Can you get smart-plugs that don't need an app? Can you get smart-plugs that don't need an app? - Page 3
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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paralytic View Post
    USB is a standard but not one that has stayed static except in name, and Apple have still done their own thing with lightning etc.
    Ah yes, the idea of having a connector that could go in either way round. First they did lightning, then they went to Thunderbolt, which became the base for USB-C.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paralytic View Post
    VHS, DVD - there was a battle before these finally "won" (Betamax) and there was a period of overlap where many co-existed and people were left with defunct technology.
    Yes, Betamax - the choice of professionals, and still the preference in analogue broadcasting. VHS won the battle by being cheap and thus having a greater uptake by the porn industry.


    Quote Originally Posted by Paralytic View Post
    Calendar formats? Er, UK v US?
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  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by WTFH View Post
    Yes, Betamax - the choice of professionals, and still the preference in analogue broadcasting. VHS won the battle by being cheap and thus having a greater uptake by the porn industry..
    I remember it used to be the case that the porn industry drove many technical advances (eg, Video distribution over IP, DRM etc) but I'm not sure if that is still the case.

    I'm sure some here will be able to enlighten us...

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paralytic View Post
    As per above.

    They may well end up agreeing on a single common interface, but it will not be "a standard" for IoT. Do you really think each will not still progress its own agenda, and the market will still have Z-Wave, Zigbee etc
    Every standard we have now was once "the new standard" that had to fight all the proprietary mess.

    If you look at previous decades, we can see companies do benefit from standards. You only have to look at the browser. It took quite a long time, but eventually the big companies realised it was in their own interests to have browsers standards-compliant, and those big companies were part of the group who worked on the standards. Google made 'standards' just for them, and everyone else agreed to adopt them, and so on.
    Competing standards lead to customer confusion, which is a barrier to entry.

    I'd like to think history will repeat but how many years it will take...
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  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladymuck View Post
    That feels worse!
    I'm largely resigned my data has to go via someone's server, I'd like to at least know who it is and not have it bounce around some random Chinese servers. Privacy aside, the risk is they just stop supporting your device or go bust and turn the server off. At least with a big company, we can assume they will still BE here in 5 years.
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  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by d000hg View Post
    Every standard we have now was once "the new standard" that had to fight all the proprietary mess.

    If you look at previous decades, we can see companies do benefit from standards. You only have to look at the browser. It took quite a long time, but eventually the big companies realised it was in their own interests to have browsers standards-compliant, and those big companies were part of the group who worked on the standards. Google made 'standards' just for them, and everyone else agreed to adopt them, and so on.
    There is no browser standard to which all browsers comply. Yes, it is significantly better than it was a few years ago, but anyone who develops complex web applications will tell you that some level cross-browser testing/validation is still required. If anything, its the web frameworks that have made this easier, encapsulating the different browser nuances. And how many web frameworks are there? And how many new ones appear each year? And which is the currently flavour of the month?

    Self-interest is a major barrier to standards. When a single standard emerges, it is typically due to market domination and others giving up, rather than collaboration.

    Quote Originally Posted by d000hg View Post
    Competing standards lead to customer confusion, which is a barrier to entry.

    I'd like to think history will repeat but how many years it will take...
    Agreed on both (notwithstanding my point above on browser standards)

  6. #26

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    In this case we're talking the big companies teaming up to force a standard on manufacturers, which surely benefits all the big companies.

    Anyway, I suppose back to the original question the only way to rule out reliance on tin-pot Chinese servers would be to buy hardware from Google/Apple/Amazon or use that OpenHAB thing - looks pretty complex!
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  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by d000hg View Post
    In this case we're talking the big companies teaming up to force a standard on manufacturers, which surely benefits all the big companies.
    I don't believe it will end up with a single standard. If it takes off, I believe it will be a common interface onto 3 (assuming Google/Apple/Amazon) standards. So, 4 standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by d000hg View Post
    Anyway, I suppose back to the original question the only way to rule out reliance on tin-pot Chinese servers would be to buy hardware from Google/Apple/Amazon or use that OpenHAB thing - looks pretty complex!
    No, that's not correct. As I said, I use Z-Wave/Zigbee devices with a SmartThings Hub (so my info does go to Samsung) and integrated with Google/Apple/Amazon. I can buy expensive branded devices or cheap ones (eg, Xiaomi) from China - so long as they are Z-Wave/Zigbee compatible (though some of the cheaper devices have some compatibility issues that make things a bit more complicated).

    You need to decide what you want your home automation solution to do for you, how much you want to spend, how much you want to be able to tinker/tweak versus setup and leave alone, and make a choice from there. You're right that systems like OpenHAB can be fairly complex. At the other end of the spectrum, you can go for systems like Control4 which costs thousands (or tens of thousands) and come with costly maintenance contracts.
    Last edited by Paralytic; 29th October 2020 at 11:04.

  8. #28

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    Or, one could simply get up and switch on/off the light.
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  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by wattaj View Post
    Or, one could simply get up and switch on/off the light.
    Like many who haven't taken the time to understand this stuff, you're conflating control and automation. In my experience, the real benefit of smart devices comes with automation.

    (although I do use Alexa to turn lights on/off, and my wife (who is a complete technophobe) has needed no encouragement to do the same)

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by d000hg View Post
    I'm grudgingly coming round to the idea that some of these IoT gadgets are actually quite neat. But one bug-bear is every single smart-plug or whatever wants you to install its own (cr)App. You can typically control them once installed via Google et al, but I don't want cruddy apps everywhere. And while we're at it, I dislike the idea that sat on my sofa, a command to turn a light on requires a round-trip to the internet.

    Can you get products that avoid one or both of these irks? I assume in time some sort of standards will emerge, I know some product ranges use hubs but then the hub needs an app and none of these platforms seem very mature so chances are by the time you want to add another plug, the hub is outdated.

    Must be some gadgety types here who have embraced this properly?

    edit: this seems a good starting point: Smart plugs no App required? : amazonecho

    I hadn't thought that everything needs a roundtrip via the manufacturer's server as well... that just sounds a nightmare with all these dozens of copycat factories churning this stuff out.
    you're missing the advantage of doing it through an app.
    It will be updated, secured, patched etc. by a provider who knows what they are doing.

    10 years ago all this was done as you desire, and it was hacked and made into botnets. Various routers, web cams, etc.
    See You Next Tuesday

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