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Features postponed after 2020


jwi

Question

On Friday I ordered an HC3. More out of curiosity. Yesterday I read that

Fibaro postponed some features until 2021.
It is about this:
▪ ZigBee devices support
▪ Bluetooth Low Energy devices support
▪ Energy management panel
▪ Temperature charts panel
▪ Energy consumption charts panel
▪ Gateway connection with Home Center 2 / Lite

Since I have known Fibaro for years, I am not surprised, but if I had known that on Friday, I would not have ordered it.

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In the next upcoming updates, which will be released as 5.080 we will give
The first two features are for testing
- We will start an early access program for users to test the new Z-wave engine (This is the latest z-wave engine using all new features offered by Z-wave Alliance - it is a certified engine) (S2, firmware update from file etc)
- We will launch Early Access program for Elero device support.

From the functionalities that the customer will benefit from we should mention:
- Gateway connection; HC3 with HC3, Yubii or HC3L
- Energy panel
- Support for green energy - photovoltaics

Of course, in addition to this there will be smaller novelties, a lot of optimizations and corrected problems.

 

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Thank's @A.Socha for this update.

 

Firmware update from file looks to be a promising feature, if I understand correctly we will be able to update any device, as for example Aeotec, using the provided firmware file..... thus we won't have to exclude device, include on Aeotec USB key, update using Silicon Labs PC Controler, then include again on HC3.... and manage new IDs.

 

 

Zigbee subject :

 

I'm quite impressed that so many people are asking for Zigbee support.

OK, it was a promised feature by Fibaro marketing team... you can blame Fibaro or Nice or whoever you wants.... but now who cares ?

I mean, this protocol is quite dead, in a year or so, no new module will we marketed using Zigbee protocol, all vendor will start merchandising Matter & Thread products starting on 2021's end.

Event the Zigbee Alliance has changed his name !

CSA = Connectivity Standards Alliance for those who wonder

 

I am concerned about weather or not Fibaro will implement Matter in HC3.

I thinks it's absolutely essential to be able to use Matter to interact with future smart home objects, starting with Google & Apple products (phones, vocal assistants)

 

The icing on the cake would be to use the 2.4 GHz antenna & chip to support Thread.

But I personally don't really care (for now) about Thread, I prefer a good and strong Z-Wave engine.

The important thing is Matter, the top level protocol for smart home integration.

 

My own wish, is don't loose time, energy, effort, money on Zigbee, and focus on Matter.

 

@A.Socha any clue about Matter/thread support ?

 

Edited by lazer
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1 hour ago, lazer said:

Zigbee subject :

I mean, this protocol is quite dead

 

that's right

 

1 hour ago, lazer said:

The icing on the cake would be to use the 2.4 GHz antenna & chip to support Thread.

 

from hw point of view, HC3 does have EFR32MG13 inside (once dedicated for zigbee), which is even

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(openthread fw)

 

 

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15 hours ago, lazer said:

I'm quite impressed that so many people are asking for Zigbee support.

OK, it was a promised feature by Fibaro marketing team... you can blame Fibaro or Nice or whoever you wants.... but now who cares ?

 

@A.Socha, @lazer,

 

1) It's not so much about Zigbee.

If you transfer what you say to cars it would sound like this "I'm quite impressed that so many people are asking for gasoline-powered cars. Electric cars are the future."
Yes, Matter & Thread might be the future for home automation, or they might not be.
Fact is that when I bought two HC3's 18 months ago, I did that because I wanted to include 150 Zigbee spots in my parent's house and 100 spots in my own home into my home automation. 
1,5 year later I still can't do what I was promised.
So, even when Mr. Socha tells me that in two weeks HC3 will be 100 % Matter-compatible and working, it will make no difference because i lost trust.

 

2) The fact that potentially game-changing technologies are emerging and will be available at some point in the future is nice.
But it doesn't help the thousands of people who never heard of Matter and just bought an expensive HC3 to solve their Hue/Innr/Ikea-lights problem.

Without any compensation they saw their cherished HC3 evolve from an enduser-friendly machine into an installer-managed device that lacks most of the promised features.

 

3) The mere fact that Matter & Thread are discussed in this forum shows that Fibaro has become the domain of professional hard- and software guys, no gullible endusers anymore.
For the same reason the forums are so quiet here: the 'professionals' have set up their own server somewhere and discus over there their ideas, problems and solutions.
All this while the first intended user doesn't visit the forums anymore because he risks to be ridiculed when asking a question about a "block-scene". 

 

Is it Corona ? Is it the Nice-take-over ? Is it just a fundamental lack of respect for the customer ? 
I don't know.
What I do know is that fibaro lost my trust and loyakty and, I fear, the trust and loyalty of many thousands other customers.

