What happens if there is no internet?

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    Flair Customer Support

    Hi Patrick,

    Be assured we are financial solvent and rapidly growing our business!

    As with most iOT solutions, the data and processing exist in the cloud layer. This makes the Puck lightweight and allows Sensor Pucks to be battery operated. It also allows for Flair to integrate with other third party products that have cloud-based APIs, like smart thermostats, Alexa and Google Assistant.

    To have a fully offline solution, we'd need to create a bulky base unit that could store all the data and handle the processing. We kinda have to weigh that against the frequency of a system going offline and the convenience of lightweight controls.

    This isn't to say that it's out of the question, we just don't have the demand for it right now.

    All the best,

    Finn

     

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    mark

    What about a way to run the "cloud" based stuff locally on a local pc on the home network. The cloud aspect is a big problem for me.  Are the vents, themselves, zigbee or such and can the vents be paired to something else that isn't cloud based like a mixtile hub?  For what it's worth, Keen doesn't even have an API but their vents are zigbee and possibly would connect to such a hub.

    For me, the only functionality I need is a way to open and close the vent via an automated PC based software (that I write). I am currently using the flair API for this but and looking for a method without cloud or internet reliance. I shouldn't need to go out to the internet to control devices locally in house.

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    Patrick Castleberg

    Finn, I appreciate that you say your company is financially stable, I am sure Ecovent and others said the same thing. 

     

    In terms of Non internet functionality I do not see why any major hub would be required.  There should simply be a basic online mode that exists that isn't as fully functionally enabled but that still allows the system/thermostats and vents to operate like a normal thermostat/vent system automatically.  Basically like an offline version that is the equivalent of the programmable thermostats everyone has.  But even then, in the longer term, it would be good to have the ability for end users to have an option to have a "stand" alone system backup.  

    I can think of many scenarios where this would be important to prevent damage and catastrophe in the even of the internet going down (which for many is just a matter of time)  

    I have a house that is 4000+ sq feet, with two furnaces and a lot of vents.  My cost to fully setup my house with Flair would likely be in the $2-$3,000 range.  As a customer I would GLADLY pay another $500 so that my system had the capability operate (even if not quite as efficiently) offline if the internet went down.  Or if god forbid, your company went out of business. 

    Keen and other systems have the ability to use some other options that allow them to be not only dependent on Keen's servers.  I think Flair is missing the boat on making sure their systems are flexible enough to not become paperweights if the internet goes down.  I like Flairs features better but I will have to think long and hard before making an investment with the risk that's attached. 

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    Flair Customer Support

    H Patrick,

    Keen requires a hub. They call it the "Smart Bridge". It's considerably larger and heavier than the Puck, must remain plugged into power and can't be mounted on a wall or used wirelessly like Flair Puck can.

    Most Smart home systems that operate a locally require a hub. This centralized piece of equipment houses the physical components necessary for communication, processing and storage.

    The only real advantage of a system that can run locally is if the internet goes down frequently and for long periods of time. If the internet goes down, Flair Smart Vents will open. This is a fail-safe mechanism. And when the internet comes back up, Flair resumes where it left off.

    Just curious, how often does your internet go down - and is it for long periods of time?

    All the best,

    Finn

     

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    mark

    Hey Finn,  

    Yes, Keen requires a hub. However, that hub can be an open source hub anything that supports ZigBee. While connecting to one of these hubs doesn't provide all the automatic open and closing logic, you could open and close your vents via automation without internet in these cases.

    Another concern with something that's dependent on the cloud is that the internal SSH certs that allow them to connect to https sites eventually expire. If the company isn't around and able to renew these via firmware upgrades, then all these cloud devices stop working and cannot be fixed.

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    Jay Faulkner

    Hey,

    I'm looking into purchasing smart vents and I gotta agree with the folks here -- one of the primary things I'm concerned about is that all the vents don't turn into bricks if Flair goes out of business. Right now, I'm strongly considering Keen instead since their devices will work with any Zigbee hub.

    I don't think it's been said explicitly here: are Flair vents functional in any way, shape, or form if flair goes out of business, or chooses to shut down the cloud service? I appreciate all the marketing about having open APIs, but I care a lot about making sure investments I make in technology for a house I'll own for likely the rest of my life will continue to work even when Flair may have chosen to move on.

    Thanks, Jay

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    Kevin Edelmann

    I am tending to agree with the folks above.  I really like the Flair product but with no way to open and close the product through some local only app it could become bricked.  I would also like to point out to Finn that yes those local options require a hub that is plugged in all the time so does the Flair as the first Puck must be plugged in so it can communicate with the rest of the system.  

    Lastly I do not like the idea that I can only control a vent by the temperature in a room versus just saying I want it opened or closed.  

    please let me know if I have come to the wrong conclusion as I do so want to go with the Falir vents. 

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    Flair Customer Support

    Hi Kevin,

    You can control Smart Vents manually in Manual mode by setting System to “Manual”, or if you just want to control individual Vents manually, remove the Puck from the “room” in the Flair app:

    1. Tap the room
    2. Tap the 3-dot menus at the top right
    3. Select Settings->Devices
    4. Expand the Puck section
    5. Uncheck the Puck

    (You can put it back in the room the same way.)

    Once the Puck is removed, you’ll see the Vent widget with the manual controls.

    All the best,
    Finn

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