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Author Topic: Will the Almond+ work with Vera Z-wave controllers?  (Read 8450 times)

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Offline Kwincy

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Will the Almond+ work with Vera Z-wave controllers?
« on: August 02, 2013, 06:58:56 am »
I currently have a Vera 3 controller for my z-wave network, and I'm wondering if the Almond+ can replace it or act as a secondary controller?  Will we be able to completely control the router via the LCD jf it is touch enabled?


LGNilsson

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Re: Will the Almond+ work with Vera Z-wave controllers?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2013, 10:41:46 am »
As to your first question, technically it should be possible, but it's something we have to test as yet. It's possible to have multiple controllers, with one being the master and the others acting more like range extenders.

As to the second question, you should be able to control most features of the Almond+ via the touch screen, but there will be a few options where you'd have to resort to the web interface, just as with the Almond.

Offline viffer98

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Re: Will the Almond+ work with Vera Z-wave controllers?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2013, 11:10:50 am »
Hello,

I also have a Vera 3 and I hope this testing is high on your priorities list.  I know many of your backers (from Kickstarter) are members of the Vera community because we have several threads on the Vera forums with people talking about Almond+ and the fact they are backers.  In fact I learned about Almond+ and decided to be a backer from the Vera forums.

LGNilsson

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Re: Will the Almond+ work with Vera Z-wave controllers?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2013, 11:20:37 am »
Let's put it this way, we have some Vera Lite's that we're testing with, so hopefully this should put your mind at ease for now.

Offline Backgammon Player

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Re: Will the Almond+ work with Vera Z-wave controllers?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2013, 03:57:21 am »
I currently have a Vera 3 controller for my z-wave network, and I'm wondering if the Almond+ can replace it or act as a secondary controller?  Will we be able to completely control the router via the LCD jf it is touch enabled?

I also have a Vera 3, but I backed Almond to REPLACE Vera, which I consider to be overly complex, and by a lot.   What is the advantage in combining systems? 

Offline AARON

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Re: Will the Almond+ work with Vera Z-wave controllers?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2013, 12:07:39 pm »
I have a Vera3 and also backed Almond+ hoping it would be a better device. The Vera hardware is fine but the general usability (UI, event system, etc) is total crap. In order for me to replace the Vera, Almond+ will need to support both Insteon & Zwave.

I, and many others, cannot give up Insteon for a few reason:
1) MANY more device options with Insteon that Zwave does not have
2) Insteon is much more reliable - Zwave has issues when you get devices "too far" apart, or too many, or too few devices... causing missed commands, loss of communications completely and network healing required fix these. I have 30 Insteon devices, not a single missed command.
3) Many 'core' Insteon devices are much better than Zwave alternatives, in several ways - perfect example is Insteon Dimmers: they are less expensive, higher quality and more features then Zwave dimmers.

Vito

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Re: Will the Almond+ work with Vera Z-wave controllers?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2013, 12:45:04 pm »
I've also been using Vera devices for the past few years, and have built up a home automation system around it with over 80 devices.  I've also just purchased the Elk security system that has a Z-Wave interface.  I'm really hoping that I'll be able to replace my Vera3 and develop a Windows Phone 8 app as well as a web service that can integrate with the Almond+.

-Vito

Offline Pestus

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Re: Will the Almond+ work with Vera Z-wave controllers?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 12:07:33 pm »
I'm a big user of Micasaverde systems.  I've been installing them as a security professional for a year or so.  I agree, the UI is very bad.  I don't agree that it's overly complex, however.  I think that versatility (even if clunky) is the entire value of the system for a guy like me.  Without those off the wall features, it isn't a true HA system.  It's got to have as many options available to it as it can.

One thing that Micasaverde lacks is a proper control keypad.  I've toyed with rigging Tasker and Nexus7s with Paranoid Android... but it's time consuming, costly, and can be a service nightmare for a businessman who enjoys reliable installations.  Almond+ would solve some of these issues...  but I'm getting the impression that they are going to take the same tact as Micasaverde did.

It's tough to be everything to everyone.  Especially with a small company, trying valiantly to get their product to market on time.  It's hard enough to satisfy production demand as well as trying to incorporate support for the five-thousand-three-hundred-forty-two different devices that their users are requesting.  The only viable solution is to do exactly as Micasaverde and other HA platforms did;  Support the community itself, and aid users develop their own drivers for this hardware.

If Almond+ sticks to just Z-wave and Zigbee support, it's not much different than something like the upcoming Piper.  If it can manage to get enough drivers for other systems in a timely manner upon launch, it has a great hope to be a stellar alternative to established HA companies.  I'd switch, and I'd put in dozens of them.

They key approach that differs from companies like Micasaverde, is that their success in integration occurred by accident.  Promote the developers, and look to the professionals to guide them on what works, what doesn't, and how to go about it.  Micasaverde isn't even aware guys like me exist, yet I've purchased a dozen or so of their units, for my clients in 2013 alone.  When counting my colleagues and competitors in the industry, we've probably put in a hundred or so of them last year.  That's likely a large chunk of all sales of home automation systems in my small city.  The infuriation I feel when I see a killer feature isn't fully implemented is palpable.  All because the end user who wrote the driver for free got bored with that project, and never updated it. 

Sorry, I'm ranting.  A bit off topic as well.  Forgive me.

LGNilsson

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Re: Will the Almond+ work with Vera Z-wave controllers?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2014, 10:37:45 pm »
I can see why so many people are using the Vera's, but they have a lot of work to do if they want to become consumer friendly.
According to a company rep I talked to at CES, they have a new firmware coming as well as a new mobile app, we'll see how this works out.

What kind of keypad are you looking for? It appears to be for some kind of integration in the mobile app and if you could expand on your needs, it's something I could let our software team know about, if it makes sense to add it as a feature in the mobile apps.

It is indeed very hard to make a device that will appeal to everyone and that's why we're focusing on ease of use from day one, but with the ability of adding more advanced features over time as we understand our customers demands. The Almond+ is our starting point in the HA market and we'll be issuing regular software updates for it and we'll strive to continually improve the product. We've already promised to add support for new devices and sensors as needed by our customers and we do also hope to be able to build a solid developer community over time.

What exactly do you need support for? Saying you need support for something without being specific doesn't help us understand your needs and it makes it impossible to say if it's something we'll be able to do or not.

I'm pretty sure the guys at Vera has a pretty good idea about people like yourself, at least that's the impression I got at CES, but their focus as a business is on their whitebox business which you might not be aware of? See http://www.mios.com/
That said, I guess you're not large enough to do your own software customization, so that's where something like the Vera or Almond+ has a much bigger appeal to you.

Anyhow, I hope we can work with you and that the Almond+ will suit your and your customers needs.


 

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