Where Does Your Global Identity Reside (What Cloud-based Smart Platform Do You Use)?

As Hubitat are edging closer to supporting at least 3 of the main cloud-based smart-home platforms, I thought it would be interesting to get a gauge from people on their use of the various platforms, how you use them, how you interact with them through HE, etc...

For me it is limited, if at all, but I am a GH shop.... The most I use are a couple of smart switches to close some blinds, but rarely use them.

I'm sure others have much more elaborate and effective uses for these platforms.

I do try to avoid the cloud.. Obviously for me the exception is that we stream a lot of music but that isn't really related to our home automation.

2 Likes

Alexa and Siri in my house. Both allow for voice control of devices and starting up music playlists (and we use Amazon Music for that), which my wife and kids like. Although Siri can do it at least partially locally, so she gets a +1 there. And the Apple Home app is a pretty solid Dashboard for device status monitoring or manual control when needed.

I've been mulling over swapping out the Echo Dots in my house for Apple Homepod Minis, but haven't pulled the trigger on that yet.

1 Like

I run as much locally as possible, The wife and I hate using "voice commands" and since we both work in IT know about security issues with giving too much information to the cloud masters.

As for control the house automations are all local to the Hubitat and mostly operate without any interactions. If you wish to start movie time or some other scene based process there are the Hubitat dashboards. We have a de-amazon'd tablets in most common areas that can drive the scenes and display status. Also we have lots of the Samsung Zigbee buttons that work great.

As for voice commands I have configured Echo Speaks to send "Voice Commands As Text" based on button actions for playing music and giving other information though the Echo's.

2 Likes

There's a lot in our house:

  • Hubitat - the main brain including almost all automation
  • Apple Home - primary control interface and geofencing
  • Home Assistant - a couple integrations (Yale/August, MyQ) not available on Hubitat that are integrated back to Hubitat via HADB. They are cloud and that's OK as any remote control necessarily involves cloud.
  • Control4 - mainly for AV. The remotes are great - beats Harmony and not out of business. My lights are all Lutron or Hue so I also can use C4 for lighting control. Their app is reasonably good - good for AV, passable for lights. No direct integration with Hubitat, unfortunately.
  • Alexa - voice control, no automation
  • Node-RED - some logging. I used to use it for a few automations, but when I moved houses I stopped. I find the Hubitat apps have progressed a lot, enough to not need or even want NR anymore.
  • Google - no, though I have Nest thermostats that are integrated into Control4 and Apple Home via Homebridge
2 Likes

I globally identify as a meat popsicle

bruce willis popsicle GIF

6 Likes

When I am seein/hearing "cloud" for the home automation it immediately
losses all my attention and becomes prohibitive.

1 Like

It depends on the use case.

I rely on a connection to the cloud for music streaming, weather forecasting, push notifications to my phone, as well as remote monitoring and sometimes even manual control of some devices.

You are presumably connecting to the cloud to read and write posts in this Discourse community.

3 Likes

All my cloud stuff is ancillary to the operation of my smart home by design..
Cloud stuff includes:

  • Amazon Echo
  • Ring
  • Google home w/ Nest (no other devices)
  • Apple Home / Siri (using Homepod Mini) - originally via Homebridge, looking into HE's support.
  • Flume
  • Lutron (yes, I know it runs locally but the bridge definitely contacts home for updates etc)
  • Various streaming services.

Again, none of this is critical and somewhat isolated either on a dedicated C5 "Net" Hub or as an addon/integration in HA or in Node-RED.

2 Likes

My point is - All controls are only local.
Of course, clouds are unavailable for email, forum, etc.
But all my storage and backups are also local.
Bottom line:
If I can bypass cloud, I definitely will.
For the home automation clouds are absolutely no go.

I use the same general breakpoint as @erktrek. Critical functions should not be fully cloud-based or cloud-dependent.

But if the cloud adds a useful feature, then I don’t avoid it at all costs simply because it’s using a server that’s not in my house.

Edit: even your backup solution is potentially flawed if it’s strictly local-only. What happens if your house floods or burns down, and both your primary and backup hard drives are destroyed?

1 Like

this!

General rule is to treat cloud devices/services as an addition rather than a necessary component. There are exceptions - I use Flume in conjunction with my water main valve - it will shut things off if something weird is detected.

2 Likes

I should probably also clarify no one is trying to convince @vitaliy_kh, or anyone else, that you should make use of the cloud, if you are committed to avoiding it whenever possible.

