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Thread: Oomi Smarthome or Alternative

  1. #1
    Automated Home Ninja Mavis's Avatar
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    Default Oomi Smarthome or Alternative

    Just been looking at the Oomi Smarthome system http://oomihome.com/ that has just gone up on Indiego crowdfunding website (and is reviewed on this site). As a relative newby to home automation, is this system a must have? (it has already exceeded it's target funding in one day.) Or would I be better off putting something together myself (or do I need anything else????) and would it be cheaper or can I do it gradually.

    My house to date has Evohome; LightwaveRF lightswitches, some wall sockets and some plugin sockets; Sonos; Yamaha AV receiver for TV sound; Iphones, IPads, (soon to have) Apple Watch; a couple of Smart TVs and a PC.

  2. #2
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    Default Oomi looks great!

    I also looked at Oomi and I think that the Oomi system looks better than the other Z-wave controllers! I have just dabbled with Z-wave switching/dimming a few house lamps. I was wanting to put in some more Z-wave automation, but none of the available controllers was that inspiring. The MicasaVerde ones were cheap, but didn't seem to have a good user-interface. The Fibaro Home Center is more powerful and has a great user-interface, but is expensive. I was toying with the idea of using a Raspberry Pi combined with the Razberry Pi Z-Wave add-on as a Z-Wave controller and combine this with a tablet to control the Z-Wave system. This, however, would have needed loads of programming using Python - a language that I haven't used yet.

    I just came across this new start-up called Oomi and they have put together a very feature-rich controller! It seems like it will do everything I was wanting to do with the Raspberry Pi and a whole lot more. They have been on Indiegogo now for just over 1 month and raised over $1.4m in funding. http://igg.me/at/Oomi/x/10685619

    Doing crowdfunding is a bit risky, as some of the previous hi-tech ideas have fizzled out. Oomi is safer, as the guy in charge has experience of developing gadgets and successfully bringing them to market. It is using 5th generation Z-wave chips to communicate, so this is now a reasonably mature technology. They have also partnered with Aeon Labs who are building most of their accessories. I ordered a platinum package myself and I'm impatiently awaiting the October delivery!

  3. #3
    Automated Home Ninja Mavis's Avatar
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    I am very tempted - I have been following their updates for a while. Before I press the button, how compatible will it be with a UK home? Will I need to use UK adapters, will everything work or will some parts be redundant as they are made for the American market??

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    Hi Mavis, Z-wave uses a few different frequencies depending on the country you want to use it in (UK and Europe is around 868MHz). The USA uses a different frequency and there further different frequencies for Australia, Japan etc - South Africa uses the same frequency as Europe. The good news is that Oomi (and most if not all of the other manufacturers) supply all the different frequencies. As for the Oomi plug - they definitely support UK sockets, so you don't need any adaptors for things to work in the UK. The big thing that Oomi hasn't done yet is develop an in-wall dimmer or light switch for to control normal lights. This isn't a big problem for me, as you can use any Z-wave in-wall switch/dimmer although sometimes people find slight compatibility issues between manufacturers. I already have some Fibaro in-wall switches and dimmers which should work fine with Oomi. There is another manufacturer called Qubino that has started making these too and they even support energy management, so you can see how much power each lighting circuit uses and for how long it is on each day. I've bought 3 Qubino switches to try them with the Oomi (I bought them in SA as they were having a 20% off introductory sale and they were cheaper than sourcing them from Vesternet in the UK). This is why some other people are really wanting Oomi to develop a guaranteed compatible in-wall switch and/or dimmer. I was actually hoping they would do an all-in-one capacitive touch switch with built-in Z-wave, so we would have a nice switch to control the lights as well as being able to operate it from the Oomi Touch.

    I don't think there is much chance of this, as there are so many different styles of wall switches and back boxes in different parts of the World! I was born in the UK and lived there until 2011 when I relocated to South Africa. I liked the square UK sockets (maybe just because I was always used to these and I find the SA light switches really ugly (they are long and thin something like the ones from the USA). The only possibility of having a "universal" light socket is maybe if they used a double Euro plate (50mm x 50mm) for a capacitive switch and hopefully people in whatever country could then buy a light switch surround that had a hole for a double Euro. I know that you can buy double Euro front plates, as I bought some MK brushed steel ones to use for telephone and LAN cabling. I don't know, however, if these are available in SA. This wouldn't be that much of an issue for me - if Oomi or somebody else produced a nice Euro switch I would renovate my lighting circuits and just change them to UK ones!

    I'm very excited about the Oomi set-up, as they seem to be making it very easy to set-up (hence why they don't want to support in-wall dimmers as they should be wired by an electrician). They have integrated the control of home automation, streaming video/audio and CCTV/alarm in a user-friendly single system. I ordered the platinum package which has the video streamer and the Oomi air plug-in, as well as choosing 9 accessories. If you do order then please use my referral link here:
    http://igg.me/at/Oomi/x/10685619
    This means that Oomi will give me a small referral fee to put towards buying some more Oomi kit.
    Thanks, Jim

  5. #5
    Automated Home Ninja Mavis's Avatar
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    Well, I have pressed the button (and used your referral link) and gone for the platinum also.
    I am not bothered about the wall switches as I have LightwaveRF but I am interested in the control panel and the detectors/camera/security aspect. Also hopefully the expansion and compatibility aspect. Well, if I am totally honest, it is another gadget to play with

    Speaking of Python and Raspberry Pi, I have got as far as buying a basic book on Python but not even opened it yet. In the old, old days I did A Level computer science at college and wrote BASIC programmes for BBC and ZX computers. At the minute I am dabbling in R and Json on a Data course I am doing but it is not motivating me to experiment yet.

    Anyway, roll on October.

  6. #6
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    I think that we are showing our age Mavis, as I also learned BASIC programming on a BBC Model B computer at school, but I did Scottish Highers instead of A levels. My 1st computer was a ZX81 with 16K RAM pack (black and white) - I later regretted that I didn't wait an extra few months as the colour Spectrum was then released! Thanks for using my referral link - this will give me some cash towards more accessories. I'm hoping that Oomi will do a camera 3 pack for a good price over the next few months. I'm looking forward to getting my new kit hopefully in October. I just hope that Oomi don't ship it via the SA postal service, because their service levels are a nightmare! I ordered some Z-wave stuff from Vesternet in the UK. They shipped within 24 hours and it arrived in Jo'burg within 3 days. The Jo'burg office was on strike, so I didn't receive the kit for another 6 weeks! My parents sent us a parcel via airmail and this also took over 2 months as it went airmail via Jo'burg. I would have received it quicker if they had shipped it surface, as the boat takes around 21 days and they take these parcels to the Cape Town mail hub.

  7. #7
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    As for Raspberry Pi - I might still buy a RPi2 still to mess around with. There is a nearby church in a poor black area who want to set-up an internet cafe. I was suggesting that they could save money by using Raspberry Pi2 computers running some type of linux to surf the net. The hardware would be cheaper and the software should be free open-source, so this would reduce their start-up costs. I just need to buy one so I can demonstrate it to the church to see if they want to go down that route.

    I have a friend who lives a mile down the road from me and he is a software developer specializing in Python. We get load shedding, so he bought a Victron inverter with a battery bank and a small array of solar panels. This allows him to use his ADSL, laptop, TV etc during the 2 hour load shedding periods. He wrote a python program that reports how much power the solar array generates and how much his appliances draw in real-time.

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