What happens if there is no internet?

Comments

69 comments

  • Avatar
    Jeff Maassen

    Just adding my voice to this request. Currently lack of any sort of local offline control is the only thing stopping me from getting a flair system. Don't really care if it's via a larger optional hub (my preferred option) or via some software run on a local PC/phone on the same local network. Has to be something.

    9
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Sal

    I Agree with Jeff,

    "Just adding my voice to this request. Currently lack of any sort of local offline control is the only thing stopping me from getting a flair system. Don't really care if it's via a larger optional hub (my preferred option) or via some software run on a local PC/phone on the same local network. Has to be something."

    5
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andrew Shaw

    I would still really like to see what Flair can do to make the offline/local controls a reality for those of us on the fence!

    4
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Dylan Kauling

    Likewise. My smart home is controlled entirely using home assistant, and purchasing local control devices wherever possible.
    Being able to control the system locally from Home Assistant, even if it means an additional hub required as suggested above, is all that is stopping me from ordering vents for my whole house as well.

    4
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Ingo Dean

    I was excited to find this product until I learned it could become a paperweight overnight if the company folded, was purchased, or just came out with a new product and decided to sunset this because their cloud overhead was too expensive. That's happened too many times to me already.

    Total cloud dependence, No local control, I'm out.

     

    6
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Jason Taylor

    +1 more in agreement. Im using Home Assistant, and the only thing stopping me from buying a house full of vents from Flair is the lack of local control, or dependence on internet connectivity. I hope enough people agree and chime in to make a difference for you.

    5
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Justin Li

    I just bought a house worth of Flair vents and pucks, without doing enough research.

    I will be returning them when they arrive, specifically because of this issue. There's no reason the pucks can't talk to each other locally and run the automation. The power requirements would be minuscule, and are being misrepresented here.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Dan Strohl

    Although I would not go so far as to say I would not purchase Flair, it is a major hit against you and if there are alternatives that do offer a local control option that would rank heavily in their favor.  (so, add me to the list of requesters for this!)

    An option that I have seen others take that addresses at least one of the issues here is to publicly make a promise that if something happens to the company, or if the company (or anyone who purchases the company) decides to shut it down, the flair will open source the server software and allow the community access to it.

    Again, that doesn't address all of the issues, but at least it reduces the worry that something happens and the servers disappear.

     

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andrew Hughes

    Adding my vote for local control as well. I was really excited about Flair, but this is holding me back from getting them for my whole house (well that and the fact that I have a few unsupported vent sizes). I'm planning to set up Home Assistant to manage lights and other sensors locally. As some others have mentioned, I'm not against there being cloud functionality, but I want to know that if I don't have Internet or if your servers go down that I'll still be able to control the vents (and not just that they'll all open, which I do agree is a good failsafe).

    3
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Mohamed Abdin

    I want to add my vote for local control too. I want to also integrate it with Homeassistant. Most easily adopters the one you really want to win over will want this functionality. In fact, YouTube reviewers will start mentioning it too. Win win

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Scott S.

    I'm very happy that I found this thread, it looks like purchasing Flair would have been a mistake for me.  Our internet goes down semi-regularly, and because of the layout of the house having the vents all open would lead to some portions being extremely hot and others being extremely cold.  At the very least I'd hope Flair could add a "default" setting that would allow you to tell the system how open or closed each vent should be if the system or internet is down (ie, replicate the functionality that a normal vent gives you).

    For everything else I agree with what has been posted here.  Requiring internet access for my HVAC to work doesn't seem like a great plan.  I can understand the fancy features not working locally, but the most basic functionality of "this temp is out of range, open or close the associated vent" seems like it should be able to function locally.  

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andrew Shaw

    A very legitimate concern, my older two story with a single 5ton AC falls into the same issue if all the vents went wide open. And unfortunately being locked into terrible cable internet options means subpar service

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Michel V

    This morning the question takes a different twist by being "What if Flair apps goes down?" Woke-up this morning and all internet devices are working but the Flair apps does not load either on web or iOs. I'm able to ping my.flair.co but api calls are timing out.

    Not long ago I had a similar situation that was tied to Amazon's issue as Flair apps are residing on AWS.

    I'm sure that by the time I would submit a ticket the app will be back on so I won't waste my time there.

    It would be nice if Flair could jump in this thread and keep us informed of what they see for the future, especially as there was a post, sometime ago, showing what I taught was a bit of interest in the situation.

    Michel

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Michel V

    I just stumbled on this question from Tech Support in this thread : "What timeframe do you feel would be reasonable as a free feature vs a paid feature?"

    Now there's an elephant in the room. That was one of my concern in one of my long previous post.

