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Has anyone tried the Rubik's Home mobile app?


JayH

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There's a new app for the ISY available on the iOS and Google Play stores called Rubix Home. It's free and it looks good in the screenshots, but after I downloaded it, I see you need to create an account to use it, and the link to the Privacy Policy doesn't go anywhere, so I was hesitant to register.

Has anyone tried this out?

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 12/13/2019 at 3:03 PM, JayH said:

I see you need to create an account to use it, and the link to the Privacy Policy doesn't go anywhere,

That would also be a barrier for me.  This makes me suspect that they have access to my ISY.  No thanks.

Having said that, I have already given all this away to amazon and alexa, as to Google, not counting the portal, itself.  What is one more?

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Very good point... so how do I charge for Polyglot Nodeservers?
 

That’s a really good fair question. I think there should be a way to charge for them - they’re in a “store” after all.

It does beg the question - how are the creators of node servers being compensated? Free beta testers ? The challenge and honing is skills? Resume building? Reputation building with the chance to charge more than others some day for node servers?

I hope you guys are getting something more out of it than just responding to user questions and complaints of how it’s not working a way they want... that said I think there’s a hesitancy to develop node servers that don’t have much “demand” which is a little ironic if there’s no compensation, and arguably the aggravation factor as a developer goes up when more people use it.

I hope this doesn’t come across as sarcastic - it’s not meant as such. I suspect there’s an element of generosity and community to it as well but human beings respond to incentives (which maybe aren’t monetary).

I think it’d be cool if there was a Kickstarter type thing to get node servers developed that either an end user or developer could initiate.




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Not really sure where to start or answer so I'll piece it up.....

6 minutes ago, TrojanHorse said:

That’s a really good fair question. I think there should be a way to charge for them - they’re in a “store” after all.

"store" in name only.

6 minutes ago, TrojanHorse said:

how are the creators of node servers being compensated? Free beta testers emoji12.png?

we got a free Polisy for testing... oh yeah free beta testers :)

7 minutes ago, TrojanHorse said:

I hope you guys are getting something more out of it than just responding to user questions and complaints of how it’s not working a way they want... that said I think there’s a hesitancy to develop node servers that don’t have much “demand” which is a little ironic if there’s no compensation, and arguably the aggravation factor as a developer goes up when more people use it.

There's no compensation.  There's questions, problems, complaints and sometimes appreciation.  I can't speak for others but most of my development comes from personal need or interest.  If I have a need for something I develop it and share it.  If I have an interest in something that others ask for or bring up and it doesn't cost too much to develop I may look into it.  I have been asked for some special requests but as noted there's no "store" or any way for me to earn any residual income from the effort so I would have to charge for full development cost for something custom.  That's A LOT as I'm not cheap... easy yeah :)

10 minutes ago, TrojanHorse said:

I hope this doesn’t come across as sarcastic - it’s not meant as such. I suspect there’s an element of generosity and community to it as well but human beings respond to incentives (which maybe aren’t monetary).

I think most developers here are donating their time based on their availability and interests and again it goes back to personal need and or interest in the integration as to whether it gets done or not.  The on going support of nodeservers is generally more demanding than initial development as it is with all products.  This is where most profit (there is none) is lost with software in the nature of sell a license once and support it forever.

12 minutes ago, TrojanHorse said:

I think it’d be cool if there was a Kickstarter type thing to get node servers developed that either an end user or developer could initiate.

That's not a bad idea at all.  It's actually similar in lines with my company with doing integrations.  I had setup a paypal pay.me for people to "donate" not really donating because I'm a for profit but you get the idea.  However human nature is against paying for something when it's free.  It just is.  Why pay when you get it for free is the argument for why people use Home Assistant versus HomeSeer or CQC.  Why pay for a nodeserver when it's free and why pay a service fee for something... oh yeah that pays for support of the product.  Ok now I feel like I'm ranting..... you get the point.

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3 minutes ago, larryllix said:

First x amount gets the field for a week and the next y gets it permanently.

 

Maybe a field with a gumball machine knob . :)

 

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I was thinking maybe like the claw thing... or a roulette wheel?  Pay X amount and you get something... don't know what you get but something... then if it's not what you want then you have to pay again?  Sound good? :)

How about support?  Should that be X per character in support messages?  X per line of code?  :)

 

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17 minutes ago, simplextech said:

Why pay when you get it for free is the argument for why people use Home Assistant versus HomeSeer or CQC. 

Very true.  And interesting timing for me.  I was just this morning doing some snooping around Home Assistant to try and figure out where the money comes from.  I didn't find anything, but I didn't try very hard either.  Hard to believe it's all volunteer over there, but I've been wrong many many times before. 

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9 minutes ago, carealtor said:

Very true.  And interesting timing for me.  I was just this morning doing some snooping around Home Assistant to try and figure out where the money comes from.  I didn't find anything, but I didn't try very hard either.  Hard to believe it's all volunteer over there, but I've been wrong many many times before. 

