User interfaces for Vera Controls (Micasaverde) explained

The vera system has been constantly evolving thanks to the effort of many developers and Micasaverde (Now Vera Control LTD).  This development has bring many changes on the user interface and confusion in between new users and users that have been since the very first Vera 1 or Vera 2.

Here we will explain in simple english how many interfaces are out there for the vera controller and what you can and cannot do with each one of these interfaces.  Plain and simple .

 

Vera UI5

Vera UI5
Vera UI5

Vera UI5 has been the default interface for many years (2+ years).  This interface is crude, rude and oriented to a technical consumer, capable of understanding the many different possible configurations that can be done with a vera controller.

This is the interface by default that you should be using if you want to truly integrate your Vera controller and devices in the best way possible. The vera UI5 is not recommended for end users who only want to integrate basic devices like motion detectors or light switches

So if you need to mess with IP cameras, uplodas, emails, dropbox and many other different devices the Vera UI5 is definitely the UI that you want to be using.

Pros

  • Fully configurable
  • Allows you to customize every single variable of every device
  • Allows you to integrate generic IP Cameras
  • You can create, test and deploy your own custom code

Cons

  • Not user friendly
  • Requires good understanding of technical specs
  • Ugly interface
  • You can only login using cp.mios.com. No access to home.getvera.com

 

Vera Mobile App 1.3

You can get the Vera Mobile App from here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vera-mobile-app/id514267785?mt=8

 

Vera UI6

Vera UI6
Vera UI6

The vera UI6 is an interface released in early 2014 that was directed to the end user.  It is very nice and contains beautiful graphics.  It is easy to understand and can be programmed by anybody without almost any knowledge.    The only problem is that this version was released very early in the development and it contains a variety of bugs that will have you suffering for many many hours. For example, you cannot configure a Generic IP camera from this interface, as it doesn’t allow you to input a custom url for getting the video from your camera.

This user interface is definitely a good start for somebody that is configuring a vera controller for the first time, you can do some basic control with lights, switchers and motion detectors, but no more than that.  For more advanced control you will need to run the Vera UI5.

Pros

  • Beautiful Interface
  • Easy to use
  • Control basic devices (motion, lights, switchers)
  • New authentication system (MMS)
  • New web interphase home.getvera.com

Cons 

  • Terrible issues with compatibility (UI5 code gets deleted when you save new changes)
  • Doesn’t integrate generic devices (for example IP cameras)
  • Unstable, some buttons are not working when clicked

Vera UI6 Mobile

Vera Mobile simple ui6
Vera Mobile simple ui6. Credits: http://getvera.com/#how

The Vera UI6 mobile is not listed anymore and it is not accesible.  You can now download the Vera UI7 Mobile (see below)

 

Vera UI7

vera UI7
vera UI7

The vera UI7 interface is currently in BETA.  Developers are working with the community to create what is going to be the best UI ever for Vera controllers.  Nevertheless you can test the Vera UI7 on your mobile and have fun with it.

This new UI will allow you to configure all devices from a nicer user interface and it is directed to end users, so anybody will be able of connecting devices with minimum knowledge about z-wave and with no programming knowledge.

The new UI7 have 4 preset scenes that you can have preconfigured, these are: HOME / AWAY / NIGHT / VACATION.  In each of the preset scenes you will be able to arm/disarm and use the devices you want, also to send notifications to the user you want by sliding some nice graphical sliders that are available at the home screen.  Here’s an screenshot showing how you will be able to slide with a single click or touch of the screen:

Vera IU7 presets
Vera IU7 presets

 

You can request access to the beta program on here (currently closed) : http://getvera.com/beta/

Vera UI7 Mobile (Version 2.1)

 

Vera Mobile UI7
Vera Mobile UI7

The Vera Mobile UI7 will reflect exactly the same graphical interface as the new Vera UI7.   This means you will not have to download any other third party app to control your Vera form your iPhone, as this mobile UI7 will have everything you need. We strongly recommend anybody to download it and start playing with it as it is a very stable app and allows you to easily activate your preset scenes or custom scenes from your mobile phone.