This thread is intended to be a discussion among those of us that do utilize cloud-based services.

2 Likes

At this point using the cloud is almost unavoidable if you want expanded home automation features (Flume, Ring, Nest etc). On the other hand I would not use a service like IFTTT or smart hub that required an internet connection.

On a side note Home Assistant has a new local voice assistant called "Hey Ada!". Have no idea how well it works tho.

2 Likes

Hadn’t heard of that! But for now I use HA for a couple specific reasons, mainly for devices that don’t integrate directly with Hubitat. But the rabbit hole is deep and I’m sure I’ll fall further down it at some point…

It does seem like local processing for voice assistants is becoming more of a thing. That would be a welcome change.

I have a Flume as well, given the potentially “critical” nature of water leaks, I’d love to have that device work completely locally.

But I work around that with local leak sensors that are paired to Hubitat, which will detect large, damaging leaks at plumbing fixtures quickly. And the shutoff valve on my water main is directly paired to Hubitat.

So Flume’s cloud connection is really about the analytics they do on my water usage, which is interesting to me but certainly not critical. And if there’s ever a slow leak, it should pick up on that. Possibly more “critical” but less so than a single, large leak event.

2 Likes

Same.

  • We're a Google household. Wife hates voice commands so mostly I use voice commands for turning on a few lights when cooking in the kitchen and my hands are full, starting Shield TV modes, and streaming music from GH to my stereo.
  • Ring cameras and doorbell just because it was "too easy" at the time when I started to put outside cameras at the house and I was tired of troubleshooting issues I kept having with an Amcrest NVR/camera setup I had put in place previously.
  • Flume for leak monitoring.
  • Alexa is in a box in the garage. I had it for work (we were working on some integrations) but never really liked it and as soon as I retired Alexa was retired as well. (Luckily wife did not put me in the garage.) :wink:
2 Likes

Yet :wink:.

3 Likes

We're an Alexa household.
Considered Google smart speakers and displays at one point, but Google has a habit of killing off things. We're team Android, no Apple products beyond an iPod my wife received as a work award.

We have Miss A connected to Hubitat and SmartThings.

Most things are automated but we use voice commands on occasion for cases that I haven't automated yet.
Spotify and SiriusXM podcast and music streaming are the main uses for our Echo fleet (5 so far).

I do have some routines set up in Alexa for voice announcements triggered by virtual switches & geolocation changes.

2 Likes

TBH.... I tend to find the interplay between Community members and the ideas that ultimately "bite" more interesting sometimes than the topic itself :slight_smile:

I feel @rlithgow1 's and @vitaliy_kh 's original comments are not too dissimilar, though @vitaliy_kh 's seems to have evoked a stronger response.....

@marktheknife 's initial response, understandably, tries to offset what may appear to be flat refusal to use cloud services by providing valid use cases for the cloud. While I think these provide a valid consideration to the use of the cloud more generally, IMHO you could argue either way whether streaming or notification services belong entirely in the HA sphere....or are simply complementary, as @erktrek (and later @marktheknife) acknowledges. But that is one of the interesting elements of this conversation..... Interpretation and recognition of similarities. Recognition that comments can be interpreted in different ways and to acknowledge that and offer clarification on what was intended and how others may perceive what we say, that is something I feel offers a more inclusive conversation.

I could go on, but I've probably used up the attention span of many willing to read a sermon-like post... :slight_smile:

Don't feel like this is some kind of critique of the users I have quoted... more an ultimately positive reflection on what I feel is a respectful and constructive conversation. This feels like a valuable commodity online nowadays....

Also, don't treat this as some kind of closing statement.... I'd be interested to hear from those embarking on use of Apple devices as well... Even though I don't use them myself.... It's often interesting to hear different experiences....

2 Likes

This community is one of the few sites that seems to be able to provide a meaningful experience and assistance to people around the world in spite of the cultural and language barriers. Admittedly it's the first site I've really posted on with some regularity and it has helped shaped how I deal with internet communities in general.

The one thing most members here show is an amazing amount of empathy and patience toward their fellow hubitat-ers. This goes a long way to smoothing out any issues.

Not everyone has a good experience of course and sometimes posts get missed based on various lulls in how many members are online. This is never intentional - something I had to learn early on and not take offense to ("bump" posting ftw). It's much better now that the community has grown - much greater chance of a quick response.

I also appreciate the wide range of knowledge posters here have. I've learned a lot and have thankfully been able to contribute back a bit.

2 Likes

Download the Hubitat app