It's not all volunteer... A large amount of it is from community providing the components out of their own interests/needs.  However there are also backers to the core team through the Nabu Casa company and funding of that.  There's also the subscription fee for the tunnel service to provide Alexa/Google voice control.

A lot of open source is funded by larger entities that utilize the code.  You would actually be amazed by how many of those "free" projects are funded by Wall Street.  I used to do Wall Street consulting for high performance computing design/optimization that's actually what Simplex Technology used to be focused on... now I'm broke :(

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22 hours ago, TrojanHorse said:

I was completely turned off by the fact that they’re not charging money for it. Nothing’s free, so what are you paying?


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Does it need to cost something? part of this community gives me the vibe of "how can I make this into a cash grab"? specifically if you look at mobile apps, even some users signatures here ask for donations..

In my free time I'm working on an app (iOS - not a fan of all the current ones) that I didn't plan to charge for.

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1 hour ago, cswelin said:

Does it need to cost something? part of this community gives me the vibe of "how can I make this into a cash grab"? specifically if you look at mobile apps, even some users signatures here ask for donations..

In my free time I'm working on an app (iOS - not a fan of all the current ones) that I didn't plan to charge for.

There's many ways to look at and decipher human nature and emotion.  However with Home Automation the predominant driver has always been WAF or now as some say SAF.  With this comes a want or need for things to actually work and to know or at least have a feeling (people are all about feelings these days) that what they are using will be supported in some way by someone maybe someday if they have time or feel like providing support on that day or hour.  By nature if we pay for a product there's this unwritten idea that some support of the product will be provided and that it functions to a minimal degree.  Conversely we naturally understand that if something is free there's no inherent expectation of any support nor even if whatever it is will function or even work correctly.  With these human inclinations we also like to be charitable and if someone provides something for free or paid and it works well or makes us happy humans like to show appreciation and this comes from showing appreciation verbally, written or sometimes through money or other gifts.  You will see that some (I have also) have a method of either donating, buying a coffee, or sending funds easily to them.  Some may view the use of this differently but it's a convenience really for those who are grateful and want to contribute so they don't have to go ask how they can and then if/when a gift arrives it's always a nice surprise.  A rarity really but none the less a nice surprise.

There are of course those who only use free products, because they are free and why should they have to pay for anything.  People are giving it away so why not consume it.  The fact of life is nothing is free, you pay with money, time or today with privacy or without realizing you are actually the product that is being sold to others by the fact that you agreed to it perhaps unknowingly by using that free product.

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52 minutes ago, simplextech said:

There's many ways to look at and decipher human nature and emotion.  However with Home Automation the predominant driver has always been WAF or now as some say SAF.  With this comes a want or need for things to actually work and to know or at least have a feeling (people are all about feelings these days) that what they are using will be supported in some way by someone maybe someday if they have time or feel like providing support on that day or hour.  By nature if we pay for a product there's this unwritten idea that some support of the product will be provided and that it functions to a minimal degree.  Conversely we naturally understand that if something is free there's no inherent expectation of any support nor even if whatever it is will function or even work correctly.  With these human inclinations we also like to be charitable and if someone provides something for free or paid and it works well or makes us happy humans like to show appreciation and this comes from showing appreciation verbally, written or sometimes through money or other gifts.  You will see that some (I have also) have a method of either donating, buying a coffee, or sending funds easily to them.  Some may view the use of this differently but it's a convenience really for those who are grateful and want to contribute so they don't have to go ask how they can and then if/when a gift arrives it's always a nice surprise.  A rarity really but none the less a nice surprise.

There are of course those who only use free products, because they are free and why should they have to pay for anything.  People are giving it away so why not consume it.  The fact of life is nothing is free, you pay with money, time or today with privacy or without realizing you are actually the product that is being sold to others by the fact that you agreed to it perhaps unknowingly by using that free product.

Well said, can't say I disagree with you.

 

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For me, the concern about fees or lack thereof is that I see it as an indicator that this is a hobby and passion for some, rather than a business venture.  Don't get me wrong, I very much appreciate all the effort that goes into it, but I cannot help but be concerned about the long-term viability of these node servers.  

I understand that Homeseer and Hubitat may be examples where the community builds these interfaces to various devices and protocols.  I also read stories where some of these interfaces have been abandoned or left unsupported (insteon for homeseer is one example that comes to mind) as the developer gets tired or moves on to other things.  I don't want to see these same results for Polisy.

Maybe this is just the nature of the business.  Maybe there is just not enough demand for this stuff that one can make money supporting it.  Having said all that...Thanks to all who have contributed.  

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19 minutes ago, oberkc said:

For me, the concern about fees or lack thereof is that I see it as an indicator that this is a hobby and passion for some, rather than a business venture.  Don't get me wrong, I very much appreciate all the effort that goes into it, but I cannot help but be concerned about the long-term viability of these node servers.  

I understand that Homeseer and Hubitat may be examples where the community builds these interfaces to various devices and protocols.  I also read stories where some of these interfaces have been abandoned or left unsupported (insteon for homeseer is one example that comes to mind) as the developer gets tired or moves on to other things.  I don't want to see these same results for Polisy.

