Reliability Of Vera

Hi All,

I run a commercial and home automation company and have been looking for a low cost solution to offer those that do not want to spend the dollars on higher cost systems.

That said, looking for honest constructive feedback on the reliability of Vera and if this is a system that will work. Thanks!

I expect you are going to hear several different answers from people with different experiences with their Vera here. That being said, it has been my experience that if you load a known stable version of the firmware, and avoid overly complex configurations that might introduce human error into the reliability picture, you really can set it and forget it. Of course, I have only had mine installed for several months (not years) but I have never had an issue with reliability on the vera system itself.

MCV is about to release their new user interface (UI4) which, we have come to expect, will improve the intuitiveness and feature set of the user experience. Weather or not you use it, I would strongly suggest that you personally experiment with the vera on your own before deploying it to any customers. The way it stands now I would expect you’ll have to be their primary source for technical support and information.

[quote=“danlewis1, post:1, topic:166102”]Hi All,

I run a commercial and home automation company and have been looking for a low cost solution to offer those that do not want to spend the dollars on higher cost systems.

That said, looking for honest constructive feedback on the reliability of Vera and if this is a system that will work. Thanks![/quote]

Dan,

I’m a business owner as well but my Customer’s are all commercial. Although different in nature, no business can afford a bleeding wound, which is how I would characterize a Client with Vera. As it stands, the problem with Vera are too fundamental to be sold to an end user by an installer. Its one thing to sell the box and refer the Customer to MCV for support, its a totally different thing to sell this box and take ownership of it’s reliability.
A. Product has not matured yet. You might want to read through http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=3770.msg18775#msg18775 for some insight.
B. Micasaverde’s Tech support is not as much committed to support as they are in finding people who want to help them develop their product.
C. At about $300.00 there is no room in selling a product that spends a good chunk its existence in a restore, troubleshoot mode.
If you sell this concept to your Client then you’ve sold them on the product. The problem is that once sold then you are responsible for its functionality for some period of time. But, if the product never really stabilizes then you can’t get a sign-off from the Client. As a result the warranty period never really starts and now you spend voluble time trying to save your Client from walking away. Meanwhile you cannot get a call back from MCV for weeks. At some point Vera will get there but right now it premature and MCV’s attitude regarding support is juvenile at best.

Good luck,

[quote=“danlewis1, post:1, topic:166102”]Hi All,

I run a commercial and home automation company and have been looking for a low cost solution to offer those that do not want to spend the dollars on higher cost systems.

That said, looking for honest constructive feedback on the reliability of Vera and if this is a system that will work. Thanks![/quote]

I had some hiccups when I first bought the unit, but they were all solved with a firmware upgrade. I’d agree with the first reply, once you’ve got a stable firmware version on it, you can run it and forget about it. Mine’s been running without trouble for a couple of months now. I also have to say that I’ve found the support to be very good, I haven’t tried to deal with them on the phone, but via email they’ve been very responsive, especially considering the functionality of the device for the price.

Having said that, it’s not all plain sailing. The interface would be very confusing for many people, I’m a programmer and it wasn’t exactly intuitive for me, and I’m still learning. It’s also not as flexible as I’d hoped without resorting to coding, although it’s head and shoulders above a normal programmable thermostat (which is what I primarily use it for). The other big issue I’ve had is the reliability of the findvera remote access service. For a free service it’s good, but it hasn’t been of “professional” robustness since I’ve been using it.

[quote=“krfar, post:3, topic:166102”][quote=“danlewis1, post:1, topic:166102”]Hi All,

I run a commercial and home automation company and have been looking for a low cost solution to offer those that do not want to spend the dollars on higher cost systems.

That said, looking for honest constructive feedback on the reliability of Vera and if this is a system that will work. Thanks![/quote]

Dan,

I’m a business owner as well but my Customer’s are all commercial. Although different in nature, no business can afford a bleeding wound, which is how I would characterize a Client with Vera. As it stands, the problem with Vera are too fundamental to be sold to an end user by an installer. Its one thing to sell the box and refer the Customer to MCV for support, its a totally different thing to sell this box and take ownership of it’s reliability.
A. Product has not matured yet. You might want to read through http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=3770.msg18775#msg18775 for some insight.
B. Micasaverde’s Tech support is not as much committed to support as they are in finding people who want to help them develop their product.
C. At about $300.00 there is no room in selling a product that spends a good chunk its existence in a restore, troubleshoot mode.
If you sell this concept to your Client then you’ve sold them on the product. The problem is that once sold then you are responsible for its functionality for some period of time. But, if the product never really stabilizes then you can’t get a sign-off from the Client. As a result the warranty period never really starts and now you spend voluble time trying to save your Client from walking away. Meanwhile you cannot get a call back from MCV for weeks. At some point Vera will get there but right now it premature and MCV’s attitude regarding support is juvenile at best.

Good luck,[/quote]
No offense to automation dealers, but from my experience they are getting lazier and lazier. I mean they do have a huge job sometimes, but usually they are paid handsomely. I see their role as intergrator and automator, but in reality a lot of them are more about sales and less about service. All of the big expensive systems have their limitations and hiccups, but here we are not granting the same understanding to little Vera/Mios who is really trying to acheive a great amount of control in a little, inexpensive package.

Vera works and well, but it is up to you if you want to push the boundries to what is called “the bleeding edge”. For basic control and monitoring, it can’t be beat for the price. There is no monthly fee, no remote access fee, and no reason not to love the no fees. Heck, as a dealer I would mark-up the price of Vera and depending on the job even set-up a small service fee for maintenance, which you’d do for larger systems anyway. This covers the service for however long you cover installation.

I think some automation guys forget that their job is to be the glue holding the system together and making it work. Yes, it should work for the most part on its own, but you can’t be afarid of a service call and the client should expect to pay for it after a period of time. The value in Vera is still there, plain as day. Automation dealers shouldn’t be totally reliant on the tech support for the products they sell either, they are the integrator. I think Vera is a perfect budget solution for those that can’t afford the big 3 (Crestron, AMX, Control4), Vera is good for your business not bad.

If you happen to be of the breed that can’t support what they sell, then buy and install the basic, limited products that your clients could have installed themselves and see how long that business model lasts.

None taken. But the reality is that you wouldn’t buy a dime worth service from me if the product I sold you failed on regular basis. I expect what I buy to work and believe my Client’s expects no less. I’m in the business of making money and not providing free support because the product I push has a lousy reliability. Automation integration cost money because of overhead involved with employing trained staff. Most of the cost associated with installation of such systems covers payroll, payroll tax, insurance, and training along with other business related overhead. Without efficiency that cost would get out of control and as you might imagine, the consumer ends up paying for that. Believe it or not the integrator and the Customer in this case are on the same side. I know my Client’s would drop me like a brick if my guys are not at their site the day after the service call and if not within the same day. There is an actual 4-hour turn around clause on emergencies in our contracts. Size of the company is irrelevant; they should bite what they can chew. They put a statement like “It just works” on the front page of the website and sell the product to general public and once sold they expect the Customer to learn code to in order to keep this thing running. This product is not ready for general public, it should be sold either through reseller channels who have been factory trained to provide installation and support, or as it is done today with support from factory or third party support like a lot of manufacturers do. But the support has to be there in its current structure and not just a claim. The so called tech support is not even broken but rather non-existent. The funny thing is no one is arguing about that fact, you are just telling me to give them a break and hang in there till they figure it out. Meanwhile, they tell me that they are supporting those customers that they respect and want. Apparently, they do not want or respect a lot of people. My point is that if they are upfront and honest with the Customer, then they might get a break for a while but ultimately they have to deliver on the promise. This for most people is not a hobby; it is suppose to be a functional tool.

I understand that you want it to be reliable, I am saying that it is for what the OP was asking about…light-commercial automation and remote monitoring that is “a low cost solution to offer those that do not want to spend the dollars on higher cost systems”.

I just came back tonight from a Beverley Hills 12 Million dollar spec home (not the biggest home or most expensive, but a good example) that was using Crestron among other solutions for control. There are bugs up the Kazoo in that place. What does work is awesome, but there are still several companies scrambling to get the house working as it has been on the market for months now. I have another 50,000 sq ft Crestron based home that practically needs a dedicated live-in automator to keep it running (I’d take the job and live in the 20,000 sq ft underground garage, lol). I know it all can’t be Crestron’s fault, it could be a number of things including human error, but that is my point with Vera is that there are similar factors when considering its reliability (Z-Wave, the devices, user, etc). It is technology, it isn’t always bulletproof, like buying Apple products is supposed to protect you from the nefarious problems that plague PC users, when the truth is you have similar problems except you paid much more for them. Apple is the king of marketing hype (cough, lies), I could say my Toyota Truck “just works”…and it does everyday, but that doesn’t mean my water pump couldn’t start to fail tomorrow morning.

