Is YoLink a walled garden?

Continuing the discussion from [RELEASED - BETA] - "YoLink™ Device Service" app and drivers to connect Hubitat™ to YoLink™ devices:

I didn't want to clutter up a thread dedicated to a community developer's work, but I also don't like it when someone puts words in my mouth, so here goes.

That's not what I said in the linked thread. You offered to effectively give away free Yolink hubs to Hubitat users, who can either stay entirely within your ecosystem to get all the benefits of your devices, including the fully local communication capabilities the devices are capable of; or we can integrate Hubitat and Yolink with the cloud-dependent solution you have made available.

To me, that counts as a fairly aggressive marketing approach. Perhaps I used the wrong term, as I didn't mean to imply that anyone at Yolink is looking for an actual fight (neither am I), but Google seems to have my back on this one:


It's more akin to newer BMW's only allowing heated seats with a cloud update (yes that's a real thing in some of their high end models). Look, the issue overall is that people agree it can be a great platform with great products but THERE IS NO LOCAL ACCESS. If you want people to buy into Yo-Link and really be happy about it...

1: Local API. You could unplug the internet and everything could run and be controlled as normal. This includes being able to boot the unit without it calling home to finish it's initialization like Insteon and Wink did which then bricked all their units when they went out of business. Without this it will be a hard sell...

2: Work with people on developing the interface for that API... Make it so that you can bring in stuff hooked up to Hubitat via Maker API. 2 Way communication between them would be awesome and you would hook a lot of people..

3: Combine 1 and 2 and Earn a big fat profit for years to come.

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Copied this and deleted the post on the other thread to keep things more on topic...

I don't think anyone thinks this is a "trick", at least not from what have read here anyway.

No, but I would be mad if I had to buy GM tires, GM oil, and GM wiper blades to make my car even start in the morning. "Sorry Fred, you use a (gasp) Fram oil filter, so we can't allow you to drive on public streets"

Totally agree.

I think that what many of us are thinking, and we have seen multiple times in the past, is that you buy this premium device, and then the company decides to change direction (Hive is a recent example) or the company goes bankrupt (TONS of examples here). Once either of these happen, these expensive devices are totally worthless. They become e-waste which is a growing problem.

I don't wish for your company to have any issues, however abandonment of a product for whatever reason has been a very common and troubling pattern over the years. Many of us were burned by this, (sometimes multiple times and with some very high dollar losses) and why we insist on local control. That is the main attraction to Hubitat and other systems like Home Assistant that do not rely on the cloud.

Additionally, there is sometimes lag when using cloud services that isn't present when communication happens locally. There are many who don't have reliable internet, have metered internet, or live off-grid. The internet can go down, there can be DDOS attacks on someone's server, and other issues that could prevent things from working properly.

Super Troopers Yes GIF by Searchlight Pictures

It doesn't have to be specifically Telnet, but that is a great example of how things should work.