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I understand your points, I agree that the lack of Zigbee is a major concern for users already owning such devices.

I also agree that Fibaro does not take care of their end-users, but that's not something new... I've noticed that since I use a HC2.... almost 8 years ago.

 

But I disagree about your professional & Matter stuff.

Matter is not aimed at the professionals, it's aimed at the end-users, especially non-tech guys.

Tomorrow, anybody will be able to buy any product in the local hardware store, and as long as the Matter logo appears on it, one will be pretty sure it will work with existing devices, including the phone in the pocket. Without any LUA programming, just be clicking on big screen's icon.

More advanced users, or professional electrician, will still be able to install micro-modules inside the walls, and manage them from any vocal assistant so that family member's are happy.

It's a universal standard, and everybody wins.

 

Z-wave, Zigbee, those are protocols for geeks & professional users.

 

The thing is, Matter & Thread is so new that only professional & geeks are aware of it.

But as all members of this forum, I think we are all geeks (or professionals), and should be aware that Matter is the future, where as Zigbee has no future.

Be prepared for what's coming.

 

I have no Zigbee device at home, and absolutely no interest in this technology.

Why ?

I had a similar experience, by investing in EnOcean devices some years ago. That was a big mistake.... but it's my fault, I only bought such devices by listening to marketing promises without testing them. I still use the devices connected to a gateway (FHEM) because I don't want to throw them away, but I have learned to be watchful about new technologies, and when I saw the success of Zigbee, I was pretty skeptical. Am I right ? I'll know it in a near future.

 

Following the same advice, you would be skeptical about Matter.

Well, why not.

But the main difference, is that it's developed as a new standard with all major companies involved.

Google, Apple & Amazon of course.

And all major electrical & smarthome companies : Somfy (Nice's major competitor), Legrand, Schneider...

And also popular companies that are still using Zigbee today : Philips/Signify (which have already announce upcoming Matter integration), Ikea, Tuya, ...

And so on.

Fibaro has to be a part of Matter, unfortunately Nice is not even registered as the active members... I'm afraid they lost a major opportunity.

It's not too late, they can still implement Matter, and Thread, inside HC3.

 

This whole discussion reminds me of the 90's, before the emergence of Internet.

All lonely computers, some are locally connected using proprietary protocols (Novell IPX, ...).

First distant networks appears in the form of many independent Bulletin board system.

In the end, Internet came with TCP/IP..... you now the rest.

Edited by lazer
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Technology will always evolve. And our hardware needs to be able to adapt to that. Matter might be the future, ZigBee have been popular a long time - but the HC3 still does not run it.

 

My major gripe with Fibaro is that the HC3 was sold to have some specific functions (like ZigBee, 433), then upon release it did not have it. I had it preordered and was one of the first in Sweden to get it. It was so newly released I did not know at that time that it did not come with ZigBee. Then, after release and after I got the HC3, Fibaro says it is not implemented and they did not say any more than that. Some months after released the promised functions was removed from the press material on the web site.

 

In other words - false advertisement. Fooling the customers to buy something that is not working. Fibaro is not alone in this area of solutions to do so, but that does not mean it is ok. EU has laws against this. But that is how they do, advertise functions that are not there in order to make people buy the hardware. With that money in, they start developing as it cost money to have developers working. Depending on the sales and money earned, the promised features might come or not.

 

I won't support any more companies doing business like that. It is not ok to treat customers like that. So, in my case, I won't preorder or buy a HC4, HC5 or whatever from Fibaro. While the Fibaro people I've written to are nice and supportive, the way Fibaro do business is not ok.

Edited by robw
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On 6/12/2021 at 1:16 PM, robw said:

Technology will always evolve. And our hardware needs to be able to adapt to that. Matter might be the future, ZigBee have been popular a long time - but the HC3 still does not run it.

 

My major gripe with Fibaro is that the HC3 was sold to have some specific functions (like ZigBee, 433), then upon release it did not have it. I had it preordered and was one of the first in Sweden to get it. It was so newly released I did not know at that time that it did not come with ZigBee. Then, after release and after I got the HC3, Fibaro says it is not implemented and they did not say any more than that. Some months after released the promised functions was removed from the press material on the web site.

 

In other words - false advertisement. Fooling the customers to buy something that is not working. Fibaro is not alone in this area of solutions to do so, but that does not mean it is ok. EU has laws against this. But that is how they do, advertise functions that are not there in order to make people buy the hardware. With that money in, they start developing as it cost money to have developers working. Depending on the sales and money earned, the promised features might come or not.

