cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Device Battery Indicators

Device Battery Indicators

It would be nice to be able to see the devices battery % no matter what it is rather than OK until it get below 30% or whatever the threshold is currently.

40 Comments

I know on my web portal it shows them but the problem with the OK in the app. A device with a battery of 30% or less will disconnect in the cold do to voltage loss at lower temperatures.

Frequent Contributor

Especially since almost always my devices just disconnect without any sort of low battery warning... At least give use the option to view the percentage and decide what to do with the information.

I agree, today we have to use third party apps or websites to see the status.  In my use of these they seem to be spot on in their reporting.  If it's off somehow it's not enough to cause a different action on my part. 

Frequent Contributor

+1 on battery incresed information

Frequent Contributor

In other words, we know the %  data is being reported. Please just give us access to it via the app.

Frequent Contributor

agreed and also a warning when battery is nearing the danger to disconnect!  I hate when I go to push the smart button to tur on a device and it does not work due to batttery being down!  I have over 100 devices connected and it would be nice to get a heads up on the battery life!

Advanced Member

I agree on showing battery percentage and signal strength.  Especially since the information is obviously being collected as shown by thegillions web portal.  

 

However, I have seen this exact dilemma in the automobile industry.  General Motors removed all numbers from gauges several years ago.  When the numbers were available, everyone was a "mechanic".  We had so many complaints at the dealership about "Their car runs cooler than mine", "their car has better oil pressure than mine" etc.  After GM removed the numbers and just gave a normal range, the complaints went away.  Except of course, when the needle was too close to either side of normal range.  This is the exact reason GM gave for changing their gauge design.  When you give people too much information, they will beat you over the head with it.

 

It may not apply the same from our viewpoint, but it may apply from Iris viewpoint.  Just my $.02

Frequent Contributor

I agree that I would rather see numbers, but I also understand exactly what @rdisom is saying. If you start showing people actual numbers they start complaining that in this device my battery was at 70% and then suddenly died, and this other device is operating fine at 50% still, totally oblivious to the fact that different devices, different battery types, different usage characteristics, different temperatures, and even different battery lot numbers may all play in to exactly how long the battery will last. Combine that with the fact that different battery types have different discharge rates and that the designers are trying to make them as efficient as possible (so they basically discharge at full voltage right up to the last second and then die quickly, see chart below) that makes it practically impossible to predict in advance when a battery needs to be changed.  Below is a chart showing how one type of battery may discharge and be somewhat predictable, but another type may be showing practically full voltage right up until before it dies.

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 3.03.57 PM.png

 

If a device can operate on 1.8 Volts or more, you can see how predicting when the battery with the discharge curve in red will "die" is a little easier than the one with the discharge curve in blue, especially if the voltage is only measured and reported once a day or so.

 

Now, having said that, I myself still like to see numbers because over time I get used to having a general idea that "hey, with the batteries I use in my contact sensors, they seem to work fine until the voltage/percentage reported drops to X". But those same batteries in my Motion sensors might work great until the voltage/percentage drops to Y. It's just something I get a feel for over time. Unfortunately that does not help Iris determine when it should send me a notification, unless I can change those settings of what X and Y are for each device I have that is battery powered. But regardless, that is why it would really be great to have a single page/display with a list of all my battery powered devices and the last reported percentage (along with the time it was reported), so I can easily see if some devices are getting kind of low. The time stamp would be nice because I realize that some devices do not report their battery level very often (in an attempt to increase battery life by not reporting a value that does not usually change very quickly).

 

And just some food for thought, some batteries also exhibit a "dip" in output voltage over time, but then recover for awhile, and then finally drop, which really makes predicting when the battery will finally die quite interesting/challenging.

 

 

Yes, showing OK down to 30% doesn't work.  The reason the team did this is because people were complaining that sometimes new batteries were showing less than 100% when installed.  It seems to me that a very simple comprimise would be to start showing OK down to maybe 60%.  That being said you can find the actual battery percentage using @thegillions web interface (even sorting your devices by battery strength) or using Iris+ on Android.

Community Manager
Status changed to: Needs Info

As some of you have mentioned, when displaying exact battery percentage above 30%, we've seen it can confuse some customers as percentages fluctuate and vary throughout a battery's life. Newer lithium batteries will show at near 100% for extended periods of time, and then rapidly fall off, providing a false sense of security. Battery percentage can go up and down as a function of temperature, leading to more questions than answers. With that said, we understand knowing when to change a device's battery is important to maintaining your system and we're always refining things, so we'll keep this feedback in mind.