V3 Beta is Upon Us!


#101

Golly, it’s been a while since the ‘official’ contest list, and rules, have been published. Here they are. There are no changes to the rules.

plainsane = Aug. 1st
preilly44 = Aug. 14th
Linn = Aug. 28th
a0128958 = Sep. 14th
Marainwater = Sep. 21st
Jazzer = Sep. 26th
ghctim = Sep. 29th

(anyone above this point is officially ‘out’

jim_gately = Sep. 30th
Modawg2k = Oct. 1st
jkb = Oct. 15th
JasonM = Oct. 23rd
DLane = Nov. 1st
jleh = Nov. 3rd
tmcgahey = Dec. 1st
Bill.Maupin = Jan. 1st, 2018
rgstech = Mar. 1st
shcaine = Mar. 15th

Here’s the contest: Have some fun predicting what date Rachio Iro V3 ‘goes live’ to the general public (As confirmed by someone from Rachio authorized to say it.)

Here’s the prize: FOUR 60W equivalent 9W LED lamps, commercial quality, 2700 degree Kelvin color match to traditional tungsten lamps, omni-directional, over 50,000 hrs run time capability, 5 year warranty, meeting the latest version 2 Energy Star requirements, manufactured by Earthtronics (private label manufacturer for Philips and Sylvania).

Here are the rules:

(1) In case of tie, accuracy is the tie breaker. I.e., if the announced date ends up being Aug. 31, someone who says ‘Aug. 31st’ wins the tie over someone who says ‘last week of Aug.’

(2) Anyone with a signed NDA with Rachio, or signed with a Rachio company is not eligible, regardless of when the NDA was signed. Likewise, anyone with a relationship with a Rachio employee, or who’s a Rachio employee, is not eligible.

(3) No ‘double dipping.’ Once you’re ‘in’ you’re ‘in.’ And once you’re ‘out’ you’re ‘out.’

(4) No ‘Ebay bidding.’ Let’s use 2 weeks as minimum time between date of one’s contest entry and ‘guess’ date.

‘Fine print’ items:

(1) Rachio has no involvement with this contest, other than (a) I’m using their community posting system to advertise it, and (b) I’ll ask them to affirm a published or stated ‘go live’ date is indeed legit. The contest is simply my idea to have a little fun. Prize material is all from me - I’m donating it from my business. I do energy monitoring and conversion to LED lighting projects for commercial entities.

(2) While this is an anonymous contest, it does assume the winner will privately disclose to me his/her name and mailing address so that I can send the winning prize. If you prefer to remain anonymous (or don’t want/need the prize) just post a note here or to me to that effect. It will be easy to find a local charitable institution to donate the LED lamps to.


#102

Is it possible to still get in to the V3 beta group. I’m a network engineer, and love to test out Beta’s. Been doing it for 20 years now. My system is now completely set up. So I’d love to see what new features are coming down the pipe, and provide feedback.


#103

‘Fine print #1’ essentially says that Rachio staff may or may not see your request here to join the official testing group. I’d send a note directly to them to get their attention.

OTOH, the contest here remains open to anyone who wishes to ‘jump in.’ Note Rules 2 (choose to stay outside of the privileged testing group) and 4 (choose a contest prediction date at least two week out from entry date).


#104

Oh my! Today’s the last day of 3Q. We’ve got 3 more ‘casualties:’ Marainwater, Jazzer and ghctim. Only one 3Q predictor’s left: jim_gately (today). Modawg2k is right behind him for Oct. 1 (tomorrow).

It sure looks to me that Rachio is ‘swinging for the fence’ to put forth a ‘blockbuster’ V3 update.


#105

@a0128958 - one clarification, since it’s your contest. Is it “Price is Right” (closest without going over the date) or “closest to the pin” (absolute value of the delta) rules? I haven’t seen anyone use a fuzzy date, like last week of X yet, but since that was allowed I thought it should be clarified. Not that it will help me, as I’d only have one more day as @jleh liked my guess so much they plunked one down two days later for closest to the pin - and the same rules would take four days away from me and give them to @JasonM on the front side.

Thanks for sponsoring the prizes and having fun with this!!


#106

You’re welcome! Just doing this for fun. Anyone’s welcome to join in, just pay attention to Rules 2 through 4.

Let’s keep it simple. It’s ‘closest to the pin.’ For example, Modawg2k wins if Rachio tomorrow (Oct. 1) makes V3 ‘live’ to the general public. He’ll continue to win if V3 is made available through about Oct. 7th. If V3 is made available on Oct. 9th, then jkb wins. If it’s Oct 8th, we’ll have to use the clock to ‘split hairs’ between Modawg2k and jkb.

In your case, you’re not so lucky. Right now you win with a V3 availability date of about Oct. 28th through maybe Nov. 2nd. Of course someone new could join the contest and select an open date (Rule 4 manages this a little).

For those of us hoping for big changes, this is looking encouraging! I would have never dreamed that Rachio would go this long. I hope all of the beta testers are working hard to result in a big release! This has gone long enough such that I think we’re going to get expansion to 32 zones (each unit has a unique Ethernet address so Rachio can do the combining in s/w), some amount of delay per zone to zone for those who use pumps, and major progress on scheduling around ‘block out’ periods. I don’t think Ethernet connectivity is coming for a number of reasons, one of which is that it’s a hardware change.


#107

Wow 7 months after beta testing starts and the release isn’t out yet? That seems like a complete failure of a software group… hrm… And no replies from the company in quite some time… Has the V3 just been abandoned and/or started over?


