Should you get a Vera Controller ?

Vera Zwave Controller Review


We found the Vera solution around 2010, looking to solve the problem of performing some basic functions to close the blinds and switch on a light. During our research, there were already competing platforms and standards and we choose zwave as the protocol to tie them together. 

Zwave connectivity graph

All the devices that we purchased have performed flawlessly over the past decade in executing their scheduled tasks. Over time, as we added more devices, the zwave mesh network became stronger and more redundant, due to there ability to discover their neighbors and use them to relay commands to the controller. 

Zwave device history

The platform had significant potential to improve through firmware and software updates. It has been stable and there was definitely a desire for improvements or nice to haves. Some of there were fulfilled through add-ons and they filled the void, in the short term.


Over time (well a decade), it has become clear that the company has lost focus and possibly just did not spend enough on research & development to meet customer expectations. 


In 2019 (not sure of the exact timeline/date) they were acquired and started focusing on a different product and it was clear that Vera was no longer receiving funding or focus. The dedicated and loyal user community patiently awaited the next new update and vision. However, after many disappointing new updates, it is clear that users should seek alternatives. Some users were banned from the community (not sure of the details, as posts have been deleted). The most recent firmware update was released on 9/2/2020 and listed less than 5 fixes and features, while acknowledging a long list of known issues and promises of fixes in an upcoming release.

While we are sad and disappointed to abandon a promising option, we all need to cut our losses and explore other options. The lack of vision and direction from Vera forced us to explore other alternatives.

This is a trend we have seen in recent years, where the a poor business model, change in focus or company ownership, results in a product that disappoints an existing loyal base. In some cases products are no longer supported(Lowes Iris), or customers are left with a door stop (Wink).  


Solutions

We choose to explore Home Assistant in parallel and after a year, select the Zooz Zwave USB Stick for controlling the zwave network. 


See the full review on Home Assistant and our implementation here.







 






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