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On Hold: Discussion Open

Power Cost Tile for HEM Home Energy Meter devices

Joel Waxman 2 years ago in Panels (dashboards) / Special Tiles updated by Terry (ActionTiles) (Co-Founder) 1 year ago 11 1 duplicate

I would like to have a tile showing cost for my Home Energy Monitors. Ask Alexa is capable of doing it, and it is available in the IDE. Below is a Screenshot of my IDE.



Answers

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PINNED

At this point in time the way to make custom attributes show in AT is to alter the DTH to send the data you want to a standard capability (there are obvious limitations to this method of course).  I have two custom DTHs that I use to display the number of cycles on a litter robot and the flow rate and cumulative flow information from a flow meter.  The problem then becomes that the tiles still as of today have no function to allow for the user choose whether to show the units or not.  As such, the tiles show incorrect units (see screen shot below).  I feel that allowing this aspect to be user selectable would be an "easy" feature to deploy (ok, I undestand nothing is easy but perhaps it is easier compared to reworking the code for custom attributes) and would allow the power users to get custom data into AT and at least not have units that are incorrect for the custom attributes.  Also user selectable significant figurers would be good.  In my scenario below, the tenths of a khw (gallons) is not something I want to display.




Here is the sendEvent command example for the flow meter that sends custom data to standard capabilities. 

cumulative water usage ->  sendEvent(name: "energy", value: cmd.scaledMeterValue, displayed: false, unit: "gal")

flow rate ->  sendEvent(name: "power", value: cmd.scaledMeterValue - cmd.scaledPreviousMeterValue, displayed: false, unit: "gpm")


As a side note, perhaps we could implement a "custom" attribute in AT that would allow for a user to make a custom DTH AND have AT recognize this singular custom attribute "custom".  Have it be without units instead.  I made a "similarish" suggestion a few months back.

PINNED

Please cross reference to this similar Topic. We probably ought to merge them at some point ... perhaps when we get a few Customers requesting this Feature and we figure out how to focus the definition.


Duplicates 1

On Hold: Discussion Open

Hi Joel, ... Thanks for the Feature Request:


Currently ActionTiles is nearly exclusively only compatible with the official Capability definitions from the SmartThings Developer Docs. The only SmartThings Device exception, so far, is SmartWeather Tile.


Each ActionTiles "Tile type" is literally hard-coded to match each Capability definition.


SmartThings allows DTHs to define arbitrary custom ad hoc Attributes (kwhCost) and Commands, but does not enforce anystandards for this. One developer's version of the HEM DTH could call it "kwhCost" and another version could call it "costPerWatt" ... i.e., different name, different scale, and even different units. 


At the SDC conference this year, they said they are going to accelerate the process for new Capabilities to be defined, approved, and published - which will certainly be an incentive for us to streamline ActionTiles's adoption of these as well. But, frankly, we think that managing new Capabilities will continue to be a challenge for SmartThings for a long time.


Once again, I know we already have more than one existing Topic that expresses the wish for some way to handle ad hoc custom Attributes and/or Commands that may be present in any DTH (including in a few official SmartThings published DTHs!).


WebCoRE already includes mechanisms for doing this; but it is not a published SmartApp, so they have a little more flexibility. WebCoRE is also directed at "power-users" who are more likely to leverage that feature than average AT customers.


We are continuing to let this overall concept simmer as it will require thoughtful and clever, efficient implementation.


Inevitably Low Priority...

The primary driving factor for deferring any attempts at implementation is that the use of custom DTHs with custom Attributes and Commands is mostly limited to power-users, and only a portion of them would rank the need for custom Tiles above their other wish-list Feature Requests. Average "mass consumers" haven't been asking for this and that's not surprising.


There is chance we would implement some specific DTH's Attributes hard-coded manually, since this would be less effort than going all-in; but once again: Which DTHs justify this effort on a case-by-case basis? Is HEM popular enough to drive enough incremental sales to pay for the hours of development effort? Wouldn't those hours be better spent on features that hundreds or thousands of customers benefit from?

