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CCATP #532 – Joe Dugandzic Answers NosillaCastaways’ Home Automation Questions

Joe Dugandzic of smarterhomelife.com joins us again, this time in a crossover episode. We start by him asking me to describe my progression in Home Automation from my first smart lightbulb to the more advanced capabilities Steve and I enjoy today. But then we turn the table around and I ask Joe a series of questions submitted by NosillaCastaways.

As many times as I’ve talked to Joe about Home Automation, I continue to learn from him. There are at least two moments in this episode where I had an “aha” moment of learning.

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Joe recorded the show on video while I recorded on audio. You can watch Joe’s video here:

Using a Screen Reader? click here

Here are the questions you asked Joe, but you’ll have to listen or watch to get the answers. In a few cases there are some links that he mentioned though.

  • Allison – Why can all these home automation devices only do 2.4GHz?
  • Frank Petrie – I’m handicapped and live by myself in a studio apartment. I need to automate only a handful of things. My question is it worth investing for so few uses?
  • Sandy Foster – I don’t have much in the way of home automation. Our garage door opener can be accessed via wifi, but it’s not Home Kit compatible; ditto for the alarm system. The Ring doorbell is also stand-alone.

    However, we did install the Ecobee 4 smart thermostat this past Christmas. The Ecobee has an app for the iPhone, and it works well. However, I can also see the Ecobee in My Home. My question concerns why I should use one app over the other, and what are the advantages of each? Since I don’t have any other Home Kit devices, I’m not sure there’s any advantage there. Also, why do I see each of the three Ecobee sensors and the main unit twice in the Home app?

  • Nik Lal – The thing that keeps me from starting is not knowing in which standard/spec to invest. Remember back in the day everyone was getting into … what was it, something like X10 for home automation? I can’t be arsed to look it up right now. But it offered the kind of flexibility the cool kids are finding in the Raspberry Pi these days. But I haven’t heard it mentioned in years now. Just concerned about the investment of time and money, only to find out the thing is either disappearing or isn’t extensible in the way I want it to be and then having to find something different.
  • John Daniel Sunday – Honestly don’t know where to start with Homekit. Have Ecobees and Rachios but never use Homekit. Need a what problem does it solve intro.
  • Steve Sheridan – I would like to know if Joe thinks the smart-home platform options are converging or diverging. I hope to see more centralized control and interaction for better coordination amongst smart-home devices but things seem to be diverging with so many options available.
  • David Roth – Is Apple paying enough attention to Homekit and third-party integrations? I understand the security issues, and I’m willing to suffer some lack of (speedy) integration in the name of better security. But, all that said, can Apple catch-up/keep up in the race to be your one control interface for the home? Is it a high enough priority?

4 thoughts on “CCATP #532 – Joe Dugandzic Answers NosillaCastaways’ Home Automation Questions

  1. Steve Sheridan - April 5, 2018

    Taking a cue from Joe, from this point forward I think we should call Allison, “Lady A”.

  2. Steve Stanger - April 6, 2018

    Being new to home automation by a few months this was super helpful also gave me some ideas. Thanks Allison and Joe!

  3. sTim - April 11, 2018

    That was really interesting. And I’m very grateful to Joe for detailing the information about the other hubs, as everytime Homekit comes up on any of the Podfeet podcasts, I’m generally screaming at my phone about Zigbee and Z-Wave providing all the security that Apple does, but being way more open and having tons of devices. Even at Amazon alone, I can find some 300 Z-wave lightswitches, for instance. And I get scenes, and integration with Amazon, Google, or whatever other voice activation platforms. Personally my coworkers and I are using Mi Casa Verde’s hardware for the hubs – pretty minimal initial investment, open platform but excellent free support, constantly evolving UI, and no monthly fee (as some of the ones you can buy from HomeDepot or Lowe’s often charge). It’s not for everyone, but for those with some level of tech knowledge who want to spend the time, it’s everything Homekit offers plus more.

  4. Allison Sheridan - April 11, 2018

    Glad you liked it, sTim. Can you elaborate about “providing all the security that Apple does”? What exactly are they doing that’s similar? How are you protected with these devices?

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