You can get the Vera UI7 for Mobile here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vera-mobile-ui7/id787203434?mt=8

Start controlling your home with an easy configuration

Z-Wave is designed to be easy to use and the vera3 with the new UI7 is a demonstration of how easy is to integrate your home automation by yourself.  You can simply buy your controller, connect it and start pairing as many z-wave devices you have at home.  Then configure some scenes (like ‘going to bed or ‘cooking) and then voilà, your home is automated!

Z-Wave devices are available in stores and also in amazon.com so you can easily buy the devices you need and customize your own house with no external intervention and without paying anybody a fee. How cool is that?

Imagine arriving home and the controller automatically detects your iPhone and immediately disarms the security system, turns on the entrance lights, turns on the thermostat and starts playing some music.  Or imagine it’s 10 pm and you decide to go to bed, so you activate a command on your iPhone and the lights dim down, the doors get locked and all your TVs, music players and entertainment devices  automatically turn off.

All of this is possible thanks to Z-Wave and a huge range of devices like z-wave dimmers, z-wave light switchers, z-wave motion sensors, etc.

What is Z-Wave?

The guy in the following video is Armando and he’s an specialist on Z-Wave technology.  We wanted to share his video here as he explains very clearly what is the Z-wave and how it works:

In the video you’re going to see what’s the z-wave technology and how it resembles a bluetooth network.

The most astonishing characteristic of Z-Wave is that you can integrate devices from any provider and from and brand.  Just by going to amazon and typing “z-wave” into the search box will bring you hundreds of devices that are z-wave ready: plugin modules, smart switches, smart door locks, thermostats, cameras, etc

In  the video the controller that they are using is the Vera Lite, which is a simpler version of the Vera3.  The Vera controller is the brain of the entire house and will pair all the z-wave devices that you have.

The first step when you get your Vera is to plug it and configure it.  See some basic instructions on how to start with a Vera controller here.

The vera lite will connect to your internet router so you can access your home devices from internet.  The Vera controller comes with a web based application to access and configure your devices and scenes.

You can add as many devices you want and the Z-Wave technology relies on the devices to communicate with the controller, which means that the more devices you have the better the controller will connect with these devices.

The Vera controller can notify you by email and by phone for example when someone opens a door or when a motion sensor gets activated.

How to add Devices?

Pairing z-wave devices with the Vera controller is astonishing easy.  You just click the z-wave button on the controller and click on the only button on the device and they will pair together.  It is so simple that you will not have to do any configuration at all. just click the buttons and the device will pair with the controller.

Then you can return to the web app and configure your newly paired device and add it into any room.  You will want to create all your rooms so the devices are easily trackable.  For example you can have 5 devices on your living room, 3 devices on your bedroom, 8 devices on your office room, etc.

After you pair a new device and add it to a room, then the device will be ready to be added to any scene you want

What is a Scene?

A scene is a sequence of actions that will start as soon as something or someone triggers it.  You will be creating scenes for all possible scenarios, like ‘going on vacation’, ‘going to bed’, ‘away from home’, ‘cooking’, etc

You can create as many scenes you want and add as many devices you need.  It is pretty easy to set up and you can control your scenes from your mobile phone, web app or any third party app.  That means that even if you’re far away from home you can control and turn on and off any device you want.

The best thing about Z-Wave technology is that you will not need to pay a monthly fee to use the system neither pay anybody after you buy your controller and your devices.  You’re the owner and only master of your own home automation system.

Where to buy z-wave devices?

Your best shot is to go to amazon.com and start selecting the devices you need.  Below you will find a list of the most basic recommended devices:

  • Door lock
  • Light Switcher
  • Outdoor lighting switcher
  • Z-wave HD Camera
  • Remote control
  • Motion Sensor
  • Humidity Sensor
  • Thermostat
  • and of course.. the Vera3 Controller