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50% off all Insteon at Smarthome


palayman

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I would have thought about a 7 pack of SwitchLinc On/Off relays if the deal was offered in light almond, which it wasn't, and there aren't any color change kits for the new design.

Just now, paulbates said:

Yep, already in communication with Steve on a time to call

If there's no NDA involved and it's appropriate, would you kindly provide the forum with an update after your call?

Thanks in advance.

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I spoke with Steve for quite a while yesterday. The company is refocusing its business practices. We will see some devices disappear because there is little market for them. Some customers will find the lack of those products going forward a disappointment. But like any good business Smarthome is diligently working to improve its business model. I left the conversation very impressed with Steve. If he is an example of this new business and its culture,  I feel confident we can expect a solid future with Smarthome. 

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@Bumbershoot

I had a similar discussion that @smokegrub did. My questions were:

1- is there an end of life plan for the serial  plm? The answer is no - no plans to retire it...and there are design / prototypes for replacement models, with no commitment on when that would become a product. Their international business continues to grow, and the new plm designs take other voltages and ac frequencies in to account. They are painfully aware of the history of “the 2 year” problem and have been making component upgrades to address. 

2- what’s the future of the product line look like? The answer is that there are products that don’t sell and like any other company they’ll discontinue them. They’ll put more focus on improving the things that do sell. Steve is part of the executive team and they are being given latitude to shape what happens next.  They aren’t giving up on Insteon as a proprietary asset - protocol or hw- but at the same time don’t want to be locked solely to only that one segment of the market only. The details about that obviously can’t be disclosed. 

Steve offered that they could do better at marketing messaging, and the absence of that has led to all sorts of speculation we hear regularly. As those marketing messages are being created, he’s decided to talk with those that want to have a conversation about it.

I’ve had several conversations, voice and otherwise, with Steve since owning my ISY and also been contacted by his staff when I’ve asked to talk with someone. I feel as good as I have in the past, and even more optimistic, as a result.

Paul

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49 minutes ago, paulbates said:

1- is there an end of life plan for the serial  plm? The answer is no - no plans to retire it...and there are design / prototypes for replacement models, with no commitment on when that would become a product.

Thanks, you touched on my biggest concern.  Sooner would be better, of course. 

52 minutes ago, paulbates said:

They’ll put more focus on improving the things that do sell.

Regarding Insteon, my use of SwitchLinks and OutletLinks add continuity and uniformity to the look/feel/functionality of my property, and I think they're great devices.  The abandonment of some color choices is a bit painful (I did buy some spares when they were available), and it would be useful to get some clarity about specific products.

1 hour ago, paulbates said:

As those marketing messages are being created, he’s decided to talk with those that want to have a conversation about it.

That's good.  They need to do it.

1 hour ago, paulbates said:

I feel as good as I have in the past, and even more optimistic, as a result.

Thanks for that, and for your time.

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23 hours ago, smokegrub said:

I spoke with Steve for quite a while yesterday. The company is refocusing its business practices. We will see some devices disappear because there is little market for them. Some customers will find the lack of those products going forward a disappointment. But like any good business Smarthome is diligently working to improve its business model. I left the conversation very impressed with Steve. If he is an example of this new business and its culture,  I feel confident we can expect a solid future with Smarthome. 

The trouble with getting rid of the little used devices is you lose the customer who needs one of those and a million of the more common things.  You might only sell one (or zero) of those odd ball things to a customer, but that customer could easily adopt your whole line of products just because of that one device that he only buys one of (or thinks he might buy one of in the future).  When you keep a dozen or so of those odd devices, you pick up customers like me who might by 80 standard dimmers, but likes to know that everything else is covered, even if I buy zero of the oddball stuff (but I actually have bought a couple of the oddball things).

