Last week I lost control over my house, for 12 hours, because something went wrong with iTead systems.
Sonoff devices device works flawlessly per se, and I'm very happy to have 13 of them around my house.
I'm beginning to think there's a glitch in their marketing model. I haven't thought for a moment that they want to spy on us, like some else implied in this forum, but every serious usage require redundancy and backup.
We cannot rely on the whole "cloud" model to be always working: too many things can go wrong on the user side, on itead side and, eventually, on the side of the many third party service providers involved (ISPs and Cloud providers above all).
Every digital and/or networking system might stop working every now and then. While we can surely afford not to remotely switch on a light, what about water heating, house heating, door opening, surveillance systems?
I did my best to build redundancy in my installations, but there are two factors that are not easily overcame.
First, some sonoff device might be (and in my case are) difficult to be physically reached: inside walls or up near the ceiling, the onboard switch is almost useless in these cases.
Second, Dual sonoff aren't capable of manually switching the connected devices on/off: if the system isn't working (i.e. they are offline), the only possible solution is to uninstall them, which is not acceptable at all.
iTead (and coolkit) seem to be trying to sell their solution to third parties (other manufacturers who are supposed to relay onto their whole solution, cloud included) which is cool. If I had to, I would guess that's why they are so "cloud-centered": to offer a easy and rapid solution, all included. It's cool.
But other than toyish usages, without redundancy their solution is unimplementable: I hope they realize this soon (if they haven't already).
The solution that comes to mind is very simple, and a few have already suggested it here: a dual control system. The cloud is great for remote control, but when the app is on the same local network the sonoff devices are, everything should switch to local. Simply put: automatic switching to LAN control.
If I'm home, I should be able to control my devices even if my Internet connection is down.
If they could do this with an open protocol, that would be top. But after all, not everyone of us wants to build his/her own system: I'm cool with their app, they can keep their protocol reserved as much as they want. To me, the only thing that matters is that I don't ever lose control over my house again.
Other than the above, thank you iTead, I'm very happy with your products!
What do you think?
Yes this is shit
Sole cloud based solutions may work for some but the majority will move away from iTead (and coolkit) once their systems are not accessible.
I had thought by now we would have see some movement here. It is a shame I'll have to look else where.
I'm afraid I won't be purchasing anymore from iTead until they rethink the cloud only connection idea.
It's a pitty that Itead is not answering to this problem.
Eu também gostaria que isso seja feito.
Seems iTead is only interested in you using Cloud control.
The fact they are working on an Alexa skill is proof. Instead of just telling us how to access the device via our own network and let end users create the skill is throwing money away in my opinion.
But then they can write off the cost of creating and hosting the skill.
I finally gave up: I flashed all my sonoffs with ESPurna and installed Home assistant on an old machine. It took some time to make it all work, but now I'm very happy and everything works as I want it to.
These little devices are surprisingly efficient and flexible, once they're freed from their original app.
For example, they all have at least one additional GPIO that I managed to connect to various sensors: door and windows sensors, light, PIR and so on. So, basically now many of my sonoffs control a couple of things, not just one.
Totally worth the effort it took.
I'm not sure what the reasoning is behind not having this option Users have been waiting over a year for this.
Even if the option to use the local control was only available when the internet was down would be favorable over not having control at all.
I liked the Sonoff app but I got tired of waiting just like many and flashed my modules.
Being able to control while at home is more important then being able to control while one is away.
When will they realize that?
And I didn't lose that option I just lost the nice app to have the control.
Oh and I have Alexa control before the official skill is available.
Flashing isn't difficult a simple device less then the cost of a Sonoff module is all you need.
Local control isn't that hard to add to an app, if itead was going to do it they would have done so by now.
Flashing a new firmware takes less then 5 mins.