Insteon Hub Pro now available for pre-order with HomeKit

Posted by Paul Braren on Feb 25 2015 (updated on Aug 28 2015) in
  • HomeAutomation
  • Reviews
  • [June 3 2015 Update - please revisit this page and press Ctrl+F5 to refresh, since many additions are being made below this original article.]

    Ok, now this looks more interesting than the little Hub II ever did. Apple Homekit-enabled. Easier to set schedules. Extended RF range, using a mere 2 watts of power.

    INSTEON-2243-222-HUB-PRO
    click the image above to place your pre-order at smarthome.com

    Sounds like a significant step up from the existing Insteon Hub that's been running my home automation faithfully since Dec 2012. If I'm going to rip and replace my controller, but leave all my modules in place, this sounds much more worth my while. See also the many reasons I'm happy with my Insteon investment in the TinkerTry exclusive Superguide: Insteon Home Automation.

    It seems this Insteon Hub Pro is on pre-order at Smarthome for $149.99 here, (not available on Amazon just yet). I've placed my order, and will post my experiences here on TinkerTry.

    See also Insteon To Support HomeKit and More in 2015, by Richard Gunther on Jan 10 2015:

    One company embracing integration to a perhaps unexpected degree is Insteon. Often considered a closed ecosystem, Insteon has previously offered its customers little opportunity to use non-Insteon devices with its own outside of third-party control systems. All of that is about to change.

    Insteon® Announces Apple HomeKit-enabled Insteon App and Insteon Hub:

    See also smarthome forum dialogue from Jan 06 2015 that really got the dialogue going, over here, and finally, check out the specs in this forum post:

    1. Dual Band RF / Power Line
    2. Supports 992 links, 992 scenes, 256 controlled scenes, built in PLM.
    3. RF range is stated as 250 feet open line of sight.
    4. 2 watts of consumption.
    5. 1000 volts surge protection.
    6. 120 - 277 VAC voltage / dual line frequency support 50/60 Hz.
    7. More than likely Apple Home Kit enabled.
    8. Beacon test / 4 tap test to confirm split single phase coupling / bridging.
    9. Indicates schedules so this might be the first go at conditional logic.
    10. Uses the old form factor of the previous generation HUB v1 / v2

    See also on TinkerTry


    MAR 17 2015 Update

    On air mention, how nice of Richard, 2 minutes into the latest Home: On #044 – The Ultimate Home, with Chad Thompson, mentioning this article about Switch. As usual, a great home automation episode!

    Now back to Insteon, and the email they sent today to those on pre-order. Here’s your copy:

    Insteon Hub Pro Update

    9bcdca8d-986b-4e96-a599-4dd07be2e3d2

    Phew! We’ve been hard at work buttoning up this exciting new Hub and Insteon+ app. We wanted to take a quick break from all that work and get an update to you. We realize it’s been quite a while since you’ve heard anything and we apologize. Let’s get right down to it.

    When will Hub Pro ship?

    Our hardware and software are approaching release. We continue to make progress on Hub Pro and the new Insteon+ app. We appreciate your patience and believe that the wait will be worth it. As you may know, we are not alone in this launch. Apple HomeKit has yet to officially see a release. When Apple makes that announcement, we will begin shipping that day or very soon after.

    What can I expect of Hub Pro?

    At release, Hub Pro will take full advantage of HomeKit features and more:

    • Control Insteon switches, outlets, thermostats and more when paired with Hub Pro.
    • Integration with Siri®, allowing control via voice commands
    • Create and manage rooms, zones and even multiple homes
    • Schedule scenes and set repeats for day, week or date
    • Dashboard view for quick visibility and control
    • Quickly create powerful scenes that adjust multiple devices
    • Easily add users to your ‘home’ so you can share your automation with family and friends
    • Control other HomeKit-enabled devices alongside your favorite Insteon devices (requires the Insteon+ App)

    To use Hub Pro and take advantage of these features, you will need an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running the latest version of iOS 8. You will also need to download our new Insteon+ app when it becomes available in the app store.

    In addition to HomeKit integration, we have many other features that will be coming to Hub Pro. These features will become available in free and app and firmware updates. Look forward to future announcements to learn more.

    Which devices will be supported at launch?

    The Insteon+ app will work with all HomeKit devices. Some of these devices include:

    • Lighting and Appliances (dimming, on/off control)
    • Locks (lock/unlock)
    • Thermostats (adjust temperature, change modes)

    The following device types will be supported in future updates:

    • Sensors
    • Keypads
    • Ceiling Fan Controller
    • WiFi Cameras

    What if I use Android or Windows devices?

    HomeKit is currently iOS-only. While the initial release of Hub Pro and app supports only iOS 8, we do have plans to broaden the features, including adding support for other mobile platforms. Unless Apple opens up HomeKit support for other operating systems, these devices would not be able to talk with 3rd party HomeKit devices.

    We look forward to sharing more news as we get closer to launch. Should you have any questions, please send them to Insteon Support.

    Thank you,
    The Insteon Team


    JUN 03 2015 Update

    Frankly, I'd nearly forgotten about this pre-order, until I spotted this headline today:
    The Next Web News: Confirmed: Apple TV is required to remotely control HomeKit devices

    I'll try to get this confirmed by Smarthome. If it's true, this isn't something that the smarthome.com site makes at all clear. Luckily, my Apple TV is a 3rd generation model A1427, since earlier models can't act as HomeKit hubs:

    support.apple.com/en-us/HT200008

    The tiny font printed on the bottom of the device is nearly impossible to read, but it's easy to figure out the model from the Apple TV's Settings / General / About menu option.