+1
PINNED

At this point in time the way to make custom attributes show in AT is to alter the DTH to send the data you want to a standard capability (there are obvious limitations to this method of course).  I have two custom DTHs that I use to display the number of cycles on a litter robot and the flow rate and cumulative flow information from a flow meter.  The problem then becomes that the tiles still as of today have no function to allow for the user choose whether to show the units or not.  As such, the tiles show incorrect units (see screen shot below).  I feel that allowing this aspect to be user selectable would be an "easy" feature to deploy (ok, I undestand nothing is easy but perhaps it is easier compared to reworking the code for custom attributes) and would allow the power users to get custom data into AT and at least not have units that are incorrect for the custom attributes.  Also user selectable significant figurers would be good.  In my scenario below, the tenths of a khw (gallons) is not something I want to display.




Here is the sendEvent command example for the flow meter that sends custom data to standard capabilities. 

cumulative water usage ->  sendEvent(name: "energy", value: cmd.scaledMeterValue, displayed: false, unit: "gal")

flow rate ->  sendEvent(name: "power", value: cmd.scaledMeterValue - cmd.scaledPreviousMeterValue, displayed: false, unit: "gpm")


As a side note, perhaps we could implement a "custom" attribute in AT that would allow for a user to make a custom DTH AND have AT recognize this singular custom attribute "custom".  Have it be without units instead.  I made a "similarish" suggestion a few months back.

+1

As the original OP, I understand what you are saying, but I am looking at the case for non advanced users having the same ability as advanced users. Yes if there was a pulldown menu, where you choose a tile attribute and one was, cost, another gpm etc. but I think ActionTiles is geared for all users,and I think not all are advanced.

Right now we sorta split customers to the poles... Either advanced or "average".


  • Advanced folks can figure out anything.
  • But we don't know exactly what the "average" ones do, can do, or want to do. Do they use Community DTHs.

Of course, it's more of a spectrum than that. The "advanced average" are probably a big chunk of customers, but we don't know what their priorities are.

+1

I agree.  It feel that the user pool is split and has them in two or perhaps three groups.  Make no mistake, we need all pools of users to grow.  It takes time to put forth a structure and UI for enabling all the wishes that a non-advanced user may want and some will simply not be worth that effort.  Sure it would be great to not have to modifiy a DTH to get something to work (as in this case) but sometimes you have to get something to work  There are just oo many use cases to get them all.  Perhaps some day we will not but in the interim and for the benefit of those that want to get information into AT and are advanced users, the information above is something that could be useful to the community.  It is one solution to the core ask of the topic, although not how the OP desired for the way in which to achieve it.

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The only reason I thought it wasn't that hard as it is coded int Ask Alexa for reports.

That's a reasonable point, Joel... but:


  1. Ask Alexa (and WebCoRE and many other Community SmartApps) are not SmartThings approved, certified, and published; every time we want to make an update it takes 4 to 8 weeks plus testing time in Beta, and we risk breaking production.
  2. This particular request may not be that hard; but we have about over 150 Feature Requests (not all of them published). Some of those 150 are also individually "easy". Now how do we pick which 10 "easy" features do to first? Or do we do 2 hard features? Or 5 easy features and 1 hard feature? And repeat for the following Release, and the next Release and the next...

I am personally among the ActionTiles users that would find this sort of Tile to be useful. However, I'm not even a single paying customer. We try to figure out what our next 1000 or 5000 customers want and need first.

+1

Granted Terry, and I do understand, but we all love our toys. And one big reason I went to home automation many years ago was energy saving. In that vein of thought seeing a general idea of cost is important to me. Maybe not others.

PINNED

Please cross reference to this similar Topic. We probably ought to merge them at some point ... perhaps when we get a few Customers requesting this Feature and we figure out how to focus the definition.


+1
Discuss & Vote

Hi Joel, I don't believe such capability exists. This was probably coded specifically for that DTH.

We are working on POC of "Composite Tiles". Your use case would be a good candidate for such tiles that are based on a formula.


We are ways away from releasing something. The next two months are going to be very interesting.

+1

Thank you for being open to suggestions.