    Michel.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andrew Choate

    I also have experienced a number of interruptions in other Cloud based systems that cripple any devices I have that communicate with the cloud. Surprisingly these have involved AWS hosted services (Ubiquiti over the last week) and denial of service attacks (VoIP.ms). Today the api for Flair is not accessible and I had to resort in using my remote to rise the temperature in my room to keep it from freezing because the Flair was not accessible. I have also had to throw out some excellent technology because the company chose not to upgrade to keep in synch with Apple firmware upgrade/functionality. 
    I have had this Puck for 1 week and in that time the cloud server seemed to have issues creating the graph for room temperature and now the API is not available. This is core functionality and I sure hope that Flair responds to this today and not on a M - F, 9 to 5 basis…. I am begining to question my purchase.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Don Glasgow

    I was awakened about 2:30 EST by my vent moving open then closed every few minutes. I could not log onto the system, and based on other information on this forum, realize the server has been down for hours now. Luckily, I have only one puck and vent, and not an entire house. So, the vent is rapidly chewing up its battery and keeping me awake. It should have a fail-safe position to move to and stay when there is no connection to the server. This is basic control element operation.

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andrew Shaw

    Unfortunately, the residential controls arena is far inferior and often proprietary in comparison to industrial automation so residential options can be really bad. It doesn't take much digging to see the scores of "smart" businesses sunsetting their products and leaving supporters with paper weights. Based on the decisions made by the development team, it seems they wanted to make a "smart" device without considering how it would handle fallback scenarios and thus failing to make it robust enough to be a marginally useful product when an outage occurs

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kevin Summers

    Flair Customer Support

    It's been 2 years now since the original question was asked. 

    Have there been any changes, or planned changes to the product line to facilitate local control?

    Of all the suggestions on how to go about it, my suggestions would be:

    1. Make the Pucks and the Vents standard zigbee or z-wave
    2. Make a hub that has the brains to run the show, remote access can still be through your cloud server
    3. Make the hub OPTIONAL so the Pucks and Vents can be connected to other home automation hubs (Hubitat, Home Assistant, etc)

    These are the things that Keen did with their vents, which is why I chose them.

    My Home, My Automation, My decision whether it's internet connected or not.

    Trust me, if you make this change your sales (instead of returns) will skyrocket.

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Michel V

    Kevin,

    I totally agree with you, IF Flair was starting from scratch. The thing is that they already have products with their proprietary protocol and most importantly a user base with those products. This is why, IMO, the hub is the only way to go on the shortest path, as it would translate the proprietary protocol to Zigbee or Z-Wave while running the show or allowing manual control AND without having to brick older versions of the product.

    Michel

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Michel V

    Kevin,

    After writing my previous post, I've started looking again at the Puck's chart data. From there we know the unit handles or have provision for : BLE, 2.4G Wi-fi and a sub-ghz and that last frequency is the one that draw my attention as sub-ghz is the low-power one used for standard protocols like Z-Wave and Zigbee. Based on Flair's FCC submission the MCU chip used, handles the same 900 frequencies. The FCC Puck pictures seems to show an ESP8266 MCU for Wi-Fi but the pictures are not clear enough to read the chip's model for sub-ghz, neither for the vents. I also have not yet taken apart one of my Puck or Vent.

    All that to say that some sub-ghz MCU offers multiple protocol capabilities. If this is the case here, there might me a path where existing products could in theory be flashed to Zigbee (by Flair) without having to replace them, so your suggestion would still be a candidate. Going with let's say Zigbee instead of a proprietary protocol is usually more costly memory wise and we have no information on it. That being written, I would never expect that to happen.

    Wouldn't it be nice if Flair could jump in and update their progress, if any?

    Michel

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Chris Knabenshue

    I, too, would also like this and see this as a necessity!  I would pay extra for a hub to have the Peace of Mind that the system will work in the future and to have the added security!

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andrew Shaw

    Bump!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Arnold de Leon

    I was getting pretty excited until I discovered that there is no local control.  I'm also a Home Assistant user.  A can't imagine that the smarts would be so difficult that a Raspberry Pi couldn't run the "hub"/central control function.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Ernestas Staugaitis

    So today their API stopped working, (home-assistant user here), No commands, automations are working... Flair MUST release local solution. I am canceling my orders and switching to keen vents. This "cloud" solution causes damage to my house as I use them for humidity control.

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andrew Shaw

    Agreed, this is probably one of the longest running threads on the forum but it's been 84 years since we have had any sort of reply from Flair. Basically the only thing keeping me from buying into the system

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andrew Shaw

    Any update with processing a return, Ernestas?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Ernestas Staugaitis

    Hi Andrew,
    I am not ordering any more vents from them and the current ones I have I replaced "the brain" with the ESP32 (surprisingly easy).

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Michel V

    Ernestas Staugaitis are your vents battery or wired?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andrew Shaw

    Awesome, I presume you are going to control them through HomeAssistant now?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Alexander Thompson

    I created a Flair account for the sole purpose of leaving a comment to say how utterly baffled I am that there is a thread with this much activity but no response from customer support in over a year. The least you can do is let everyone know whether it is even technically possible with your existing hardware to enable some sort of local control with a standard protocol.

    I was pretty excited about this product and was just about ready to buy until I found this thread. Now I'd be buying Keen if they weren't sold out 😩

    1
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.