Gen 3


#1

When will Gen 3 be coming out? And what new things can we expect in it? Thanks.


#2

@maxentro, at this time we’re not sure if we need a Gen 3 – we believe the Gen 2 controller is a great product and addressed the pain points we had with the Gen 1 controller.

We are however, actively working on a V3 software update that will be available to all Gen 1 and Gen 2 users.

Curious to hear what you (or others) would want to see in a hardware update? Is there anything in particular Gen 2 is missing in your opinion?


#3

this says that commercial implementation is not strongly on your roadmap. Wish it were otherwise. Commercial and municipal users are all going to insist on having Ethernet connections.


#4

@a0128958 I have to respectfully disagree- I think there is a lot we could do with our current hardware to support commercial implementation by making software improvements. I do understand the difficulties and limitations wifi can cause, but can I ask why you think ethernet specifically is the best solution? In my opinion that is even more limiting.


#5

Thank you for the note.

Any time a small company rapidly grows to 48 employees, getting future path decisions right are usually ‘sink or swim.’ Thus, I hope you’re right WRT your view that Rachio’s WiFi connectivity to the Internet capability (as opposed to having either/both WiFi and Ethernet) is adequate to support major penetration into commercial and municipal use markets.

I’ll simply beg to differ. I’m certainly not going to specify or recommend the Rachio for commercial or municipal use with WiFi only connectivity, noting WiFi’s security vulnerabilities and less reliable connectivity aspects.

Best wishes for sizeable penetration into commercial and municipal markets without Ethernet. I know you have smart people ‘steering the ship.’ They’re smarter than me.


#6

I’m fine with mine on wifi, gen 2 is much easier to hookup to the wifis, I think some,of,the concern is that in some commercial applications, it is much easier/cheaper to get a shielded cat5/6 line to a location than a 2.4 gz signal. But I don’t know how common this is the case, but anecdotal for sure.


#7

The way that technology is trending connectivity to 4G and future 5G would be my priority. In other terms IoT (Internet of Things) is the future. For commercial applications this is the solution.

I am not across the details of the hardware requirements, but from what I have seen the wifi chip is not that smaller than the IoT/4G chip.


#8

Hi Bill-

I appreciate the input, and I can understand security and reliability concerns on applications of that size. Right now, I would say our focus is more residential. That being said, that doesn’t mean commercial penetration isn’t something on the horizon. As we continue to research the commercial space, I think we have a lot to learn, and this is an important point. I guess in my mind wired connections always sound more restrictive. Knowing the requirements that are unique to commercial applications, I wonder if there are alternative solutions to both wifi and ethernet that would be good solutions.


#9

Multiple start times for a zone in a schedule is a must! I need my waterfall to run for 1 minute every hour for mosquito control. Imagine the number of mouse clicks to program 24 schedules which includes deselecting 15 zones 24 times…


#10

@PoulW have you considered using IFTTT for integration to do this?


#11

IoT is in its infancy… if we’re at all concerned about the security aspects of the tried and true Wi-Fi then that’s the last priority to have at this point in time. I think some of the recent IoT attack vectors have shown we have a ways to go before trust is gained in that market segment. :slight_smile:

Ethernet, to me at least, is more than just a connectivity option. I actually prefer hard-line connected devices when possible. In fact if the Rachio had an Ethernet port today I would have run a line to where ours is installed in the Garage. If future Rachio devices have Ethernet ports without introducing a major price change I think it opens up some additional options.

  • Network connectivity (makes Wi-Fi non-required)
  • Less susceptible to changing conditions in saturated Wi-Fi markets
  • Power Over Ethernet capability if the device’s needs fall within current or forthcoming PoE output specs. This also means no more need for running AC to the point of installation. For us geeks this also means remote-reboot (if ever necessary) by powering a PoE port off and on without the need for some kind of smart outlet and home automation controller.
  • A pair of ports would provide daisy chain ability to create a logical >16 zone system, even easier if the ports supported Auto MDI-X so any cable can be used. Or even if a single port existed it could still chain two units but then Wi-Fi would be required to manage the pair.

Just some ideas. I wouldn’t say the Ethernet port is dead as the Dodo just quite yet.


#12

+1 @scorp508

I much prefer a hardwired connection whenever I can. My MPOE and MDF are in my garage along with my Rachio controller and I would have been a bit happier if I could have just run a cable and plugged it in. I generally am willing to pay a premium for devices with an ethernet port.

Steve.


#13

I think Gen 3 could feature a USB port. It could prove useful for firmware updates, configuration changes and generic USB to Ethernet adapters.


#14

One hardware improvement I’ve been waiting for since the beginning is ethernet connectivity. Ethernet would be a very cheap addition to the controller but it would satisfy a growing community of people who would buy a Rachio if ethernet connectivity was an option. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume the controller is mounted near an ethernet port (especially in a new construction house) which makes connecting to the internet so much easier and hassle free - no worries about losing a connection. In my case, the shed the irrigation controller is in is outside of my house’s wifi range (but I ran ethernet to the shed thinking I might need it out there one day), and it’s not worth it to add another wifi access point in that shed only for the Rachio. So, I’m waiting to buy until there is a unit with ethernet - hopefully soon.
None of the established smart irrigation controllers have ethernet connectivity, so being the first wouldn’t be a bad thing for all of those waiting for this feature.


#15

I could be totally wrong, but I feel that ethernet connectivity is going the way of CD’s. It was a great technology, but WIFI is taking over, especially for non-commercial uses.

An ethernet port is still only as reliable as your router is.


#16

ah, idk if i agree there. I still believe it’s a best practice to wire everything that can be. I still use wired over wireless where I can. But that is mainly for media 4k, etc. This uses so little data, wifi is fine.


#17

Well in that case, when connected wirelessly, you must worry about the wireless connection in addition to the router, so a wired connection still beats wireless in terms of reliability and ease of use… just plug it in and you’re done. No future hassles regarding lost connections.


#18

It’s not the data use that I’m concerned about, it’s simply the peace of mind knowing I’ll never have to worry about a weak signal or lost connections. Not to mention, wifi just doesn’t reach where some people’s controllers are mounted. I can’t imagine the addition of an ethernet port being so expensive when mass produced, especially with how established the technology is, so I just don’t see what’s prohibiting integrating one into the unit, especially since no other major smart controllers have ethernet connectivity, and I’m sure there’s a decent number of buyers waiting for one to be released.


#19

Rachio’s current viewpoint is that Ethernet connections are restrictive. My guess is they have good market research + good economic product research such that they have concluded that for the residential market the cost of adding an Ethernet port in addition to Wifi (or making a separate hardware version that’s Ethernet only and taking out the cost of Wifi connectivity) is too prohibitive relative to the incremental revenue to be received.

My guess is for the commercial market indeed it’s not a Rachio focus at this time. I can’t imagine municipalities accepting WiFi connectivity now even in spite of it’s mainstream acceptance now from consumers. Now we’re talking recreational parks, athletic fields, visitor reception centers dependent on bookings (and thus their drive up appeal), and golf courses, to start the list.

My initial reaction is of surprise that the commercial market isn’t a focus at this time. But, further thought says that perhaps the plate can only be so big, and at the moment Rachio’s plate is overflowing just with residential focus. And if so, then I’d agree, stay focused on what they can do well, and expand to commercial focus when company capacity allows.


#20

I have to agree, although I’ve had fewer problem with dropped connections to Rachio than most of my wifi-only devices.