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Pre-purchase questions

Frequent Contributor

Pre-purchase questions

I'm considering IRIS.  I'm looking for a few answers that I cannot find on IRIS website easily.  I know they have been answered here in the forum before, but I need to make a quick purchase decision and hoping someone could give me some quick answers in one place:

 

1. Most of the products on IRIS website do not list z-wave in their specification. Are all the sold devices z-wave or IRIS-proprietary?  How many 3rd party z-wave devices are supported, and is there a signle list of z-wave devices that have been tested (other than searching this forum)?  I want an expandable platform that integrates with many z-wave/zigbee vendors, not just a limited list of products that were made specifically to work with IRIS and nothing else…  I want to buy generic zwave sensors so that in the future I can replace IRIS with another hub if I want to, and keep most of my sensors. 

2. Does it support IFTTT?

3. Does the Free plan have full automation (scenes, rules), or do I have to go premium?

4. Notifications and alarms: are there app, text, and email notifications (all 3?).  Is that available in the Free or Premium plan?

5. I have 2 mobile phones.  Can I have the app and notifications on both phones?  Available in Free? (I think not)

6. Can I arm/disarm remotely?

7. Does it support geofencing: automatic arm/disarm based on location?

8. Does IRIS provide a streaming camera to store recording in the cloud, and view recording in your app, e.g. quickly review last several minutes of recording after an alarm notification (I think the answer is yes)?  Is it included with Free self-monitoring (I think no)?  Is it only IRIS camera, or they support 3rd party cameras also?

 

your help is much appreciated!

6 REPLIES
Advanced Member

Re: Pre-purchase questions

1. All v2 products (purple Iris packages) are Z-wave or Zigbee standard and will work with other systems.  The original v1 products in the white packaging are proprietary.  Most of the Iris sensors motion, door/window, leak, keypad are Zigbee while most of the 3rd part devices like GE, Schlage, Yale, bulbs, siren are Z-wave

2. No They are refusing to look into IFTTT integration so far

3. The free plan supports all automations it just only supports one account, and there is no recording of videos (but you can live stream)

4. It will alert via app, phone, and email depending on what it is alerting.  With Alarm (leak, fire/CO, or security) it will phone and alert via the app.  With rules you can choose email or push.  For an offline hub you will get email alerts within 30 minutes. For offline devices you will get a push notification.

5. If they are both signed into the same accont I think you can get notifications on both free, not positive on this as I only have notifications setup on my phone.  You would only get calls to one for sure.

6. Yes, you have full control over the system remotly including streaming videos

7. No there is a keychain remote they use for presence detection and currently it is the only presence detection available, they are supposedly researching GEOfencing but I doubt it will happen soon.  And the keychain remote only checks in every 2 minutes or so when away and the hub waits 10 minutes before marking it as away so it isn't instantanious although on arrival you can push one of the buttons, even if it is not assigned to do anything and it should tell the hub it is back sooner than the possible 2 minutes it can take on its own.

8. The streaming is free the recording is possible with paid plan $9.99/month, only Iris branded cameras are supported.

Primary Platform: iOS phone @ latest version
Secondary Platform: Android 6.0 tablet
Community Manager

Re: Pre-purchase questions

Expanding a bit on #5 (thanks terk for helping answer the other questions), yes you can get notifications on as many devices as you want, they just need to be signed into the same account. For the phone calls, only one phone is actually called by default, but you can add up to 6 people to be called in a call tree with the premium plan.

 

Please let me know if you have any other questions,

 

-Mike

Frequent Contributor

Re: Pre-purchase questions

Thanks so much for all your answers, Terk and MikeS!

Yes, couple more clarifications.