Maybe this is just the nature of the business.  Maybe there is just not enough demand for this stuff that one can make money supporting it.  Having said all that...Thanks to all who have contributed.  

I agree with you on that. My hope is that UDI will "buy" the rights to high value nodeservers such as Hue, Sonos, Lifx, and Harmony from the developers. They develop a nodeserver and work out the bugs. If it's a high demand NS, udi then purchases it. At least that way the Isy always has it and someone else can work with udi to keep it going should it be abandoned. The developer can still charge for the NS should they continue to develop and update it. 

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1 minute ago, lilyoyo1 said:

I agree with you on that.

And as soon as I wrote this, I recall a nice little program called "conductor".  This was an app that had an associated fee.  Unfortunately, the fee did not guarantee the same fate.  I had a TV remote control app also that cost about $20.  Used it for about a year, then the developer got bored or tired or lost his free time.  I guess fees are no more a guarantee of continued support than lack of fees a guarantee of near-term obsolescence.

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1 hour ago, oberkc said:

I understand that Homeseer and Hubitat may be examples where the community builds these interfaces to various devices and protocols.  I also read stories where some of these interfaces have been abandoned or left unsupported (insteon for homeseer is one example that comes to mind) as the developer gets tired or moves on to other things.  I don't want to see these same results for Polisy.

What's interesting with this example is the HomeSeer Insteon plugin was a In-House HomeSeer plugin.  THEY were not able to provide quality support and features for their own developed plugin.  Because of this lack of ability Mark stepped up and developed a independent Insteon Plugin which is BTW Awesome and still VERY WELL supported.

HomeSeer is a interesting model where they actually have a store where the plugins are sold from.  Independent developers and some companies develop and sell plugins through this mechanism.  This method has it's pros/cons as any method does.  HS gets an additional revenue stream as they take 30% of each sale and developers get to make some money from their time.  The reality is that nobody except HomeSeer makes a profit from this.  It generally takes weeks to months to develop a HomeSeer plugin and then sell it for very little for each install.

Hubitat is purely community and apps drivers done as a hobby.  This in particular being a hobby DIY system is very clear in the fact there is no QC or QA of the apps drivers at all from anyone and there's no organized repository or installation.  Apps come and go with the wind and some are good and some will crash your hub.

CQC has an entirely unique model.  Their drivers are all included with the system.  All of them.  You don't pay extra for any particular driver for any use.  Most drivers are developed in-house by CQC but some are developed by individuals or installers.  Those drivers are then QC/QA by CQC and if they meet standards are then included in the next release.  The pricing structure of CQC is an upfront you pay for X number of drivers and if you want more you upgrade your Tier or you buy additional driver counts.  It's an interesting model but it doesn't provide any sustained revenue.

What kind of model UDI adopts is yet to be seen. 

Generally there's this unspoken association of "quality" when we have to pay for something and the more we have to pay the "higher quality" we think or believe the product to be.  Which also entails the more we pay the more features/functions and higher quality of support.  The price of something does setup some expectations. 

As with any individual or company life or business aspirations may change or events may happen to cause changes in their lives or business.  Business go out of business especially from lack of profit.  One person buying one copy for $20 one time and getting support for X months or years and maybe getting 3-4 upgrades during that time and fixes, patches etc. 

Doing this for free when it's something you personally use is one thing as there's personal interest and motivation.  I don't know any developers that code.

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Hello all,

Thanks so very much for the lively and very important discussion. First, my personal philosophy:
1. One has to be remunerated for his/her work/toil
2. If one benefits from someone else's work, one has to remunerate that someone (unless refused)
3. Quality depends on 1 and 2 (and, of course, personal responsibility)
4. Business viability depends on ROI of 1, 2, and 3 ... case in point: the climate module. We paid for 1 and didn't get the quality and/or what we were promised. Cannot maintain it without major losses. So, as much as I hate it - and as per @oberkc - this module is going to go away

Corollary:
1. @oberkc, paid or otherwise are not the only factors for a viability of a thing
2. Free stuff is great but does not make for a good business model (and we are a for-profit organization). And, of course, as some of you already know from personal interactions with me/UD, we are adamant about paying for any work we deem important and without any questions. Of course, some have refused remuneration and they know who they are :)

Conclusion:
1. Our model will be closer to Google Play/App Store ... it's up to the developers to decide how much they want to charge for a nodeserver. We will take a cut
2. Nodeserver developers are vetted (we currently have over 70). This means that not everyone can become a node server developer. One has to be committed. If there's a complaint about a nodeserver, the developer/nodeserver will be warned and eventually removed if not resolved
3. For things that are important (such as getting rid of the climate module) we will pay ourselves and pay for its maintenance
4. Unlike other solutions, we are very strict about what's being installed on Polisy and, especially, from a security perspective

The question is: when are we going to get there? We are working on it!

Thanks again for the lively discussion and I do welcome your feedback.

With kind regards,
Michel
 

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