On our most recent IoT Podcast episode, David called in to our voicemail hotline with a question about smart home hubs. He has several in his home and has noticed that when he upgrades the hub, he often has to deal with some issues. These range from device integrations to previously configured automations.
I know what David is experiencing from back in the days I had multiple smart home hubs in my home. I remember having to spend anywhere from 10 minutes to more than an hour fixing things after a hub update. For that reason, and because hubs use my precious electrical outlets, I’ve gotten away from smart home hubs as much as possible. Stacey, on the other hand, is still living in the world of hubs and can sympathize with David.
Early versions of hubs were often software upgraded when newer hub hardware hit the market. Philips Hue, Samsung, and Wink were pretty good about making sure early adopters weren’t stranded. Well, as least as much as they could be given changing standards and device APIs.
These days, there’s less of an effort on the part of many smart hub vendors to continue that practice, although there are some notable exceptions such as Hubitat and the Home Assistant software folks. As smart home standards have changed, we’re moving more towards a software-based smart home, which may be the reason for this. Additionally, there’s less of a return on the investment for hardware makers to keep their hubs up with the times.
Even today though, this is still a challenge. When adding new devices to her smart home, Stacey still sees some breakage which requires maintenance on her part. However, she believes that the new Matter standard will vastly improve, if not mostly eliminate this problem.
Moving away from Z-Wave devices is another option since they can be finicky when adding or removing them from a network. If you’ve ever had to deal with excluding all of your Z-Wave devices and then re-add them to your network, you know what I mean.
Keep in mind that with devices relying heavily on cloud integrations, patience can be a virtue. Sometimes it takes a day or two for these to start working properly in your smart home. So don’t rush to fix your smart home issues after adding new devices or upgrading your hub.
To hear David’s question in full, as well as our discussion on the topic, tune in to the IoT podcast below: