We received some great feedback from Part One of our review from the team at Drayton and thought it was worth sharing the updated information for that original article. Here are the key items we noted from their feedback:
- The Range Extender – Already has peer to peer functionality
- Signal Strength – Next software feature pack to include power management in poor RF environments.
- Development Roadmap – There is wide range of developments in the pipeline including IFTTT support.
We will request additional Range Extenders to cover the entire extent of our property and report back. It has been great to have this detailed feedback from Drayton, demonstrating their ability to engage with end users.
Here is what they had to say…
The Range Extender (RE) already works on a ‘peer-to-peer’ networking basis. ie one RE can communicate with another one in mesh and a Wiser system can hold up to 5 REs. One RE can have up to 6 devices connected to it, where e.g. one of the devices could be another RE.
Also important to note is that the plan for our next SW feature pack is to include functionality to increase the transmit power of the heating devices/Heat HubR in poor RF environments, which should greatly reduce the need for REs in standard-size homes. This feature pack is targeted for availability in the month of December, though specific availability dates of feature packs and individual features may shift.
Regarding our section on feedback from our family, Drayton had this to say…
Biomass boilers – It is true that these systems have slow heat-up times. Given the TPI algorithm that Wiser uses, supported fuel types are gas, electric and oil, out of which oil is the slowest one with 3 cycles per hour. Systems slower than that are better served by an ON/OFF heating algorithm with hysteresis, which the Heat HubR currently does not support. This is something we may be looking into in the future.
Eco Mode – Please note that Eco Mode is purely an energy saving feature. It therefore combines Optimum Stop with Weather Compensation. This is explained in our digital user guide available on our web site. The app also has improved verbiage for better understanding of Eco Mode. (The updated verbiage is in the current Android app and will be in the iOS app due to go live in the next few days).
Optimum Start is a comfort feature that, as rightly pointed out, takes the guesswork out of scheduling system start times. Optimum Start with Weather Compensation may or may not save energy depending on how individual users program their system today (i.e. whether they second-guess their system today and, if so, how good they are at second-guessing it). As we can’t guarantee that it will shorten the times that the boiler runs, it is not part of Eco Mode per se. Optimum Start with Weather Compensation is on our roadmap.
In addition they gave us the following answer (in bold) to our wish list.
Some of the items in the wish list are already supported, planned in the product road map or deemed to have insufficient demand. Here is the specific feedback on each item:
1. Peer to peer function enabled on the plug-in range extenders – essential for us to allow our full roll out. – Already Supported
2. A network map or the ability to see how the devices connect to the hub or the range extenders. – No. Not deemed to be of great interest to the majority of our customers. Customer Services will assist as required.
3. The ability to see the signal strength between the hub and the range extenders – Confirmed roadmap item.
4. The range extender looks suspiciously like a smart plug and you can hear a relay click when turning it on and off via the LED button. Can this functionality be added – Confirmed roadmap item.
5. An audit log file to show how long and often the boiler is being fired – Partly a confirmed roadmap item – Wiser will start generating monthly home heating reports. Boiler hours will be reported though cannot comment on the specific granularity as at to date.
6. The option of selecting Biomass from the heat source and the logic added to eco mode to allow for longer warm up times – Confirmed roadmap item
7. The app instantly reflects schedule changes when made – Confirmed roadmap item. App performance improvements will be released on a continual basis through feature packs.
8. Multiple user logins. Who keeps turning up the heating? – Confirmed roadmap item.
9. Geofencing as well as the manual away mode switch – IFTTT is a roadmap item.
10. Ability to nominate a weather station on wunderground.com for very local data for the weather compensation function – No. We are confident the weather service used in Eco Mode is adequate and have no plans to change this.
11. The ability to see a timeline view of all the devices and when they call for heat. When scheduling our boiler we overlap the zone schedules to prevent unnecessary shut downs and startups. At present we plan it in a spreadsheet and then implement the timings in the app schedule. – See Q/A 6 as well. Wiser targets systems with shorter rate cycles (gas/electric/oil) and in these cases the boiler switches on/off more frequently. This feature would potentially follow from A6, subject to analysis of market interest.
12. The ability to schedule, monitor and control from a web browser – Not planned at this stage based on customer feedback and data collected through usage of other connected products. This may change based on Wiser users’ feedback
Checkout Part 3, where we expand our Wiser smart home heating system and add Alexa voice
Read the full Drayton Wiser Review Series
Part 1 – Step by Step Installation
Part 2 – Installation Update