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Wish: Standalone timer, eg. for bathroom fan

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  • petiepooo
    started a topic Wish: Standalone timer, eg. for bathroom fan

    Wish: Standalone timer, eg. for bathroom fan

    I'd love to see an in-wall on/off timer unit from Insteon, like for a bathroom fan. One that could be set to a range of values from 5 minutes to 4 hours, much like GE's 15318 timer.

    To match the style of other Insteon devices, I envision it much like a 6-button KeypadLinc, but with small up/down buttons and a display of some sort in place of the center four buttons. Pressing the top On button would start the timer at the last selected time. The bottom button would turn it off, of course. Double-pressing On could start it at the longest selection of 4 hours. The display could be as simple as a series of LEDs showing approximate remaining time, or maybe an LCD counting down the remaining time.

    It should be both responder and controller. That is to say another device should be able to turn the timer on. I'd like to use a humidity sensor as controller, for example, to enable the fan while humidity exceeds a threshold. Then, the fan starts as soon as I start a shower and stops a few minutes after the humidity drops back down to a normal level. By controlling the timer directly, rather than using a 2443-222 on/off micro module with sense to bypass a simple in-wall timer, one could see and/or override any sensor-triggered automatic actions right there. Perhaps it could look like a dimmer to external controllers, except that the brightness level is mapped to a timer value somehow.

    Such a device may also be useful with a motion sensor to keep a light on for a certain period after detecting motion. In fact, there's probably a few other situations where a remotely controllable in-wall countdown timer could be used that I haven't thought of.

    Before anyone replies with "You can do that with an ISY994i," yes, I know, thank you. However, I would want a better interface on the wall unit than what any Insteon devices currently offer. There are currently no Insteon devices I'm aware of that could even display a timer's countdown. Plus, a home controller like the ISY is at least an order of magnitude more expensive than something like the GE 15318, which makes the cost barrier hard to justify..

    Insteon has a great selection of good products, and is one of the only vendors that can furnish and control an entire house's lighting. I'm happy with the few I've retrofitted into my home. However, when I see forum moderators say things like "they won't make it because it doesn't sell enough units to be profitable," I cringe. Low-volume SKUs such as an in-wall timer like GE's 15318, a dedicated 1-gang light+fan controller like Lutron's Maestro series (not the non-intuitive 6-button KeypadLinc), and such, may not be individually profitable, but would likely make up for their development costs by increasing the number of whole-house Insteon installations.

    To continue the rant, the current fad is internet control and IFTTT-like services, but there are many won't want a house with disparate, network-only systems that require internet access and a cell phone to turn on the kitchen light. Snicker and call them luddites at your own peril; the grandparents are still buying homes and they just want the ability to flip a switch and have the light come on. Insteon is positioned to make that possible while still giving us automation tech nuts the cool features we want. Go forth and invent!

  • lilyoyo1
    replied
    That's a tough one as there are many different forces at play. On one hand, you want those who desire simplicity. This can be due to time, finances, or desires. On another you have those who want everything but don't want to invest the time nor finances to achieve their desired results. Insteon (any company for that matter) has to weigh the pros and cons of each side and decide where to put their money.

    Your idea of software isn't a bad one and I would hope that they could pursue in the future for the hub 3. An interface that looks good displayed. Due to the costs of things, I doubt they would actually release a tablet but they could design their system around an interface that one can be proud to showcase. The reason they probably wouldnt do an interface is economics. A cheap IPAD can be had for less than 200 bucks. Using an app such as ekeypad (for 100 bucks), you could achieve what insteon would need to charge at least a 4-500 dollars for simply to make money off it.

    Since Insteon does need a new controller in the next few years, I think having a gorgeous interface for it would a nice compromise. It would appease those wanting a higher end look to their systems and keeps them from having to invest in a device that they probably wouldn't sell a lot of .

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  • B-ran
    replied
    Originally posted by lilyoyo1 View Post
    Insteon use to have a countdown timer similar to what you envision (without a screen), but it didnt sell. Some things can be loss leaders for certain other products but it makes no sense to purposely lose money; especially when you talk about losing a large amount just on the R&D. That's money that can be used on.product enhancements or new products in general that people will buy.

    The more features you add, the more likely a controller would be needed. The more complicated you make a device, the more likely it is that end users have trouble which means an increase in returns. Controllers simply make configuration easier. While some may see the current ways of doing things as a "fad" reality is, automation devices are meant for automation. If someone needs simplicity or manual control of something, then standard mechanical devices apply.

    The ISY isn't cheap. However, the more devices one has, the easier it is to justify the price. It makes configuration and management much easier. One can make it as simple or as complicated as they like.
    Nicely said . I would like to explore the thought of loading a tablet with software that can do everything aforementioned (we would indulge with complication to no end), also I think what he wants is the notion of pure product bliss but again, cost effectiveness does not always reflect functionality. So where do we stand ?

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  • lilyoyo1
    replied
    Insteon use to have a countdown timer similar to what you envision (without a screen), but it didnt sell. Some things can be loss leaders for certain other products but it makes no sense to purposely lose money; especially when you talk about losing a large amount just on the R&D. That's money that can be used on.product enhancements or new products in general that people will buy.

    The more features you add, the more likely a controller would be needed. The more complicated you make a device, the more likely it is that end users have trouble which means an increase in returns. Controllers simply make configuration easier. While some may see the current ways of doing things as a "fad" reality is, automation devices are meant for automation. If someone needs simplicity or manual control of something, then standard mechanical devices apply.

    The ISY isn't cheap. However, the more devices one has, the easier it is to justify the price. It makes configuration and management much easier. One can make it as simple or as complicated as they like.
    Last edited by lilyoyo1; 01-19-2018, 03:18 AM.

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