Future Product Suggestions & Requests
I know Ubiquiti is growing the AmpliFi line into a larger ecosystem (as evidenced by the Teleport and other images found on various public Ubiquiti pages, such as at ulabs.com). As such, I thought I'd chime in on the new AmpliFi family members I would like to see in this single integrated ecosystem.
- Water Sensor
1.a. Honeywell has a neat one with a great idea using a rope to easily extend the water-sensing area. This rope extension is a great option that Ubiquiti should definitely do.
1.b. The Honeywell product has several failings which Ubiquiti could greatly improve upon as well!
1.c. Consider that I would use this under sinks, around toilets, in basements, under water heaters, under furnaces, near sump pits, etc.
- Temperature Sensor
2.a. There are several use cases for this ranging from detecting frozen pipe conditions to detecting when a deep freezer dies putting hundreds of pounds of frozen beef at risk.
2.b. A couple different form factors make sense for this sensor (ranging from a WiFi-communicating box with a very thin extension to go into a freezer while leaving the communication box outside the freezer to just a simple box detecting its surrounding temperature.
- Home Security System (indoor/outdoor Cameras, door/window sensors, motion detectors, the works)
3.a. Offer both centralized/online video storage as well as decentralized (in-home) video storage (upgradeable with either a USB hard drive or (even better) just normal 3.5" disk drives).
3.b. PLEASE make window sensors cheap and use cheap/long-lasting batteries. I would need something like 25 sensors to cover my easily-accessible windows, more to cover them all!
- Video Doorbell
4.a. Lots of obvious integrations to the Home Security System.
4.b. Power it from a normal 16v doorbell power system, so have batteries that sip from that power source.
4.c. Perhaps have dual cameras on this in order to have adjustable focuses in different areas with better quality/resolution. But PLEASE handle BOTH the case with a very wide-angle lens where a person is standing very close to the doorbell as well as when I'm trying to see somebody further away as well.
4.d. Have AI detection to handle things like delivery people who don't ring the bell sending a notification as well as people walking dogs on the sidewalks not sending a notification. I know, lots of work to do all of this, but you have some smart folks!
- Automatic Light Switches, specifically for outdoor lighting
5.a. I recently installed some handy Honeywell light switches that turn outdoor lights on & off based on sunrise & sunset times - they're really offline and base it on geo-coordinates & date, which is neat but also limited. Connecting these to an AmpliFi ecosystem could make them so much better, perhaps feeding in weather reports or other light sensors (or detecting it based on video on an outdoor camera or doorbell) to trigger lights turning on/off.
- Light Sensor
6.a. Just a cheap device to provide an input for various automation rules (like turning on outdoor lights when the sensor detects a certain level of darkness).
- Door Lock
7.a. I don't yet own one of these so I'm probably not the best source of input on exactly how it should work, but take precautions & have redundancies, and work when batteries die!
7.b. Lots of obvious security precautions to take (ex: I like Google's idea of not allowing voice to unlock the door so a burgler can't shout at my window: "Hey Google, Unlock the front door!").
- Thermostat (Sure, why not?)
8.a. Have room sensors (perhaps inside other devices whether Meshpoints or Smoke Detectors or whatever) to help people heat/cool larger single-system homes to detect when different rooms have vastly different temperatures.
8.b. In conjunction with the room sensors, have it smart enough to experiment a little with heating & cooling to see if different behaviors can help normalize those rooms (perhaps short bursts of heat keep things more normalized at night but long bursts of heat during the day in the winter are necessary).
8.c. With the experimentation, detect how best to control humidity as well (with or without a whole house humidifier/dehumidifier)
8.d. Use humidity to help save money without sacrificing comfort.
8.e. Use weather forecasts to improve your services to your customers.
- Bad Stuff Detectors
9.a. Detect things like Smoke, Carbon Monoxide, Radon, Mold, Lead, etc. (perhaps some universal devices and some cheaper targeted devices, since you probably only need radon detection in a basement).
- Remote Microphones (assuming you get get into voice-controlled devices)
10.a. This will allow me to cheaply/easily put them all over my house.
10.b. I'm sure you can mass-produce a 10 pack for $150 that will let me blanket my house with always-on mics to use no matter where I am. Perhaps these can be made a bit more fancy for a whole-house intercom, but cheap is key here.
10.c. Maybe find a way to integrate this into the other AmpliFi devices that would also be all over my house to both take advantage of almost-always-available power sources and to save the number of devices needed. However, be sensitive to those who don't want always-listening microphones as well - this is a fine line to walk!
- IoT Network Support for AmpliFi HD Networking Devices
11.a. I've suggested this before but it would be great to have VLANs (but better) support so I can isolate my IoT stuff from my important computers/servers with sensitive data.
