How is Hubitat planning to stay relevant long term?

Hubitat crew, FWIW, I’m a huge fan of Hubitat (I’ve bought 4 hubs to date), but when I saw the new visual automation system in the Homey Pro, it did set me thinking (very dangerous, I know).

Anyway, I guess I’m wondering if Hubitat has long term plans to lower the barrier for entry to non / less technical folk?

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Genuinely, being less than half the price of the Homey Pro gives it a very good start.

(Also, no subscription required on Hubitat. It's £2.99 a month currently on Homey if you want to connect more than 5 devices and not buy the Pro hub)


Yes the price of them is significantly more. I wasn’t trying to get into a feature comparison. I was more interested in if Hubitat has long term plans to make Hubitat less technical.

If I kicked the bucket, my wife would have no idea how to make changes to rule machine.


I'm as keen as the next guy or girl to see an updated UI, or at least as keen as those who are keen to see that... But it would be a big investment. Not that it would not be worthwhile, IMHO, but no small ask of a company the size of Hubitat. My guess would be, with no research to back it up, Homey likely have a pot of money they are spending on product and platform development, but there will come a point where that pot will run out and while they might have great product, if the revenue can not support the ongoing costs and growth of the business, it may not last long. I hope I'm wrong, competition is always a good thing in this space, and puts pressure on others to keep pace.


I'll also add, that pot of money (which is likely not accurate) must be lasting a long time. I remember looking at reviews of Homey when I was looking at Hubitat back in 2019. At the time homey was (I think) about $600 AUD, whereas I think HE was about $125 - $149 AUD.

I'd agree overall. Homey has a very nice interface. They're rules engine is pretty slick too (very node reddish). That said they seem to be slow in how they handle adding device drivers and the price is a huge barrier for entry.

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I chuckled reading your post.

I found HomeKit nice, but automations were either limited or very tedious, and HE has been very enabling. But it's not replacing the HK hubs or the Hue hub. My dissatisfaction with HE lies in the Dashboard.

Still, part curious, part encouraged by my son, I received a Home Assistant Green yesterday. Sets up well enough, integrates with Hue lights/scenes no sweat. But then I want to install their version of the Package Manager. . . that requires the Terminal. YEARS since I toyed with that. . .

I figure I'll get up to speed over winter, but I'm not as enthused to dive in more as I was with HE, which is a much friendlier experience. But it's all relative to one's past experiences, particular motivations, the hardware chosen, and the location where the hardware is installed. That's quite the matrix of potential joy and disappointments. Finding the app that "speaks" to one's self is a journey, and so far there doesn't seem to be one answer.


Always interesting to see the value that users place on the brains of an automation system.


This is a very astute observation. Unlike Hubitat, some of Athom B.V. financials are available online. I would not be surprised if the second version of the Homey Pro (i.e. the 2023 version) is a make-or-break product for them.


We are not normal users. That said, I think what the c8 cost is, is worth it. Not to mention dealing with staff and community. The average user that currently just wants to control a few lights (these are the same as people who use google or echo as their main hubs) are not going to shell out $400 for a hub. Hell, even people here don't wanna shell out for a c8. And for myself personally, I do not think $400 is worth it when I can have as good or better with Hubitat at a far less cost. We all know the 2 draw backs for Hubitat. Dashboards (which I think are debatable and the fact I really don't use them) and the general interface. That as an aside, the C8 so far is better than Homey. I also don't have to spend extra money for an Ethernet port.


Well it's up to her if she doesn't want to learn how her home works. I mean if you kick the bucket she'll be left in a position she's chosen to be in. Unless of course you forced the smart home upon her against her will which I am sure you didn't. Any task normally undertaken by one or the other partner risks leaving a knowledge gap upon their demise. My OH wouldn't know how to cook if I die but I don't feel guilty about that as there's been nothing stopping him learning.


I basically agree with all that. It's just that of all the money people spend on 'stuff' I'd hope that they might place a little more value on the brain. How many $800-$1,200 phones do people have in their homes? Orbi is selling a WiFi 7 snake oil system for $2.300 that someone is buying as they are on the shelf at Best Buy. I spent more money than I would like to acknowledge on Twinkly lights last year. They look very nice. Were they 'worth it'? Only if I squint a lot. If I could spend an extra $250 on a Hubitat that was 'better' I'd be more than happy to do so. The equilibrium of a cheap box that works well but could be better with more investment can be frustrating.


I dunno. Control 4 systems are thousands of dollars and I really have no interest in them. That said HE is more of a hobbyist system. And as always, more money doesn't always mean better.


If the goal of the consumer is to have a home with many smart devices and a significant amount of automation (more than just very basic automation) then I don't see any competitors of Hubitat lowering the barrier for entry. Sure some competitors have a nicer User Interface, but having a nicer User Interface often makes it more difficult to create complex automation rather than the other way around. The product looks nice, non technical people like the user interface, you just can't do much with it.

The reality is that even some fairly simple home automation requires the user to understand and create some fairly complex logic, The necessity to understand and create this logic is independent of the user interface. This is the true barrier to the wide adoption of smart home technology. The majority of the public simply can't do this, or they desire not to. This leads to various subsets of smart home implementation:

  1. Users who can do the logic and buy a product that allows them to create automation
  2. Users who can't do the logic and hire a company to do it for them
  3. Users who buy a simple device and say "Google turn on the kitchen light", the light turns on and the user is overjoyed with their "smart home"

In my opinion, wide adoption of smart home technology with homes having a level of automation similar to what many users showcase on this forum, would require a very technically advanced hub, with significant processing power and advanced AI technology. Simply connect the hub to my home and the AI automatically creates the 50 plus advanced RM rules that I currently have. (this would have saved me a lot of time!!!). Until someone releases a product with this capability, the user still has to understand and create the logic, having a nicer UI doesn't help with this.

I have never used Homey, but my overall sense with home automation hubs is that the nicer the UI is for creating automations the more restricted the parameters of the automation become. HE is arguably the hub that allows for the least amount of restrictions in creating automations, no surprise its UI is fairly simple.


This is laughable, as most users here clamor for more features, more CPU, more memory, more, more, more.

The challenge of doing home automation for entry level and non-technical folk is much larger than just have an entry level price. We are always looking at this, looking for ways to make it easier to get started in automation. Part of the reality is that there's no getting around the fact that any automation requires some logical thought about the problem, and therein lies the rub.


Lots of the Homey stuff looks great, but the price and lack of device compatibility is the turn off.

For that price over the years I bought a C4, a C7, and a C8.

I’d pay $200 for each hub if it would help fund the dev team more moving forward.


This kind of attitude towards comments you don't agree with has been turning me off for quite some time now. I didn't know Homey existed until today. I'll have to keep it on my radar.


You should base your technology choices on what suits your usage, not on what you think of members of the development team :slight_smile:


It seems to me that the Hubitat hub is flexible enough that anyone with the desire and motivation could create an interface that could duplicate the interface of the Homey Pro portrayed in the video. It would be like webCoRE only in a Node-RED flow kind of format. I think the hub is powerful enough that it could be run local if the hub was opened up with a web server. Whether or not that direction is taken is up the Hubitat staff, but at least the hub could remain relevant for a long time.

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Don't like my sense of humor? Sorry, that's all it is. Who said I didn't agree with his post? I think he's right, it's just not an easy problem to solve.