Front Display / Hardware Version 2


#1

I just wanted that the product seems really neat, and I have come this close to buying it a couple of times. However, there is one thing I can’t get past: no front panel display at all.

There are two use cases that I can’t get past. The most important is my annual activation of my sprinkler system (winter they do without needing access to the garage since the shutoff/bleed is at the curb). I really don’t want to go through the hassle of explaining what type of system this is, what “app” they need to download (if they have a smartphone with them), and that whole general hassle. I feel if it at least had a front panel that with the job you guys do with design you could make a super intuitive interface that anyone could easily understand, even servicers who never saw it before. Although I understand your response in that everyone can work with app/online access only to Service Function, I think you are missing that providing a physical interface (be it through touchscreen or buttons, or whatever) is an intuitive way of controlling the system. I view the app control as an additional access medium, not just a replacement.

The second use case is how I can tweak it if my wifi acts up. Although less common, I would at least like the knowledge of knowing I can I tweak, suspend, modify, etc the system even if my wifi is down / spotty. I do understand that the system remembers its last programming in such event, but would not, for example, skip watering if it was about to rain. It would also be nice to be able to give the wife an easy off button if I am not home (I know she has ZERO interest in keeping a sprinkler app on her phone).

So with that, I am now asking if this is a target for the version 2 hardware. I searched online and caught a passing reference to a hardware version 2 http://community.smartthings.com/t/rachio-iro-smart-irrigation-controller-integration/6835/47. I am not asking about reveal dates/times, but I would like to know if the new version will again stay away from a front panel interface. If you already know it will, I would appreciate knowing so I can move on to another product. I am really happy to see the user community and activity in product and would prefer to buy this product and would even wait to do so, but this is a deal breaker for me. (As an aside, I also feel for the price point, it really should be including one).

It seems like a really great product and I wish you the best either way.

Thanks!


#2

@Chris1 - to be clear, I am not attempting to answer on behalf of Rachio. This is my own opinion as a consumer and owner of Rachio and of former Hunter systems.

Most irrigation maintenance companies do not want to walk back and forth to a panel to turn zones on and off when they are working on the system. When I had my Hunter system installed, the maintenance company put a port outside my garage so that they can plug in their wireless remote so that they can control the zones while on the property. Though my property is not large, they certainly wouldn’t run back and forth to large properties (e.g., apartment complexes, golf courses, etc.). For them, I don’t see an interactive panel helping in that sense. However, the programming for a non-cloud controller always required interacting at the panel. FYIW, I’ve looked at purchasing one of the wireless remotes for the Hunter system. They were over $600. With IRO, it is included. :smile:

For your use case when your WIFI is not available, Rachio provides a web based solution. By using one of your computers at home and a browser, you can manage your system from the cloud as a back up.

Rachio is at the forefront of cloud connected irrigation controllers. Large commercial irrigation firms aren’t quite there yet in a massive way. However, they will be coming around as this has got to be the future of the industry. As you might have read from some of my other concerns in the forums for the current intent of the service function requiring the downloading of an app, i’m completely against that for reasons I’ve state elsewhere. Service companies at the most should only need to use the browser on their smartphone with credentials provided by the homeowner. I’ve walked my maintenance company through it, they have no problem with it. They would have a problem with it if I required them to download an app.

Just my two cents. I’m sure the guys from Rachio will give you the answers you are looking for.


#3

For $40 you could simply velcro one of these to the front. This would allow you to take it off when you wanted to troubleshoot.

I would not be surprised if Rachio simply buys a bunch of these from an OEM and offers them as a bundle.


#4

@SteinyD Thanks for the awesome breakdown :wink:, @Tomzo Done!

@Chris1 If you can PM me, I’d like to understand a little better your requirements.

Thanks everyone!

:beers: