings, but it is still a bit complex. I spend a lot of time researching what I want to do before actually implementing it.

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