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Kickstarter Luminode


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I think they're going to have an unpleasant surprise when they get sued by existing patent holders.

:|

Other than that, it looks somewhat cool, although there are a *lot* of steps they still need to do.

I wish them luck, at least they're not (unlike Nest) against someone integrating with their devices, according to their blog.

RyanE

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Patent's, I like the Judge in Chicago that basically just told Apple and Microsoft to shut up,quit the stupid patent fights, and get back to work. He went as far as to comment on the fact that there are too many patents and that they aren't needed for software.

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^^ Its absurd that you can't control a $250 thermostat the way you want to. IMO they sold you the product and you are free to operate it anyway you would like to. To implement a software update to specifically disable third party integration is absurd. I think they crossed a pretty fine line.

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All it would take is for someone to " jailbreak" their nest thermostat. The man behind nest even suggested people hack it in an interview. Unfortunatly i doubt that anyone with the abilities is interested in doing it, then to make a how too video.

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Patent's, I like the Judge in Chicago that basically just told Apple and Microsoft to shut up,quit the stupid patent fights, and get back to work. He went as far as to comment on the fact that there are too many patents and that they aren't needed for software.

You'll get no argument from me. I'm not a fan of software patents.

Of course, I am *NOT* speaking for Control4 when I say that, it's just my own personal opinion.

RyanE

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This is Steve from Think Automatic and the Luminode Kickstarter project.

This project really started back in 2005 as purely a software solution meant to help integrate other home automation products together through my data driven machine learning algorithm. And as it turns out one of the coolest applications of the learning algorithm is to dynamically learn new lighting scenes based on the system observing users' behavior. Unfortunately there were a couple of features missing from all of the other lighting controls I looked into which created a less than ideal user experience.

I contacted quite a few of the lighting control manufacturers in hopes of cooperating with them to make minor modifications to their products and thus enable the full power of my learning algorithm. I contacted Leviton, Lightolier, Control4, and others. I even tried contacting Lutron but wasn’t able to get through to the right people. Control4 (at least back then) was not interested in integrating with other systems and declined to share their lighting control protocol with me. Leviton and Lightolier essentially said they didn’t want to talk to me because of IP issues, which I think in hind sight is because Lutron had basically struck the fear of God into them.

So then in 2008 I decided, fine, I’ll make the switches myself. So now, almost 4 years later I’m almost there. To your point Ryan, yes, we have some more steps to go but the end goal is in sight.

As for the patents, I am aware of Lutron's proclivity to litigate their patents to block competitors. Although I am vaguely familiar with the contents of their relevant patents I have purposely not read them. Lutron seems particularly persnickety about intentional infringement, which I certainly have not done, but I don’t even want the appearance of it. In addition, if Lutron or anyone else wants to make their own version of the Luminode instead of me, please do it! I would rather do software and not be in the hardware business anyway.

But until someone makes a comparable product to the Luminode that I can integrate the way I want to with my software, I’m not going to hide in fear from patent litigation. Perhaps I’m being foolish, but I’d rather regret going for it than not!

Cheers,

Steve

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Steve,

If you have interest in connecting your devices into a Control4 system, and/or have any Control4 questions, please let me know.

Control4 integrates to a good number of lighting control systems, as well as thousands of other devices.

RyanE

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Sure, but there's not much reason Control4 wouldn't support 3rd parties building drivers for their systems.

Control4 even wrote the first version of the Lutron Homeworks driver. Lutron wrote their own driver for RadioRA 2.

We do have a number of 3rd party companies who provide their own drivers, and have not worked through/with Control4.

RyanE

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Thanks Ryan,

I may eventually take you up on your offer to help as I am interested in connecting the Luminode to a Control4 system at some point. And I would hope that it would be pretty straight forward as long as the Control4 system supports the right USB to VCP drivers.

However, what I am really more interested in is integrating my learning software as a value ad to a Control4 system. In addition it would be really great to integrate with your switches at a fairly low level (even indirectly) in order to get some of the same behaviors out of your switches that I get from the Luminode. But that is where I hit a dead end with Control4 back in 2005. I would be really excited about any new progress on that front!

Cheers,

Steve

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  • 3 weeks later...
I think they're going to have an unpleasant surprise when they get sued by existing patent holders.

:|

Other than that, it looks somewhat cool, although there are a *lot* of steps they still need to do.

I wish them luck, at least they're not (unlike Nest) against someone integrating with their devices, according to their blog.

RyanE

Hi RyanE,

I concur.

Thanks.

:-)

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