I agree dependable phone tech suport would nice, but this isn’t Lutron or Crestron…it is MCV with a much smaller market base. 9 times out of 10 the big guy’s phone support is rather worthless anyway, call three times get three different answers. It makes more sense for MCV to focus on submitted tickets and remote into Vera if necessary. Giving us, the users, access to top developers instead of 1st level tech support just reading from a manual (hours wasted). This goes back to my point about knowing the products you provide. I strive to know more about window shade motors and controls and their integration than the majority of our Vendors’ employees know, as a result they recognize that I do. Dealers who sell/install Vera don’t have to know Luup coding to make Vera work, but they most certainly should, just as they should know how to code for the other systems they install…sadly, most Dealers farm this out.

I am in the business of providing the best solutions I can for their budget, making money is just a means to that end.

If you are in the business of selling home automation and Vera is a product you are interested in then do your home work. Take a day or two and study the basics of Luup and how it can be used to create some BASIC logic conditions. After all most of the code is posted for you to cut/past/edit. I still don’t believe that you need to be a programmer as many people say. I’m not and I didn’t have many problems I just devoted many nights of reading and testing. You do have the option of keeping it simple, that way Vera is very stable “Out of the box”. Again read about what firmware versions are stable and stick with them, find out what z-wave devices work well and stay away from those that don’t. Don’t upgrade until you give others time to voice their opinions of new releases. I do have a business so I know what it takes to make money while keeping clients happy. Use the free remote access to assist your clients, could save to travel time.

In saying this I must stress that there are some missing features that should have been included but were not, so far the biggest one being no built in logic options. This is my only gripe about Vera to date.

I compare Vera to how a computer was a few decades ago. They were expensive, hard to program, had limited functions and no GUI interface. Along came Bill and the boys and created something called Window$. The first versions were anything but reliable (look at Plug & play, USB). After time and many releases the product grew to what it is today but this didn’t happen over night. Vera is just like this, its called growth and development with a side dish of growing pains. You can’t tell me that any business doesn’t have that. I know that the MCV team is busy making sure UI4 is stable before releasing it and I’m sure it is taking every bit of their resources to do so and this will be for our benefit. When it is released and thing stabilize I’m sure the support services will return. Give them time… think of that they are doing with such a small budget and resources.

I see Vera as a product that is viable as long as you take the time to know it well. Buy one for yourself and use it as a test/training system. If you try to sell a product that you haven’t spent the time to work directly with then good luck with your business model.

As you notice no one is arguing with me about Vera’s reliability and the tech support. They are just trying to justify it and set conditions so MCV can be excused for underperforming.
With regards to other automation solutions that may behave erratically, the difference is that an AMX or Crestron solution is reliable as long as each device and macro is set up correctly and the logic behind the design is correct.
Vera is a simple concept that works and then just stops. Case and point; my own Vera stopped two months ago for no reason. Sending a trouble ticket to tech support produced no results, not even an acknowledgement. I then began reading through the various threads and realized that there was no consistency as to why this unit with this firmware stopped and why upgrades had worked for some while not for others. There was some consensus that the restore utility had worked in most cases and it should be applied with windows XP and that you can’t use it Windows 7 reliably (Surprise, surprise).
The point is that you can’t turn any direction without running into an obstacle. Suffice it to say that even applying the restore utility took multiple attempts before it actually worked.
I go back to my initial point and that a business is in the business of making money and not charity. You can have a very simple setup with a Vera box with only a single thermostat installed and it will fail. It is just a matter of time not when. The problem is that you won’t be able to isolate the problem to prevent it from happening again, and if you’re a businessman then you know what that means and of course you cannot expect to get any help from MCV.
Their tech support is reliable as the product, sometimes up and sometimes down. I also don’t understand the rational referencing the size of the company. According to some, if you take your car to mom and pop gas station to repair a flat tire, then you should expect them to screw it up because its just a small shop. Again to me size of the company is irrelevant. Otherwise nobody is going to cut you slack if you own a small company. On the contrary, people expect more from a small business entity because they want the personal attention. Like I said, they should bite what they can chew and not leave their Customer’s in state of limbo if they want to succeed. All those who say otherwise have obviously never ran a business. Bottom line is that no business entity can succeed unless it is in tune with its customers. It’s the old 7-11 rule. You do a good job and your customer will tell seven of his friends, you screw up the job and he’ll tell eleven potential customers. If I were you, I’de deploy one in my own house with every possible option you intend to offer to your customers and see for yorself.