#108

I’ve been wondering the same thing…


#109

I think the ‘glass is half full’ view is:

  1. This year’s product evaluation publications continue to rate the Iro2 as ‘top of the list.’ I.e., problems that people write in with here, sometimes described as ‘serious flaws,’ aren’t really so serious from a business point of view.

  2. I think that Rachio leadership had a plan for a certain amount of improvement, s/w only, the team was working it, a beta period was announced, and a plan was in place to execute. I think these items were aimed at making the Iro2 less confusing and thus enable reduced investment into customer support.

  3. I think Rachio leadership at some point started seeing that they have more time than they thought - see item 1 above - and started thinking about what they could accomplish if they ‘swung for the fence’ instead of staying with their current Beta plan.

  4. As a result I think the plan changed to include a few things that fundamentally advance the Iro2 beyond what was initially planned, but, would take a larger investment to pull off (re-do the scheduling capability from the ground up, expand to 32 zones, make the workstation interface acceptable to commercial customers, re-think how to do shared access, etc.)

  5. My guess is that still no h/w improvements are coming this cycle - everything being worked on is in s/w. Things like Ethernet connectivity, and direct interface with rain and temp hard wired sensors, are still unplanned at this time.

In summary, the above is my ‘crystal ball,’ not having any factual information other than deduction from what’s written here on this forum and seeing what’s being written out in the public. I think this ‘glass is half full’ view is one plausible explanation for why things are the way they are at the moment.

I did demonstrations of the Iro2 at my residence this past Saturday, as my home was one of many sites on the annual Dallas/Ft-Worth Solar and Energy Efficiency Tour of Homes. Still, the most impressive feature I see first time observers get enamored with is smart phone control. I emphasized the strategy of the Iro2 being full automatic enabling least possible watering. I had a big screen TV set up in my garage and showed visitors my rolling 13 month chart showing how the controller was responding to the unusual weather patterns this year (some months have been very rainy, other months no rain, and without pattern). See http://welserver.com/perl/plot/WEL0343/Sprinkler2.png .

I told my visitors this was ‘the’ product to go get, for residential settings, if they were really serious about savings as much money as possible on their watering bill. Told them to stop by Home Depot on the way home and purchase an 8 or 16 zone model, or order it from Amazon.

I skipped past, to the tour visitors, what in my opinion are serious deficiencies, that are well discussed on this forum. It’s obvious that the general residential populace is excited about the Iro2 from the reviews. And I think Rachio leadership understands that it’s got work to do to reduce their support burden costs and to make the Iro2 acceptable in commercial/municipal markets. I think a lot of this effort is underway currently.


#110

See the issue with the glass half full view is that that can be fine and all… However, if that is the case its usually followed with good and proper communication. When things go WAY longer than necessary and things go silent its usually not good. Take this from someone who works as an electrical engineer designing products and also has a degree in software engineering and works with them often.

My bet is that things have gone seriously awry and perhaps the staffing has shrunk…

Personally I fear that Rachio is going to need to change its business model. There is no way that it can continue to grow enough new customers to supplant its business on hardware sales alone. Running its cloud platform and keeping everything alive for all of us for free isn’t a sustainable solution in my book. I’m betting at some point that the flexible daily schedule and what not will start to have a yearly fee associated with it. I’m already used to paying for my WeatherTRAK system and when this starts having a fee it should be able to be a lot cheaper than WeatherTRAK because they have a lot lower overhead…

Anyway that is my glass half empty point of view but because the company isn’t communicating with anyone all that can be done is guessing. Which is the worst place to leave customers.


#111

Total guess (just like HomeKit maybe being a delaying factor is a total guess), but if they’ve got small development and QA teams, and the bulk of those teams are focused on HomeKit certification, maybe they don’t feel that they have enough resources to handle that plus promptly address issues that Android/web users would undoubtedly find if they got to start testing V3.


#112

If it was a homekit issue though why couldn’t they at least release the platform for Android? Its lack of communication that really starts to look bad. You kind of “have” to announce if you want to get good beta support and quality testers but 7 months is way too long to need to wait from test start to release unless something went horribly sideways.


#113

Shame the folks who DO know whassup (ie. the beta testers) can’t say anything because they probably signed an NDA.


#114

WRT the folks who do know what’s going on (Rachio employees and probably to a great extent the beta testers):

I’m impressed. Not a ‘peep’ that I’m aware of. So far it’s my observation that the contest has high integrity. I’m not aware of anyone in the contest who in fact has privileged information not generally available.


#115

Yea but if you go 7 months after an announcement with not a peep most people move on and get interested in other things.


#116

So… Um… Any news?


#117

you didn’t get the memo?


#118

Must have missed it… Was probably too busy filling out my TPS reports.


#119

I want to thank all of you for your passion and input throughout this process. I say this a lot on the forum but we are a user driven company, and we are so grateful for this community’s continued support and engagement! I can assure you that as always we are listening intently to your feedback, and our team is hard at work building and innovating. We are excited for the future, and we hope you are too.


#120

Meanwhile, the contest continues, to have some fun predicting what date Rachio Iro V3 actually does ‘go live’ to the general public.

The prize continues as FOUR 60W equivalent 9W LED lamps, commercial quality, warm color temperature to match traditional tungsten lamps, omni-directional, over 50,000 hrs run time capability, 5 year warranty, meeting the latest version 2 Energy Star requirements, and manufactured by Earthtronics (private label manufacturer for Philips and Sylvania).

You can look back about 29 days in this ‘conversation’ to see the rules and ‘fine print.’ The contest remains open to almost all, subject to a couple of rules.

We have a couple more ‘casualties’ lately:

jim_gately = Sep. 30th

Modawg2k = Oct. 1st