Originally Posted by cubesys
The holy grail is a remote that can control everything - lighting, HVAC, AV, all PC and Mac applications. The reality is that it will take a lot of work to get everything together under one application.
While I too wish for such a holy grail however the issue goes back to the same problems that have plagued the HA people for years.
- X10 - Cheap, mildly robust devices, limited status communication
- Insteon - Expensive, good status communication, hardware failures left right and center.
The other two formats Zigbee and Z-Wave I will not speak to directly since neither bothered to recognize the OS X market at all (shame on them) and their prices were (still are?) even more expensive than Insteon. What I can't / won't speak to is the robustness of their devices... All I have any 1st hand experience with is my Insteon cycle of madness... AKA:
installing / programming/ failure/ removing / sending back / reinstalling / reprogramming / failure / removing / sending back /installing ...
Needless to say after the first 10 or so different switch failures my wife has demanded that we have WORKING switches in our home or there'll be hell to pay! So now I have about 14 switches left (out of 25?) and as they fail I throw out another $30 piece of junk and replace it with a non-smart $1.89 switch that 'just works'. That was a mildly expensive lesson... $1,500ish if I had to guess once you add up the software and desktop controllers and lamplinks etc.. maybe even closer to $2k.
Never again would I buy or recommend an INSTEON / SmartHome device. They stole too much money from me already. The funny thing is if you read their forums people are still having issues with their products and the response is 'we've extended the warrantee to X years so you can just send it back and get a new one ... ' but how on earth do you explain to your wife that these 4 switches are gonna get taken out cause they broke and I'll install the new ones once they come...
Oh and I can't imagine how much this woulda cost me if I hired someone to install the stuff for me...
Anyway... I'm all for the iPhone / iPod Touch AND iPAD becoming IR remotes for HT types devices. TVs, DVDs, Receivers, Cable Boxes, etc... but becoming an 'everything remote' doesn't seem to realistic given...
- My 'cry me a river' story above
- The numerous competitors and incompatibilities
- The excessive cost for all of them
- The lack of products, some might not have fan controls, others thermostat control, sprinkler control, etc, etc, etc.
It all makes for an unreliable, incomplete and expensive 'neat hobby' that anyone with a wife will have a never ending series of arguments about how this stuff just doesn't work.
I've been a HA fan for ... forever... and this sad picture I paint is pretty realistic. Normal people will ALWAYS reach under a lamp to turn it on/off... and none of the systems have even attempted to deal with that. Until they do they aren't ready for prime time. You can't expect someone to stop doing that... its been burned into our behavior since the first time we could reach the lamp.
I would love to see Apple take on this stuff... I can only imagine how well they'd design it.