I actually AM trying to explain to you that YES, Vera IS reliable, it is as reliable as much more expensive solutuions. If something does go wrong, it is much cheaper and easier to fix.

I am also trying to make the point that AMX or Crestron will still have problems…its a computer, when put in the hands of a dumb end-user it WILL have problems. You’ve said yourself that you make service calls on those systems. I work with a lot of different automation dealers and different systems and they all have problems with Crestron/AMX and its integration with devices regardless of the scale, budget, or skill level.

The point about the size of the company is that they are doing big things with small resources. Yes, there may be some growing pains associated with smaller companies, but there are also other issues with companies that get too big to give personalized service. Look at Apple’s press release today about the iPhone dropping calls, they blame it on the formula that calculates the signal bars, which actually has nothing to do with the fact that I can touch the phone in one spot on the rim with a finger and loose my connection. A big company, with a supposedly stellar track record, yet still they made a huge design flaw and are trying to “BS” their way out of it.

There are a good amount of Z-Wave gateways out there, but MCV is standing tall and growing. Vera may not be ready for my Mom, but my Mom can’t even hook up a DVD player to the front of the TV with color-coded RCA jacks (heck, a lot of people can’t do that). Vera is certainly ready for automation Dealers. I agree that you should buy one and see for yourself, its a small investment for a business that would pay for itself in the right hands.

krfar

The restore utility is made by Asus. I hope you are on the Asus forum giving them a poor rating as well.
By the way the non HOME versions of Windows 7 does work with the restore utility when used in Windows XP compatibility mode. (Surprise, surprise)

Jim,

Okay, so because ASUS makes the product, MCV is not responsible for its functionality. I believe that is the point you are making. The fact is once you decide to sell a product, then you have to stand behind it. That is what the Customers expect, which was my point to begin with. That said, MCV writes the code that runs on top of it. Either the code that runs on top of the hardware has to be reliable, or the restore has to function like it suppose to. BW, every one of the four PCs in my house run Win 7 Pro. Beside, read the threads scattered al over his forum, I’m not the only one who has had problem with the Vera itself, restoring it, or upgrading it for that matter.

Okay, I rarely post, but for some reason this thread really bothered me. I am posting this from my phone so excuse any typos.

I’ve had a vera for 6 months. I’m technically inclined, but not a home automation installer.

Would anyone in this thread actually defend the MCV marketing videos, the main website, or their slogan of “It Just Works?” An average “housewife” using Vera as a reliable easy security system?

As a professional-level large house or commercial property management device you are asking for major trouble using Vera. Gentleman and ladies, there are actually threads discussing people using a second Vera to reboot a first Vera remotely so it can be used reliably in a remote summer property with minimal automation (lights, thermostat). Think about that.

  • Vera locks up.
  • Vera stops transmitting sms and email messages and then suddenly dumps them all hours later when it is done doing whatever delayed them.
  • Vera suddenly loses zwave devices after months of correctly using them.
  • Vera stops updating the status of sensors at random
  • Vera goofs up door lock status readings on schlage locks
  • Vera locks up during many firmware upgrades
  • Vera actually has three or more completely different interfaces and incompatible update paths in addition to two hardware platforms
  • A radically different Vera suddenly appeared in the retail chain with no notice and no instructions on how to use it
  • My vera, bought from micasaverde, came with european wall adaptor, they sent me the right one three weeks later
  • My Vera came with instructions for a different model and a different gui.
  • Vera has had some firmware upgrades that actually broke large components of the system.
  • Vera’s mobile phone interface stops working at random, and often requires a reboot of the Vera

Vera is a great toy. Vera is a great hobby. Vera is a great inconsistant cheap automation gadget and talking piece for guests. Vera is not currently a viable solution to any critical automation need.

