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What is the diffrence between Insteon Hub and ISY99i

Andre Douyon

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1) What is the difference between Insteon Hub and ISY99i 

2) Can ISY support Apple Watch functionality like Insteon Hub? or will I need to switch to instead HUB.

3) How difficult would it be to go from icy to instead hub and what functionality would I loose or gain.

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I don't know what apple functionality is in the hub, but don't believe the ISY has any direct support for apple home kit, if that is what you are asking.  Otherwise, the hub appears to be a basic insteon controller that can handle some simple timer functions.  The ISY, by comparison, can manage your links and scenes and has conditional programming that is mostly limited to your imagination.  There are also some very powerful add-ons if you are capable of exploiting, such as the z-wave module, the Elk module, and the network module that provides an integration ability with a much broader variety of devices than available on the hub.

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The Hub is "Entry Level" remote control with a pretty Smartphone interface, the ISY is real "Home Automation".


There is a free App called CtrlHome that can connect your Apple Watch to your ISY when on your home network.  I suspect in the future, it will grow to support https and remote connectivity as well.  In addition, I suspect Mobilinc will roll out support for the Apple Watch too. 


In my opinion, you can't go wrong with the ISY.



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To further expand on the comments above from these great ISY members. The HUB II is a great device for those who want a simple plug and play controller. Has an excellent and clean smartphone application user interface. If you want a quick point and shoot device the HUB II & HUB Pro will meet the near term goals for those who want a out of the box set up.


Having said this . . .


History has proven that once a person becomes familiar with something quick and simple they most certainly transition to something that offers more features, capability, and power.


The ISY Series Controller is the balance of point and shoot where if you want nothing more than add, remove, create scene relationships it will do it. The hidden potential comes down to crafting programs that allow conditional logic that is only limited by your personal imagination.


As others have noted if you add in the extra software features the level of interaction, connection, and reach is wide reaching. If you're looking toward the future and have long term plans in the HA space the HUB II is not for you. If you're looking for an investment in, on any level with HA the ISY Series Controller is truly the first choice.


The three things you will never see from Smartlabs / Smarthome is consumer interaction and engagement. You will never receive feed back about time lines or road maps of their development. You will have zero say in the future or development of their final product (minus the wish list) that is hosted in their alternate site.


UDI has proven they are here for the long haul and plan for the future. They may not be the quickest to implement or take on the next hot thing.


But, neither are they known for releasing a half baked product / support.


In my view they have tried very hard to lay out the foundation and vision of what they expect the ISY Series Controller to be. Its my belief that once 5.XX firmware and Z-Wave hardware support has been fully fleshed out. We as a community and user base will see more (fad) features and connectivity with various sites and resources.


To the OP all of the things I have expressed above will never be seen in any iteration of the HUB controllers. People often asks me how can someone make such a bold statement over the Internet?


Well, its called history . . .


History has proven Smartlabs / Smarthome has no long term road map for their controllers, none. Five generations of their controllers have each been released and every one of them have been abandoned with out updates or upgrades. Every controller they have ever released has had either hardware issues or software issues.


Don't even go down the road about reliability and longevity because there are none. The only light at the end of the tunnel is the soon to be released HUB Pro which supports Apple Home Kit.


I simply offer this challenge to Smartlabs / Smarthome (Joe Dada)


Pretend your life and the Insteon product brand depend on this HUB Pro release, because it does. When people stop and consider the tens of millions of dollars your company makes and each year they offer the same half baked controllers when compared to a very small company like UDI???


What does that show the general public at large??


In my eyes it shows you are not serious, you're not looking for the long term, you're eager to make a quick buck on the backs of those who support you. You have no vision and have no clue this single product is tarnishing the Insteon name brand. I've given Smarthome / Smartlabs five generation chances to make it right and each time they have failed on such a epic level it defies logic at every turn.


For those who are not familiar with the various iterations they were: iGateway, SmartLinc, HUB v1, HUB v2, HUB II, soon to be released HUB Pro. Not to forget a great piece of software that simply had zero development or love House Linc 2.


Ha . . . 

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Thank you for your candor Teken, I am a ISY99ir user for many years now and am completely happy with it. I think my real questions is and should have been .

Will UD be adding a apple watch support in the near future. I support some highness customers who I have installed ISY and other home automation products for, and they are already asking for this functionality. 


Thanks again 

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My understanding is UDI has already submitted an application to be a developer for Apple Home Kit.


I believe once 5.XX and Z-Wave hardware support is fleshed out more resources may be retasked toward UI development and smartphone applications.


I do have to agree these two areas need serious attention in the wake of Smartlabs introduction of the HUB Pro and support for Apple wearables.



Ideals are peaceful - History is violent

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There is this app from a newer ISY developer. I think local lan connectivity is still required to use it, but he supports apple watch. And mobilinc now supports it.


Its probably worth experimenting to see what works. 


Per others' comments, you won't get far with actual automation with the insteon hub alone. Imagine the ISY with only the device tab; no programs (other than simple timers), and no modules. Just turn things on and off with your phone. There is no comparison in functionality between the two.


It is possible to add a hub on to a network with an ISY, but it's a very slippery slope to maintain it. You could certainly try it out first. I tried it for a while and then stopped, its more difficult to maintain in my experience.


From what I know, UDI is looking at more advanced functionality in V5 firmwares that will allow network to network connections to other devices and working to participate in the newer HA standards. Its not clear at this time what that means for the apple watch. A number of the big players like apple and google are wild cards, due to exclusivity and unreasonable restrictions in their contracting. 

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