 

I won't support any more companies doing business like that. It is not ok to treat customers like that. So, in my case, I won't preorder or buy a HC4, HC5 or whatever from Fibaro. While the Fibaro people I've written to are nice and supportive, the way Fibaro do business is not ok.

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Edited by Ekenswe
dont know
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On 6/11/2021 at 6:10 PM, lazer said:

Thank's @A.Socha for this update.

 

Firmware update from file looks to be a promising feature, if I understand correctly we will be able to update any device, as for example Aeotec, using the provided firmware file..... thus we won't have to exclude device, include on Aeotec USB key, update using Silicon Labs PC Controler, then include again on HC3.... and manage new IDs.

 

 

Zigbee subject :

 

I'm quite impressed that so many people are asking for Zigbee support.

OK, it was a promised feature by Fibaro marketing team... you can blame Fibaro or Nice or whoever you wants.... but now who cares ?

I mean, this protocol is quite dead, in a year or so, no new module will we marketed using Zigbee protocol, all vendor will start merchandising Matter & Thread products starting on 2021's end.

Event the Zigbee Alliance has changed his name !

CSA = Connectivity Standards Alliance for those who wonder

 

I am concerned about weather or not Fibaro will implement Matter in HC3.

I thinks it's absolutely essential to be able to use Matter to interact with future smart home objects, starting with Google & Apple products (phones, vocal assistants)

 

The icing on the cake would be to use the 2.4 GHz antenna & chip to support Thread.

But I personally don't really care (for now) about Thread, I prefer a good and strong Z-Wave engine.

The important thing is Matter, the top level protocol for smart home integration.

 

My own wish, is don't loose time, energy, effort, money on Zigbee, and focus on Matter.

 

@A.Socha any clue about Matter/thread support ?

 

HC3 is based on z wave 500 series chipset . the 700 series chipset is the newest - and it looks like that the 800 series chipset will support Matter. So Fibaro is not close to support Matter

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I have never heard of Z-Wave 800 series chipset... and it does not look serious, 900 series would make more sense regarding chips history.

 

And it seems you have misunderstood Matter concepts.

Matter is kind of high level language for smarthome products. It does not need a specific chipset, it can be implemented as pure software, on top of TCP/IP stack.

But you may be right about Fibaro not being close to support Matter... it depend on the priority they will give it. That's why I asked the question to @A.Socha

 

Thread, on the over hand, is the Z-Wave equivalent, or i must say the Zigbee replacement. That is, a wireless protocol for devices.

It needs a specific chipset, and @tinman already told us that the HC3 is hardware compatible. Will Fibaro implement it is a big question considering what they did (not) with Zigbee.

 

I think it makes sense for Fibaro to provide a strong Z-Wave engine, together with Matter integration, than a flawless Thread implementation.

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Posted (edited)

(I seems to do this

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- so here comes the 2021 version)

 

I joined this forum Dec 31, 2013. I believed I bought the HC2 a bit earlier - maybe it was an Xmas present to myself. I'm far from the oldest on this forum, just saying I done my years and have seen hopes and illusions come and go.

 

We had just moved into a new house and this was affordable compared to ex. KNX and it was easier to tinker with. Just a hobby - which it still is.

 

I'm kind of an "open systems" guy (not religious), and when I looked at the market I really believed that we would see a split between the switches/sensors and the systems that control them. Z-wave at that time seemed promising, and then we got more technologies... 

So if the KNX is the "mainframe" of home automation, the z-wave, zigbee etc was the "PC" incarnation - and we know how it went for PCs and mainframes. Scale and ease-of use wins. PCs came in many models, CPUs and OSes, but I believe that Matters can take this to the next level and we could start to see the real "PC" effect. ( @lazer's Internet comparison holds also)

 

Then one can ask if Fibaro has chosen the right market strategy. I don't really care if they survive or not and I have a fallback strategy if the box becomes too closed/unusable. In any case it's always interesting how companies go about positioning themselves in the market. Companies' strategies are never crystal sharp as it is always tempting if there are money on the table, even if it's a bit outside their main focus. This can be seen as experimentation and business building but it can also be a distraction.

 

In any case, it seems like their main vision is to sell boxes at bulk together with switches for new buildings or homes - served by installers. Betting it will be a market served by electricians and plumbers alike.

This sets them up as a B2B company - which is very different from a B2C company - it's hard to be both - one will always be subpar to the other. Fibaro has a foot in B2C too, but you get the feeling that the other leg is winning internally. The "life style" commercial ads we see on their site is really meant for the guy with the tool belt to convey when he talks to his customers...