I really, really, enjoy playing with Vera and see the potential, but dont push the device on people asking for a critical automation need they have. You know it really isn’t ready.

My wife, who is a techy at heart, calls our vera by a name i wont repeat here.

Vera is a great toy. Vera is a great hobby. Vera is a great inconsistant cheap automation gadget and talking piece for guests. Vera is not currently a viable solution to any critical automation need.

I really, really, enjoy playing with Vera and see the potential, but dont push the device on people asking for a critical automation need they have. You know it really isn’t ready.

Here here! x 1 on that one. Cheers.

[quote=“not12bhere, post:13, topic:166102”]Okay, I rarely post, but for some reason this thread really bothered me. I am posting this from my phone so excuse any typos.

I’ve had a vera for 6 months. I’m technically inclined, but not a home automation installer.

Would anyone in this thread actually defend the MCV marketing videos, the main website, or their slogan of “It Just Works?” An average “housewife” using Vera as a reliable easy security system?

As a professional-level large house or commercial property management device you are asking for major trouble using Vera. Gentleman and ladies, there are actually threads discussing people using a second Vera to reboot a first Vera remotely so it can be used reliably in a remote summer property with minimal automation (lights, thermostat). Think about that.

  • Vera locks up.
  • Vera stops transmitting sms and email messages and then suddenly dumps them all hours later when it is done doing whatever delayed them.
  • Vera suddenly loses zwave devices after months of correctly using them.
  • Vera stops updating the status of sensors at random
  • Vera goofs up door lock status readings on schlage locks
  • Vera locks up during many firmware upgrades
  • Vera actually has three or more completely different interfaces and incompatible update paths in addition to two hardware platforms
  • A radically different Vera suddenly appeared in the retail chain with no notice and no instructions on how to use it
  • My vera, bought from micasaverde, came with european wall adaptor, they sent me the right one three weeks later
  • My Vera came with instructions for a different model and a different gui.
  • Vera has had some firmware upgrades that actually broke large components of the system.
  • Vera’s mobile phone interface stops working at random, and often requires a reboot of the Vera

Vera is a great toy. Vera is a great hobby. Vera is a great inconsistant cheap automation gadget and talking piece for guests. Vera is not currently a viable solution to any critical automation need.

I really, really, enjoy playing with Vera and see the potential, but dont push the device on people asking for a critical automation need they have. You know it really isn’t ready.

My wife, who is a techy at heart, calls our vera by a name i wont repeat here.[/quote]
I would love to see a MCV response to all you have said answering each point and not making excuses.

critical automation need

You guys keep complaining that your paintball gun doesn’t shoot as well as .50 Caliber Machine Gun?

When exactly MCV positioned itself as “critical automation” or even just business-grade solution? At this stage it’s a consumer device, doing very well for so advanced consumer device. If it’s not good enough for your business, may be you should finally start looking at appropriate business-grade offerings? Add a couple of zeros to the price, and try to feel good about their system and their bugs.

325xi,

Sorry for the very long post. You make a very fair point, so I wanted to post to clarify what I meant by my statements. Obviously you and I both enjoy owning a VERA and for a tech guy it is a very reasonably priced controller to tinker with. I would point out that the original poster asked for constructive critique of the VERA based on his/her decision to consider selling this as a consumer level home automation solution that he/she would install and presumably have to support.

Let me point out that I think as a small startup entity, MCV has accomplished a lot that it is very impressive. Just getting the product into the channel was an amazing accomplishment. This post is not meant to disparage them or the Vera product which I have enjoyed troubleshooting. Well, maybe a little criticism is due for the misleading videos and marketing, but that is a separate issue regarding customer expectation management and branding.

“Critical Automation Need” in my post referred to having a device that at a consumer level could be trusted to consistently perform basic home automation tasks in a suburban/urban home/condo/apartment/summer cabin. In my narrow view, and perhaps it is unfair, a $300.00 controller with $1000-$5,000 in sensors/switches/alarms should be able to perform basic consumer tasks with 80% reliability. Activities for such a device would include activating their lights at night, starting their sprinklers in the morning, texting them when the front door is opened, and notifying them of water on the basement floor. The device should be mature enough that one could click on a button in the devices GUI and expect the device to perform the requested function 95% of the time without troubleshooting.

