Hello, first off I want to say that I love your company and it’s changing the game. What I would love to propose is something your ecosystem is missing and it will encompass a lot of your wish list items. I will start the same way you guys did and that is with the camera’s.
Everyone is asking for RTSP, LOCAL control, LOCAL recording (centralized) and a web UI. So I am proposing your own NVR or centralized hub. Your devices take up a lot of plugs and IPs, so you create a hub that would connect to our network and all the cameras can connect directly to the hub. Add support for an SSD drive or large capacity SD to record all the cameras locally. You can provide your user’s with a web UI for view and controlling devices LOCALLY. You can still have cloud connection for your premium features like Cam Plus, but for the regular features there is no reason we should have to connect to your servers just to control or view a device. This would also ease the strain on your cloud infrastructure. Another wish list item I see is POE you could add POE capabilities to provide power to your cameras with a little adapter.
You didn’t stop with cameras and neither will I. You ecosystem is badly missing a hub, you have all these awesome devices, but the only way they can communicate is via your cloud infrastructure or the app and this is a bit clunky. Add the abilities to connect all your devices to the NVR and now you have something special. Being able to control all your devices LOCALLY for one location would be great for all parties involved. Your lock, the old sense and your newer monitoring service all have an extra gateway, why not combine all of that hardware into one smart hub. Adding additional radio’s such as zigbee, z-wave and Bluetooth will give you a solid base to grow your platform.
Another ask is to integrate with other smart home hubs such as Hubitat and Home Assistant. Hubitat has this app that allows you to connect to another hubs LOCALLY and bring all those devices into it under one roof which in the smart home world is key. Adding an API to allow for that would be great so other hubs could connect and it would put the burden on those manufactors or comminity to sort out.
You get the jest, I will leave this on one final thought. Through out this proposal I emphasized LOCAL control and that is a fundamental principle of a smart home. When you are trying to automate events in your house seconds are everything. When motion is detected the signal shouldn’t have to leave the house, go to a server in the cloud then send it back to house to turn on a light. By the time all of that happens you have already turned on the light manually. As smart home consumers we have all been burned from not just by the fly by night companies, but Big Companies such as Lowes and Samsung, where you buy their products and it’s solely cloud base then the company goes under or it’s not in their best interest to continue and they stop their service and the devices seize to work. Samsung really burned me good with their Smartthing ADT hub. I paid $600 for the hub and an additional $800 or so on all of their sensors and devices to work with it. Just one year later they broke that partnership, but everything still worked. Then a year after that they ended support for it and they seized to work. Now I have all this equipment that is worthless. This is from 2 of the biggest brands in their fields, so when everyone is harping local control it’s not only about their privacy or personal data (which is legitimate), it’s about not getting burned again. I want to buy more of your products like your thermostat and smart lock, but if they don’t work with the rest of my smart home there’s no point.
This proposal will still allow you to keep everything the way it is and allow the average user to easily add new devices as needed, but also add that extra functionality for your more advanced users. Thank you.