11.b. We all know how much most IoT organizations have dropped the ball on security. Let us handle this by isolating all IoT devices in ways that make sense (i.e. allow integrated IoT networks to communicate with what they need to such as each other and my phone, but no more) both for first-party AmpliFi ecosystem devices as well as third-party IoT devices (Google, Apple, Amazon, Honeywell, etc.).
- Battery-Powered Teleport
12.a. The Teleport is great as it is! However, sometimes I'd love to use it when I don't have a power outlet handy (i.e. I'm sitting in a keynote at a blackhat conference with 2,000 other people actively trying to hack me, but I'd like to have a secure internet connection - obviously an extreme example but you get it).
- Some way to handle a Backup Internet Connection well.
13.a. Whether this means somehow adding SIM card support to the AmpliFi or allowing it to have 2 WAN connections (to switch off to ISP B when ISP A goes down), this would be a nice option. I'd really like to have a cheap $30/mo ISP in addition to my hefty $100/mo ISP to keep my house online. I'm sure this is a pretty niche request, but I'd love to have it!
13.b. Somehow do it in a way that I can have my devices optionally be throttled so I don't run up $500 in overages in a few hours if using a cellular provider. I'm not sure if you throttle at the network level or perhaps allow my devices to see this as a different network so I can set "Metered connection" flags in my OS for that network connection.
- AmpliFi Pro Router
14.a. For those of us who have heavier needs requiring beefier hardware, give us an option to unlock some harder-to-do things (QoS over gigabit ISP connections with Hardware NAT, among other things). I get that some higher-end requirements start to become difficult to do for processing reasons - just give us some beefier hardware to buy in order to handle these cases more.
14.b. Consider adding support for a UniFi Cloud Key to help manage/configure these more advanced scenarios!
- AmpliFi Dashboard Units
15.a. Once I get several of these AmpliFi Ecosystem devices in my house, it might be handy to have a "Dashboard" option to interact with it all.
15.b. I could see having different form factors ranging from a Phone/Tablet app to a website to a tablet-like device mounted on a wall to an Echo Spot-like device on a kitchen counter (for the babysitter while we're gone). Consider this from the beginning and that will give you better user-experience options in the end, both allowing it to be easier on your users to go from Dashboard to Dashboard without additional configuration or learning curves, as well as an additional product you can sell to increase revenues & profits.
Common suggestions for some/many/all of these devices:
- Be fully function (or at least mostly functional) in cases of power outages, WiFi/Internet outages (perhaps let us pay $100 to have a Backup Battery/SIM-Powered Hub), and AmpliFi server maintenance windows. In the end, give us a durable AmpliFi ecosystem!
- A great option would be for battery-powered devices but with an optional AC power adapter to safely (in the case of leaks, etc) keep the battery topped off. Some devices might only provide an additional hour or so of life (Meshpoints, etc.) but some devices should function for days/weeks without power (water sensors, etc.).
- Give me a pleasant user experience if I choose to run all of this offline. Obviously some features will be limited but define what a good story would be with no internet access (for extended periods of time) and make that happen. Far too many IoT options are great, until you take away their internet access!
- Work well both in cases where somebody is home and when somebody is on vacation (this can mean a lot of different things for the various different products)
- Security! So many IoT companies screw this up - get it right! SSL all the things, no backdoors, random default passwords, don't deploy common private keys, don't forget to update certificates, require firmware updates to be signed, etc. And allow us to manage things where appropriate.
I just thought I'd share these thoughts in case they're helpful to the folks at AmpliFi. I know this isn't really the proper forum for this but there is no proper forum where I can post these suggestions. So I chose to place them here.
And lastly, I know not all of these ideas will make sense for Ubiquiti to do. Just wanted to give my $0.02 worth for the ones that do make sense, though!
- Water Sensor
re 14. Amplifi Pro Router: I would suggest to look at the EdgeRouter Lite from AmpliFi's parent Ubiquiti. More here: https://www.ubnt.com/edgemax/edgerouter-lite/
For $100 you get excellent speed with a graphic UI and the full set of EdgeMax features including traffic monitoring and management. You can step up to using the cli an go to professional router management with fine grain control over routing, firewall, and QoS. You would put the AmpliFi in bridge mode.
This is my current configuration.
I do wish AmpliFi would make the full feature set of EdgeMax available on the AmpliFi, since I suspect it is based on the same OS core. I would be glad to pay a few bucks for it as ab in App purchase.
@harald-striepe I'm very aware of EdgeRouters as well as UniFi options. That's not what I'm looking for. I'm just looking for more powerful AmpliFi hardware that is more powerful with the features already built into AmpliFi.