Examples of where Vera does not (yet) meet my consumer level device criteria are significant, starting with the GUI.

GUI functions that a consumer level device would perform as compared to Vera:

  • deleting zwave devices would work. No Wiki explanations or workarounds required
  • ghost entries for devices shouldn’t exist in a database that gets bigger forever
  • the tutorial video should stop autoplaying every time after you uncheck the autoplay checkbox (yes, I read the forum about cookies causing this, it should save the preference to the device.)
  • you wouldn’t need to delete your user account and re-enter it before you could connect over the internet after upgrades (no consumer remote firmware fixes eh without VPN and SSH knowledge???)
  • sensors should show correct status Green/Red and update within 1.5-2 seconds
  • *GUI would match the photos in the online documentation
  • *Consumer would not have to read WIKI entries written by other users to determine which “version” of the device they are attempting to use.
  • Buying the device from authorized retailers would ensure delivery of the device you ordered, not a “random selection” of whatever version of the device is in the channel.
  • Clicking on buttons in the GUI would result in consistent behavior that can be troubleshot when results vary from the expected behavior.
  • If the mobile phone interface is marketed as a feature, it should work, display the level of detail that it is advertised to, and should not crash the automation controller
  • When the automation controller device locks (and all electronic devices with software do) it should sense that and reboot
  • Secure website should not have an option to notify the user of Internet connection interruption if it cannot “remember” that setting and drops it at random.
  • Local LAN connection to the device would have SSH since most consumers don’t even encrypt their wireless networks (please don’t reply to that with the SSH tunnel backdoor stuff, think Consumer Level).

Before people start posting their workarounds, defenses, minimizations, and so forth regarding the above points remember that the average “consumer” level tech knowledge expectation is how the US ended up with tens of thousands of home wireless networks with routers running default cysco/linksys/netgear user names and passwords, no encryption, no MAC exclusions, compromised firmware and broadcasted BSSID’s.

Back to the main point:
While I hate to generalize, because it is often unfair, I think it is fair to say that Vera is not an “average” tech level consumer ready product. Look at the Wiki pages. . . .imagine your the Apple Ipod/Itunes user with a DVD player with a flashing unset clock. Now look at the Wiki pages again. VPN, SSH, LAN, firmware, GUI, GUI Versions, zwave, LUUP, LUUP plugins, LUUP codes, LUUP plugin failures/corruptions, No-LUUP firmwares, mobile device LUUP plugin, and Heal Network (you better read that one).

LOL, as I write this my Schlage doorlock just stopped responding. . . .no problem, here is the easy fix:

  • go to Devices->Zwave Options and include your lock by:
    +set to INCLUDE
    +low power to FULL POWER
    +and timeout from 30 to 120 seconds
    then press GO button and go to your lock and:
    +type the programing code, wait for the schlage led to blink ORANGE
    • press Schlage button then 0 key and confirm that the led blinks GREEN
      — if the lock led blinks RED then repeat the include procedure —
  • you can see the progress written in blue text at the top of the page, bellow “Z-Wave options” page title
  • wait for the lock to be added and the zwave network to be restarted then
  • go to Devices and observe the lock configuration progress by going with the mouse pointer over its BLUE COG WHEEL
    ( more infos about device status are on this manual page: http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Device_Control_Status )
  • during the lock configuration time you should not unplug Vera from the power cord or change / save other settings on it *
  • assign the lock into a Room, press Continue and the press the Red SAVE button. Vera will continue the lock configuration.
  • after the cog wheel turns green test your lock: send lock/unlock commands, then add an user code
    • confirm that you can control your lock when Vera it’s near it, then move Vera at it’s initial place
  • after you’ve put back Vera at it’s initial place you have to update the zwave network routing table by running “Repair my Network” from
    Device->Zwave Options with 5 minute stress time. More informations can be found here: http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Heal_Network
    • wait for the Heal Network process to finish then test again your lock

Ok, the point here is that supporting a $300 controller with this level of immaturity seems to be a financial losing proposition at best. Still love my Vera though :wink:

Take Care all

[quote=“not12bhere, post:13, topic:166102”]Would anyone in this thread actually defend the MCV marketing videos, the main website, or their slogan of “It Just Works?” An average “housewife” using Vera as a reliable easy security system?