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30 minutes ago, apostolakisl said:

The trouble with getting rid of the little used devices is you lose the customer who needs one of those and a million of the more common things.  You might only sell one (or zero) of those odd ball things to a customer, but that customer could easily adopt your whole line of products just because of that one device that he only buys one of (or thinks he might buy one of in the future).  When you keep a dozen or so of those odd devices, you pick up customers like me who might by 80 standard dimmers, but likes to know that everything else is covered, even if I buy zero of the oddball stuff (but I actually have bought a couple of the oddball things).

I was thinking the same thing.  I have purchased many dimmers, all white, except one. Black ones were discontinued and I have to resort to eBay.  Maybe they're happy with the do it yourself market where people will put up with the lack of selection or go for hybrid solutions using Z-wave to fill the gaps.

 

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With Alexa & Google Home now driving the larger market for automation, Insteon is going to have to be more competitively priced.  If not, ALL of the non-DIY crowd (you know, where the seriously bigger money is) will bypass it for lower priced products even if the DIY crowd can understand the technical differences that drive a higher price.  Additionally, those people who were "pushed" in to DIY in the past because they desired functionality that, at the time, was either DIY or very expensive will start to migrate to lower priced competitive products.  Amazon, Apple & Google are already positioned make that fairly painless.

The automation market is at that stage where the non-DIY average person is starting to see they can get this cool automation stuff at a reasonable price and backed by 3 of the largest companies in the world.   That's great for the HA crowd who will continue (finally) to see this blossoming of HA offerings.  It's also potentially great for Insteon if either 1) they've decided to be a niche player & to dominate in a space that has few competitors or 2) they've decided to go after and hope to win in the non-DIY market.  If they've actively thought this through and have made a decision of where they want to be positioned AND can stick to it, that's even better for them as long as they deliver.  If they have not made this decision they'll do the same thing as 95% of tech startups, chasing what's hot at the time and end up being 1 more player in the mass market, competing on price..if they survive.

Unfortunately for Insteon, since getting in to the HA market iOS, Alexa & Google Home have rapidly become standards for integration & user interfaces.  Worse yet, it has now become fairly easy to buy most any individual HA product, regardless of vendor, that operates decently through the big 3's products.  As long as there are a handful of players with decent installation processes (i.e. We-Mo, TP-Link, etc), and their products are at least "good-enough" over time, that market will grow but will be heavily based around price.  The other strike against Insteon is that most consumers are getting their introduction to HA by "phone" manufacturers who also happen to be media companies.  The base products from these 3 are being purchased as-often-as-not for media consumption: a way to watch tv, play/stream music, videos, movies, books, etc.  Most consumers getting in to HA are going to consider the functionality the big 3 offer as required, which means Insteon won't even be a thought. 

All that said, I do hope Insteon has made their decision and can execute well.  I would love to hear their thoughts re: the above.  I like the technical benefits of Insteon and am willing to pay a bit more for them.  Just not too much more. ?

P.S.  I did just buy one of the 7-packs.  The discounted price put the per/plug cost just a touch more than Amazon which sealed my recent decision, as per above.  In fact I bought 2 more than I needed because of the competitive price.

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/21/2019 at 3:49 AM, Hurting2Ride said:

With Alexa & Google Home now driving the larger market for automation, Insteon is going to have to be more competitively priced.  If not, ALL of the non-DIY crowd (you know, where the seriously bigger money is) will bypass it for lower priced products even if the DIY crowd can understand the technical differences that drive a higher price.  Additionally, those people who were "pushed" in to DIY in the past because they desired functionality that, at the time, was either DIY or very expensive will start to migrate to lower priced competitive products.  Amazon, Apple & Google are already positioned make that fairly painless.

