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Whither Insteon?

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    Whither Insteon?

    I apologize if this question has been worked over elsewhere, if so, please link me to the discussion...but I gotta ask, what is the future of Insteon? I'm seeing signs that it is getting left behind in the market - even though it was first by decades. The company is cutting its product offerings, to my great frustration. It does little to no marketing. I never see it mentioned in magazine articles about home automation. Is this a moribund technology?

    And yes, I've read the letter from the new President, who is obviously attempting to "keep the spirit alive"...but cheerleading isn't leading.

    What's the REAL skinny?




    Jim Speiser
    35-year veteran of Home Automation
    Still don't know squat

    #2
    I was wondering the same thing after reading that technology comparison article by the marketing guy at HS. Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Wifi were covered but Insteon was not mentioned! I think the reason is that Insteon is sourced by only one company, while the others are made by multiple companies each.

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      #3
      Wondering the same myself now, based on this post... I have ~150 physical Insteon devices, so no small equation for myself...

      Any info Mark?

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        #4
        I picked Insteon to update from 40 years of X10 use based on research and trying Z-Wave and Wifi devices. Insteon was far more reliable and easier to use. All of the technologies are too expensive compared to X10 modules but they all have microprocessors and RF systems in them instead of a simple analog control chip like X10 so I guess they have to cost more.

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          #5
          Originally posted by allenc3 View Post
          ... expensive compared to X10 modules but they all have microprocessors and ...
          X10 had/has micro-controllers as well. X10 is also a digital message over the power line. It is just a lot slower with a lot less address and data space.

          It worries me too, if Insteon is possibly going to fade away now...

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by JimSpy View Post
            I apologize if this question has been worked over elsewhere, if so, please link me to the discussion...but I gotta ask, what is the future of Insteon? I'm seeing signs that it is getting left behind in the market - even though it was first by decades. The company is cutting its product offerings, to my great frustration. It does little to no marketing. I never see it mentioned in magazine articles about home automation. Is this a moribund technology?

            And yes, I've read the letter from the new President, who is obviously attempting to "keep the spirit alive"...but cheerleading isn't leading.

            What's the REAL skinny?

            I sure hope not. I just installed Insteon Switches in my entire home. It's my 4th home with full Insteon installs. My first home used x-10. I dabbled with Z-wave and I have several lamps with HUE bulbs in them. I've never been a fan of Z-wave. Maybe Z-wave plus is better.

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              #7
              Z-Wave Plus is better. Many issues were worked out for that version.

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                #8
                Originally posted by joegr View Post

                X10 had/has micro-controllers as well.
                I was referring to the dimmer and on/off plugin modules, they are very simple inexpensive devices.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by allenc3 View Post

                  I was referring to the dimmer and on/off plugin modules, they are very simple inexpensive devices.
                  None-the-less, they still use micro-controllers (microprocessors) to decode the digital message, react to it, and control the dimming.
                  Some micro-controllers are in the $1 price range, if you are thinking that they are the expensive part.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by allenc3 View Post
                    I picked Insteon to update from 40 years of X10 use based on research and trying Z-Wave and Wifi devices. Insteon was far more reliable and easier to use. All of the technologies are too expensive compared to X10 modules but they all have microprocessors and RF systems in them instead of a simple analog control chip like X10 so I guess they have to cost more.
                    40 years??? Damn, you got me beat. I've been at this 35 years. I like to joke that I go back to X-9...which isn't really a joke. BSR had internal names for their projects, X-1, X-2, etc. and would rename them when they went to market. I had their project X-9, which was a remote-control turntable. Apparently they rushed their new home control system to market without renaming it, keeping the internal name of X-10.


                    Jim Speiser
                    35-year veteran of Home Automation
                    Still don't know squat

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Mark, have we scared you speechless? Surely someone has some inside knowledge, or at least some insight, of the future of Insteon. Not that I'm going to change out 212 devices at this stage of my life.


                      Jim Speiser
                      35-year veteran of Home Automation
                      Still don't know squat

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by JimSpy View Post

                        40 years??? Damn, you got me beat. I've been at this 35 years...
                        Yes maybe even 45 years. My first experience was using BSR dimmer modules to control the Christmas candles in each window of the house when I was a kid. Been using X-10 variants ever since. Interesting about the X-10 naming convention.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by JimSpy View Post

                          40 years??? Damn, you got me beat. I've been at this 35 years.
                          ...which reminds me, time to change my signature....


                          Jim Speiser
                          35-year veteran of Home Automation
                          Still don't know squat

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by allenc3 View Post

                            Yes maybe even 45 years. My first experience was using BSR dimmer modules to control the Christmas candles in each window of the house when I was a kid. Been using X-10 variants ever since. Interesting about the X-10 naming convention.
                            Wow! I used BSR dimmers and switches as well. My first "controller" was a BSR interface but I can't remember the name (on Atari, maybe?). In 1985 I got a GE Homeminder that attached to my TV. It was as cool as it got back then. When Radio Shack started selling X-10 devices I thought that it was really going to catch on and I expanded my car audio/B&0 home audio distribution business to include "home automation". I installed a boatload of HAI 1503vII panels, some with several expansion panels that contained relays. I would automate anything that moved (drapes, skylights, fireplaces, etc.). The challenge back then was that the motorized devices were dumb. I had to use multiple form C relays to prevent an "on" and and "off" from being able to actuate at the same time. So a single device could require as many as four relays to function reliably.

                            In 1985 we were saying "Next year will be the year that home automation goes mainstream". We're still saying that!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Last 3 houses all Insteon. Just moved in to a new one planning without even thinking about it to do Insteon again. But as I read the comments, doubts start popping up. If Insteon dries up, Mark Sandler will lose motivation on his plugin, then I lose as well.

                              I have a hard time thinking out of the box, having stabilized HS & Insteon plugin over time. I've invested hours and money in iPad/Android tablets to control my Insteon system. Quite a leap to drop Insteon.

                              The other barrier I can't cross is understanding why Insteon didn't make it through, technically (please, don't tell me it's because of the APP).

                              Pandemic, Insteon drying up - man, I won't sleep tonight

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