  • Vera locks up.
  • Vera stops transmitting sms and email messages and then suddenly dumps them all hours later when it is done doing whatever delayed them.
  • Vera suddenly loses zwave devices after months of correctly using them.
  • Vera stops updating the status of sensors at random
  • Vera goofs up door lock status readings on schlage locks
  • Vera locks up during many firmware upgrades
  • Vera actually has three or more completely different interfaces and incompatible update paths in addition to two hardware platforms
  • A radically different Vera suddenly appeared in the retail chain with no notice and no instructions on how to use it
  • My vera, bought from micasaverde, came with european wall adaptor, they sent me the right one three weeks later
  • My Vera came with instructions for a different model and a different gui.
  • Vera has had some firmware upgrades that actually broke large components of the system.
  • Vera’s mobile phone interface stops working at random, and often requires a reboot of the Vera

Vera is a great toy. Vera is a great hobby. Vera is a great inconsistant cheap automation gadget and talking piece for guests. Vera is not currently a viable solution to any critical automation need.

I really, really, enjoy playing with Vera and see the potential, but dont push the device on people asking for a critical automation need they have. You know it really isn’t ready.[/quote]

Exactly what my post “Time to ditch Vera / Z-wave for good” a couple of weeks ago was saying. As an end-user who isn’t a programmer (and doesn’t want to learn), this product should NOT be advertised as “it just works” functionality, and should NOT be advertised as a solution including “Home Automation”, etc.

[b][u]Full-featured home automation made simple-[/u]

If you thought home automation was complicated then you’ve never seen Vera. With Vera even a total novice can do everything you’d expect from a high-end home automation system.[/b]

If you want to say “Home Control”, I would be perfectly okay with that description. But make no reference to Home Automation, because that functionality has not been available since release of the first Vera several years ago.

[b][u]Super simple setup-[/u] To get going, just plug Vera in, and then from any web browser in the home go to findvera.com. It really is that simple. There's no software to install or codes to enter. And Vera includes videos that show you everything Vera can do and exactly how to do it.

Almost every single person who replied to my previous post (in disagreement) mentioned LUUP workarounds, hours of “tinkering”, many trial-and-error “fixes”, etc.)

[b][u]Real-time and historic energy usage-[/u]

Vera constantly tracks how much energy you are using. Every time you turn on a light, or lower the thermostat, Vera logs it and calculates how much energy is being used. Vera then shows you simple, visual charts of your energy usage: in which rooms the energy is being used, by which types of appliances, at which times of day, and day of the week, and so on.

This has NEVER worked from the day the thing came out of the box!

[b][u]Audio/video control-[/u]

Vera controls all popular tv’s, cable boxes and other a/v gear, both with infrared, like a normal remote control, and with RS232 on the higher end models.

[b][u]Universal remote-[/u]

Vera includes a beautiful and simple universal remote control for the iPhone and iPod touch. You can leave one on the coffee table and use it in place of your normal remote.[/b]

[b]Control all the devices in your home using your mobile phone or a web browser. Vera also turns the Apple iPhone and iPod touch into an attractive and simple universal remote control for your tv's and a/v gear.[/b]

[color=blue]Huh? Really? Vera doesn’t do this and never has! Maybe when paired with the Global Cache unit…and even then, it’s still a BIG maybe! My exact point is that if this product was sitting on the shelf at a retail store with that statement printed on the box, customers would be returning them left and right when they installed it and didn’t find out until after spending hours updating to latest questionably stable firmware version that they then had to buy an unrelated product from an unrelated company to make this functionality work…and even then, it’s a very slim chance that they could find the appropriate code for their specific A/V devices in a remote and unrelated code repository that they had to dig through dozens of forum posts and WIKI documents to find.

At the end of the day, this forum is FILLED with posts from frustrated end-users just like me who have spent hours tinkering with this hobby-project and reading through forum and WIKI posts only to get their systems running reasonably “stable” and with limited functionality compared to that advertised. STOP advertising functionality that the product does not provide!

And (to the original post’s author) you also will be unable to advertise any of this functionality unless you plan on doing your own development to make these things work. MCV has proved over and over that they have no intention of doing so. They are more concerned with developing a “pretty” UI than they are developing one that actually functions they way it is supposed to.