I work at a "small" company named Ericsson and we can argue that we didn't get consumer phones. Nokia had bit more consumer background (TV sets and tires ;-) ) but when phones became mainstream the market changed towards Samsung and Apple. (Google's position is a post in itself - but they prefer the scalable hands-off consumer relationship that don't fly in all markets). The next step for our market is when telecom becomes Internet and how operators and vendors to position in that market, but that's another topic.

 

So today we have electric motors and microprocessors everywhere in our homes in ways that we are not even aware of. Most of our light switches are still mechanical but it is not far fetched to imagine a future where standard switches, electric gates, locks, roller shutters and sockets from Schneider et.al comes with built-in Matter control.

And then you go to your local consumer electronic shop and complement with sensors for the children rooms, etc.

 

...then it's suddenly a consumer market. Built-into appliances and buildings and connections decided by the consumers.

 

There will be competition who can offer you the best orchestration/control of these devices - from the cloud, from the smartphone, from a dedicated box in your home. This "control" will be a separate market where "comes with the newest and shiniest AI algorithms" will be selling arguments. - and of course Google, Apple and Msft will be big players here just because of their size - but there are more aspects to this including who you trust handing over your home to...

 

So Fibaro makes good switches and they should do the best Matter switches to stay in that market - and they could probably add some cleverness/intelligence/design to the actual switches to differentiate and get a premium price for them... and get a heads start on Schneider et.al before they understand the real importance and stop toying around.

 

However, if they want to stay in the "control" part I would like to see them move faster in how they evolve that component. Looking at some of the open source systems with hundreds of contributors and hundreds of commits weekly and hundreds of plugins and protocol support the HC2/HC3 can look a bit ...slow and featureless. The innovation you attract as a successful open source system is amazing and you don't get that from just installers...

 

They can still earn money on a box with good (I was about to say "nice") radio support to run the control system - even if it's open source - lot's of people don't want a PC on all the time. Can you make a box that is worth 4x what a Pi with a zigbee&z-wave stick cost? I guess you can if your box is easier to develop for and thus attracts more innovation and thus more interesting functionality for consumers that just wants to buy a box that solves their current and future home automation tasks in the best way... and don't want to tinker themselves. 

That's why people buy an iPhone or Android - it's all the apps and innovation these platforms enable - and Apple and Google compete on their Developer conferences who has the coolest development platforms with the most features.

 

Anyway, the HC3 is a step up for developers. The QA model that allow us to write "real" devices and some additional network protocol support like MQTT and WebSockets are steps in the right direction.

What is severely lacking is still:

  • Lua library support - more of the Lua community standard libraries and support for installing your own. Encryption libraries and authentication libraries like Oath should be there from start.
  • A authorisation model that tells what user code is allowed to do. Like, installing libraries, access internet, access other devices, update system properties etc. Code should be treated as a user. Like on iOS or Android.
  • Enable the rest of the Lua language - metatables and coroutines. Probably only os.execute that needs to be censured and then provide versions of require/load that respects the current environment.
  • Make a decent event system. /refreshStates is nice to have but it could be so much more efficient if callbacks for specific events could be registered - getting away from the constant polling ...and then leverage the same system for QAs and Scenes (and btw, make them both Lua5.3 and with class support - conditions is never going to be easy to use for new comers...)
  • Debugging possibilities. Support

    Please login or register to see this link.

    for remote debugging.

    Please login or register to see this link.

    .
  • UIs... I don't know what to say. Open up the protocol for third party (phone) applications or spend some more efforts on it.

The box could of course also be more powerful but I still think there are a lot of possible improvement to get a more stable performance out of the existing HW. Not everything will fit on the box and integration support to MQTT and other service is a must. Fibaro could even offer their own remote services to the box. Notifications, positioning, IFTTT are such services (that could improve) but why not offer more developer back-end services. Storage, time-series DB, ML inference engine, etc. As a developer I can call out to AWS or Google but it becomes difficult if someone else is using my code as they need to setup all these resources and relationships (or I come up with a charging model...). If it's valuable enough it could warrant Fibaro to extend their business model with subscriptions. 

 

Then of course before everything is Matter the question is how to support developers with a homogenous device (QA) model that allows legacy devices (z-wave, nice etc) as well as Matter.

Edited by jgab
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Posted (edited)

Fuckibaro do not care about end users. I do not think what they will read this comment, Jan.

thank you for this longread.

Edited by 10der
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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, 10der said:

Fuckibaro do not care about end users. I do not think what they will read this comment, Jan.

thank you for this longread.

No, I don't expect that. 

 

Some further thoughts:

When it comes to HomeKit, Fibaro have accepted their role in the ecosystem - making devices. 

 

When it comes to Matter - my guess is that it will be similar. One can argue that Matter being "open" and anyone can compete on building the control system - but the competition will be fierce - with Apple, Google and other specialised companies - companies that has a core business in, and understands, how to attract developers and build ecosystems.

 

A parallel is Zigbee. One can see it as just a technology to turn on and off lights, and then of course any box that can talk Zigbee can do it's job. This is also the main use of Zigbee today. That's why we have open source Zigbee controllers using USB sticks and why some people want the HC3 to be able to control Zigbee lights. 

However, Philips has/had much grander plans. They wanted to create an ecosystem with developers churning out great apps that would build value on top of the lights business. They wanted it to be so much more.

The problem is that Philips is not a "platform company" either. Their interaction with developers in their forum is as good as it is in the Fibaro forum - and they are slow to come out with features too.

 

So, some clever person at Philips said - let's join Matter so we can accelerate this market and sell more smart lights that is our core business anyway - that's how we earn money. The Matter ecosystem will create the apps and use cases that will make everyone exchange their lights to smart lights - and we are good at making smart lights. Let's transform the Zigbee hub to a Matter GW and focus on selling lights... - at least that strategy can't be worse than our initial strategy...

Philips have been around since 1891.

 

Fibaro is now owned by Nice. However, it's still a small company when it "Matters"... :-)

 

Edited by jgab
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These are my favourite posts on the Fibaro Forum, as I don't really use my HC2 for anything other than configuring devices and deleting my once vast set of LUA scenes and VDs as I migrate away in a controlled manner. 

 

For anyone on the edge (about to give up) with Fibaro I'd suggest trying out HASS and OpenHAB as replacements and Node-Red if you want to supplement your Fibaro controller. 

 

They are all excellent open source projects. 

 

In particular if you want to try NR I can give you some suggestions as I've built my whole HA UI using it along side my 2xHC2s.

 

I won't stop taking to you about how truly amazing NR is. You actually can do anything you want to with it. And it actually works right now. Stable, flexible, reliable. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, jgab said:

Let's transform the Zigbee hub to a Matter GW and focus on selling lights... - at least that strategy can't be worse than our initial strategy...

Philips have been around since 1891.


Philips earns a lot of money on their Hue division. And their Hue lights aren’t cheap either, some comparison to Fibaro. 

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btw, my HC3 now have only 13 devices with zwave (was 115) now zigbee and z2m as base system in my house.

I can’t replace only some devices :

ms6 (5 devices) usb powered

goap meteo station (with wind/wind dir/wind gust/rain/wind chil)

aeot 3 phase meter 

some DIY custom ZUNO devices

 

 

6 hours ago, jgab said:

 

Fibaro is now owned by Nice. However, it's still a small company when it "Matters".

B̶L̶M̶ FLM

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1 hour ago, 10der said:

btw, my HC3 now have only 13 devices with zwave (was 115) now zigbee and z2m as base system in my house.

I can’t replace only some devices :

ms6 (5 devices) usb powered

goap meteo station (with wind/wind dir/wind gust/rain/wind chil)

aeot 3 phase meter 

some DIY custom ZUNO devices

 

 

B̶L̶M̶ FLM

 

Having moved to Zigbee what difference do you see in your system? 

 

I only ask, as you know my 201 (the last time I counted) zwave device system accepts 2xHC2 works fine, so I have little incentive to move.

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3 hours ago, alex88 said:

I only ask, as you know my 201 (the last time I counted) zwave device system accepts 2xHC2 works fine, so I have little incentive to move.

Alex, i know. 

i already shared my feeling in our chat in discorg :) 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/3/2021 at 10:38 AM, jgab said:

In any case, it seems like their main vision is to sell boxes at bulk together with switches for new buildings or homes - served by installers. Betting it will be a market served by electricians and plumbers alike.

This sets them up as a B2B company - which is very different from a B2C company - it's hard to be both - one will always be subpar to the other. Fibaro has a foot in B2C too, but you get the feeling that the other leg is winning internally. The "life style" commercial ads we see on their site is really meant for the guy with the tool belt to convey when he talks to his customers...

 

B2B or B2C ?

 

With Lua programming, Quickapps and not that many support for integration by Fibaro it indeed tends to B2B. The only other way to support customers who don't know Lua, is with this forum. But Fibaro doesn't have that much focus on the forum, so more and more it will be B2B, and the more higher cost solutions. 

 

And without the means of protecting the source code of integrations with Quickapp, not many B2B partners will create commercial integrations. 

 

I think Fibaro aims at both, which most of the times doesn't work or doesn't have a strategy yet. 

 

 

Edited by SmartHomeEddy
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