Update, 14 Mar 2019:
If you’re an Iris owner, you’ve probably heard by now that Iris is shutting down on March 31st, 2019. With the shutdown impending, I spent some time evaluating different options for home automation hubs and home security kits to replace Iris. I put all of that information together in this post, where I break down some suggestions and the gear that I would personally pick up depending on what generation of Iris you have and what you’re wanting to do with your equipment.
Regarding the information below, once the Iris system is shutdown on March 31st, you will not be able to use Iris gear with Amazon Alexa unless you have another smart automation hub to control your Iris gear, and then only 2nd-gen and 3rd-gen Iris equipment will work. Check out my Home Automation Hub I’m Choosing To Replace My Iris Setup post for more details.
Trying to figure out what it’s possible for you to do with your first-generation Iris equipment? Want to know if you can get everything linked up with an Amazon Echo product? Keep reading for the answer to these questions.
A couple years back, I bought the $200 first-generation Iris starter kit (hub, thermostat, door sensors, a plug-in to allow remote control of an electrical outlet, and a range extender). Despite a bit of trouble mounting the sensors on the door casings at that house, we enjoyed the peace of mind of the home security system and loved being able to set the temperature in the house from our phones before we got home… not to mention being able to laze out and adjust the thermostat without leaving the upstairs bedroom.
Unfortunately, Santa Claus forgot to bring us the “Next Generation” Iris hub during the free upgrade in 2015, and the whole affair was put aside once we moved to our current home. At the time of this writing, my pile of Iris components is sitting in a box downstairs in the garage. 🙁
Well, now that we own our Echo Show, it’s time to get our home automation on! So, today I did some research on Z Wave controllers that would get my Iris devices working with Alexa. I looked at Staples Connect (because it’s discontinued, it’s very cheap) and the Samsung SmartThings controller.
Here’s the bad news:
Because the first-generation Iris system used a proprietary Zigbee protocol, first-gen or Next Gen Iris hubs are the only hubs that will work with first-gen Iris sensors, thermostats, etc. I confirmed this with both Iris and SmartThings tech support.
Here’s the good news:
While that limits your options for connecting 1st-gen Iris components with Alexa, Next Generation Iris hubs do work with Amazon Echo products, and a new 2nd-gen Iris Hub is just under $50. I have one on the way; when it comes in, I’ll fill you in on linking it up with the Echo Show!