    HubProOnAmazon
    Order Insteon 2243-222 Hub Pro on Amazon

    Also worth noting that I have not yet received my Insteon Hub Pro, ordered from Smarthome here, back on February 25th.

    Finally, I see that the Insteon Hub Pro has now shown up on Amazon, where it says:

    Estimated Delivery Date: June 12 - 22 when you choose Expedited at checkout.

    but again, no mention of Apple TV requirement to operate devices when not at home.

    See also this closely related Google+ thread.

    ios-badge-works-with-apple-homekit

    While I've inquired with PR at Smarthome about this, it sure seems pretty definitive over on Apple's article, Set up and use HomeKit-enabled accessories with your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch:

    Control your accessories away from home
    If you have an Apple TV (3rd generation or later) with software version 7.0 or later, you can control your HomeKit-enabled accessories when you're away from home using your iOS device.

    And this other Apple article,
    Find accessories that work with Apple HomeKit
    You can control any of these HomeKit-enabled accessories in your home using your iOS device.

    Let's hope the responsiveness of checking device status or toggling power is snappier than my Nov 2012 Insteon Hub, whether I'm home, or away from home. It seems I'll know soon, but I suspect implementing this will be best handled by manually going around the house and unpairing all my existing Insteon devices, then pairing them with this new Insteon Pro. A fair bit of work, along with reprogramming of the on/off times, but hopefully worthwhile.


    JUN 05 2015 Update

    You're going to want to read this excellent article published yesterday by friend-of-TinkerTry Richard Gunther:

    See also Richard's helpful comment below.


    JUN 07 2015 Update

    As Richard mentions, it's important to review Insteon's:


    JUN 14 2015 Update

    Richard updated us with his comments about the lack of sunrise/scheduling here. Along with lack of support for my smoke and leak sensors, that makes it unsuitable for use in my home, in its current state. Hopefully future versions will resolve this.

    So I have called Smarthome to canceled my pre-order, since there is no online way to do that for pre-orders.


    JUN 16 2015 Update

    Curious about how HomeKit and Insteon might work together?

    HomeTech.fm
    Have a listen to Richard's special guest spot on HomeTech.fm Podcast: Episode 67 - The HomeKit Roundtable 2015, as well as Richard's own excellent new very relevant podcast episode, Home: On #050 – HomeKit Confusion, with Josh Pollard

    So, let me take what I learned, and lay it out, for me, and for you.

    Since December of 2012, I've used just two devices to control all of my home's Insteon devices, whether I'm home, or away.

    My home's current configuration:

    1. Apple iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8.3, Insteon for Hub app, for manual control / system configuration

    2. Insteon Hub 2242-222 since Dec. 2012 runs schedules automatically (no iPhone required)

    To add HomeKit abilities now (Siri, macros, etc.)

    I'd need the following 4 devices to get there:

    1. Apple iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8.3, Insteon for Hub app, for manual control / system configuration, and Insteon+ app

    2. Insteon Hub 2242-222 since Dec. 2012 runs schedules automatically (no iPhone required)

    3. Insteon Hub Pro 2243-222

    4. Apple TV 3rd generation model A1427

    To simplify HomeKit (Fall of 2015)

    As mentioned in the podcast, once iOS 9 is released this fall, iCloud replaces the Apple TV requirement, see also With iOS 9, you’ll be able to control Apple’s HomeKit from iCloud, so I'd then fall back to these 3 devices:

    1. Apple iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 9, running the Insteon for Hub app, for manual controls or system configuration, and Insteon+ app

    2. Insteon Hub 2242-222 since Dec. 2012 runs schedules automatically (no iPhone required)

    3. Insteon Hub Pro 2243-222

    The question I had to ask myself, do I want to have the Insteon Hub Pro control one or two switches I'd be "playing" with, just so I could see the pretty good looking Insteon+ app in action? Do I have the inclination to tinker with this, to get my hands on the very first manufacturing run of the Insteon Pro Hub, as I did back in December 2012 with the original hub?

    The answer for my home was simply no, not at this time. Taking a limited $149.99 look at the future isn't currently something I can justify right now, with many other home projects to tackle first. That doesn't mean I've given up, nor should you. Especially if you know the limitations, and don't have a Smoke Bridge, Leak Sensor, or Sunset/Sunrise timer requirements, see:

    I absolutely do not regret buying into the cloud based (Amazon Web Services) Insteon Hub way back in December of 2012, see also TinkerTry exclusive:

    I very much look forward to new possibilities that may be heading my way soon, without a big rip-and-replace effort.

    Let's close on a very positive note. A source at Insteon told me the following just last night:

    We do have plans to implement sensor support as well as the same features (and more) that are supported in the current hub offering.

    Stay tuned!


    JUL 03 2015 Update

    JULY42015sale

    I have now ordered the new Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat that is also HomeKit compatible, with Google+ discussion here.

    The handful of Amazon reviews of this Hub Pro are pretty lousy so far.

    See also Insteon Hub Pro order status below.

    July102015ETA
    Click image to view latest status at Smarthome
    unknown-ETA-on-Amazon
    Click on image to view latest status at Amazon

    AUG 05 2015 Update

    Just learned all shipments from Smarthome have ceased for now, listen in to Richard Gunther's podcast discussion at http://pca.st/65gO.


    Aug 28 2015 Update

    Apparently shipments have resumed. Mine arrived today.

    TinkerTry-Insteon-Hub-HomeKit-enabled.JPG