The automation market is at that stage where the non-DIY average person is starting to see they can get this cool automation stuff at a reasonable price and backed by 3 of the largest companies in the world.   That's great for the HA crowd who will continue (finally) to see this blossoming of HA offerings.  It's also potentially great for Insteon if either 1) they've decided to be a niche player & to dominate in a space that has few competitors or 2) they've decided to go after and hope to win in the non-DIY market.  If they've actively thought this through and have made a decision of where they want to be positioned AND can stick to it, that's even better for them as long as they deliver.  If they have not made this decision they'll do the same thing as 95% of tech startups, chasing what's hot at the time and end up being 1 more player in the mass market, competing on price..if they survive.

Unfortunately for Insteon, since getting in to the HA market iOS, Alexa & Google Home have rapidly become standards for integration & user interfaces.  Worse yet, it has now become fairly easy to buy most any individual HA product, regardless of vendor, that operates decently through the big 3's products.  As long as there are a handful of players with decent installation processes (i.e. We-Mo, TP-Link, etc), and their products are at least "good-enough" over time, that market will grow but will be heavily based around price.  The other strike against Insteon is that most consumers are getting their introduction to HA by "phone" manufacturers who also happen to be media companies.  The base products from these 3 are being purchased as-often-as-not for media consumption: a way to watch tv, play/stream music, videos, movies, books, etc.  Most consumers getting in to HA are going to consider the functionality the big 3 offer as required, which means Insteon won't even be a thought. 

All that said, I do hope Insteon has made their decision and can execute well.  I would love to hear their thoughts re: the above.  I like the technical benefits of Insteon and am willing to pay a bit more for them.  Just not too much more. ?

P.S.  I did just buy one of the 7-packs.  The discounted price put the per/plug cost just a touch more than Amazon which sealed my recent decision, as per above.  In fact I bought 2 more than I needed because of the competitive price.

You make a good point on all that you say. 1 thing though is that the devices people are currently buying are fancy remotes used as stepping Stones to automation.

I know many people who buy bulbs and/or cheap plugs for lamps. They use these with voice control and are happy for a time. After a while, they want more. Most of my customers come from this group.

They look at the amount of bulbs in their fixtures and recessed lights and realize the cost of doing everything and see the lack of value. They may even start with 1 room and see the headache once someone cuts off a switch.So they research. Maybe they go to insteon. Maybe they go zwave. But then they get some switches or a hub. Once again this becomes a stepping stone to something greater. At some point they want more which leads them to the isy, homeseer, or some other software. 

In the end, customers who focus solely on price most likely would never have become a zwave or insteon customer anyway. 

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It's funny I have absolutely no desire for these voice control schemes.  I suppose it is because I have been programming whole house remote controls for so many years.  I see these folks posting on youtube "Alexa turn on the kitchen lights", and it takes about twice as much time as just tapping a console remote on the kitchen counter or a hand held remote in the media room.  Do these voice schemes actually work in a room where media is playing (all rooms in my case)?  Now gesture control, like in the new X3, is basic, but has a lot of potential.

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9 minutes ago, redridge said:

It's funny I have absolutely no desire for these voice control schemes.  I suppose it is because I have been programming whole house remote controls for so many years.  I see these folks posting on youtube "Alexa turn on the kitchen lights", and it takes about twice as much time as just tapping a console remote on the kitchen counter or a hand held remote in the media room.  Do these voice schemes actually work in a room where media is playing (all rooms in my case)?  Now gesture control, like in the new X3, is basic, but has a lot of potential.

redridge : we all have our own methods and customs. I make use of my Google Home voice controls every day and find it very useful. The delays are minimal and  very useful. When I wake up and ask Google to open my curtains, or at night to wish Google good night with all lights (except the ceiling fan) to go off.

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48 minutes ago, lilyoyo1 said:

I rely on automation

So do I, but at times the voice control can be very convenient, at least for me. During the week, the curtains open at set times but not on weekend and holidays, and there are other situations and moments that voice control is great.

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I would like everything automated but many items are just not worth the effort. I do use Alexa, without HA  for colour themes, like festive holidays with known colours.

My GH units always want to do strange things on the Google statutory holiday,  though. ( :) @asbril  :) )

 

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