  • I also called IRIS support to talk about sensors. Their answer was that if a z-wave sensor is not listed on their website, it’s more likely not to work.  That sounded a bit discouraging.  But they did refer me to this community for support.  So, based on the community experience, do popular 3rd party z-wave devices “mostly work” or “mostly don’t work” with IRIS, or is it really hit and miss kind of thing? 
  • Thanks for clarifying that most of the IRIS sensors are Zigbee. That explains why they don’t list Zwave in the specification.  I guess the same question comes to mind - is that “IRIS-customized” Zigbee, or generic Zigbee that will let me reuse IRIS sensors with other popular hubs in the future? (e.g. SmartThings).  Because, if they are IRIS-specific, then it’s kind of back to the previous question that buying 3rd party sensors becomes preferable in this case, for future reuse.  The industry changes to fast, and new systems come on the market every year, so it’s really not a good idea to be locked into a lot of expensive equipment that you cannot reuse.

 

Thanks again.

Community Manager

Re: Pre-purchase questions

Hi,

 

There's a wide variety of third-party devices (both Zigbee and Z-Wave) which work with Iris, but are not considered "certified" - what this means is that while they will pair with Iris and work with Iris (i.e. you can include them in rules, control them, etc) they haven't had the level of official testing that certified devices have. 

 

I don't have a comprehensive list handy, but generally sensors made by companies like Aeotec, Dome, Ecolink, GE, GoControl, Linear, Zooz, and even SmartThings will pair and work with Iris as uncertified devices. If there's a specific device, you can ask me here or PM me and I can let you know for sure.

 

To answer your other question the Iris-branded second generation Zigbee devices (the ones in purple packaging) use standard Zigbee and can work with non-Iris systems (although of course, why would you ever want to do that ;-)

 

-Mike

Frequent Contributor

Re: Pre-purchase questions

Thank you very much, these are exactly the kinds of answers I was looking for!

 

IRIS has great features and potential, but it does not have a proven track record just yet, so we don't know how things will go in the near-future.  For those of us who have large houses and invest in a lot of sensors, it would be bad if we could not reuse them with another system if we decided to move on to something better.  So it's really good to know that all IRIS devices are generic Zigbee or Zwave, and it's a good approach in general to provide an open platform to attract customers who value practicality and flexibility. 

Highlighted
Advanced Member

Re: Pre-purchase questions

While there are many options for Home automation/security products out there Iris is the easiest system I have seen.  SmartThings is the more versitle due to a rule engine created by community members called CoRE/WebCoRE and due to the fact that it is an open system allowing community members to create their own DTHs (Device Type Handlers) for new Z-Wave, Zigbee or even WiFi devices if the vendor has an API that SmartThings natively will not work with.  Both companies are making progress in getting more devices to work nateivly and locally as well.  Depending on your interest in technology you may find it much more challenging to get SmartThings up and running having to learn how to use their IDE (configuration web site) to install Smart Apps like CoRE or WebCoRE since their only native Smart App "Smart Lighting" is pretty limited and all community created Smart Apps and DTHs you use will only work when the internet is working so only the natively supported devices will work locally and not all of those at this point (right now if the internet goes down and you come home to a SmartThings system you have no way to turn off or cancel the alarm since they don't have a keypad that works natively and their presence sensors don't work locally yet and of course Geofencing won't work with the internet down).  There are a lot of people who have talked about leaving Iris due to not everything working locally or lack of support for many devices, or occasional service outages, however most get to their new platform of choice and learn Iris does do many things very well.  In fact Iris is the only system that I know of that replaced all v1 hubs with v2 hubs free when they made the switch and they had a migration method SmartThings didn't have (however SmartThings v1 hubs still work for those who didn't want to resetup all of their devices, were as Iris shutoff support for v1 over a year ago).  Like I said there are many options like Iris, SmartThings, Wink, Staples Connect (discontinued I think), Homeseer, Alexa+, Apple Home Kit, ... but Iris is the easiest to use with more features than many and SmartThings and a few others allow community created apps and DTHs which Iris doesn't however they require much more work on the owners part to get setup to the point were it will function as well as Iris does out of the box.

Primary Platform: iOS phone @ latest version
Secondary Platform: Android 6.0 tablet