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Re: is MFI dead?

[ Edited ]

I hope they sell it, or open source it, or something.  I actually still buy mPower Pro's (8 port), and still actively use them.  They are great for remote IT closets, and for the price point, nothing comes close.  I have them connected to a controller, but don't use it that way. 95% of my mangement is via SSH.  And with it dying, I see my self buying alot of mPowers for dirt cheep on eBay soon.  Even with it dead, I still see using mpowers for years to come.  I mean for $90, where else can you get a managed power strip that does ping watch dog, and cron tab, etc...

 

Thier wireless products have always been thier bread and butter, and you can make and keep an entire business selling/using them.   However, with the death of mFi, and some of thier other products lacking, makes me very sceptical on thier sunmax product.  Thier VoIP Products are lacking, and thier security camera products are lacking (I also heard thier routers and gateways can use some improvement, but I never used them, so I cannot comment).

 

SunMax, if done correctly, you could make a business out of.  I actually thought about it, but what if it ends up like mfi, or under-achieving like voip/video?  Your business would be SOL.  Maybe it won't end up like them since they are partnered with another company, and they don't actually do everything them selves on the back end. (Sunlink? Is that correct?)  Based on some stuff I read in the forums, Sunmax is still "getting there" on the software/backend side of things.  I might wait a little bit before I dive into that.

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Re: is MFI dead?

These are the kinds of things I've been talking about for a long time @UBNT-Robert @UBNT-Ben @UBNT-Brandon


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Re: is MFI dead?

Hi All -- I know an update is due from my side. Here is what I can say:

 

1. Ubiquiti does have a  long-term IOT commitment on-going

2. mFi is not part of that long-term strategy

3. We will continue to make mFi hardware, but SW will be placed on hold indefinitely

 

I know a lot of you will be justifiably upset so I will provide some additional transparency:

 

mFi development started in 2009 ahead of the "IOT" movement. The original goal was to provide a "canvas" to the market which allowed them to connect together through Internet Protocol any sensor, power outlet, switch, or serial port and create relationships between them from a centralized controller. This was going to be the encore to UniFi's breakout success.

 

Unfortunately, the SW team I recruited to deliver the vision made some horrendous design choices and generally didn't know what they were doing. Even though early deliverables were really disappointing, I was afraid to lose time to market and kept on "doubling down" with the same team. In retrospect, I should have made the decision to replace the team and start over before launch, but I didn’t. And once we launched and marketed the platform, we were stuck in persistent maintenance/support mode without really solving the fundamental issues.

 

From the java back-end selection to poor coding, poor installation UX, no remote connectivity, and hardware shortcomings, it has not been something we can easily fix. Our conclusion was we had to start fresh to deliver a product that can be a winner in the market. I know that might not be a consolation for many of you, but we will continue to produce and support mFi hardware.

 

Robert

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Re: is MFI dead?

Cryin

 

Thank you for the update.

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Re: is MFI dead?

Well that pretty much confirms the assumptions. A long overdue update, but at least a path so some of us can make better and more educated decisions.

 

So on that bombshell, I've got 5 dimmers, 2 mPorts, 3 mPower (3 ports), 6 mPower Minis, and 3 mPort Wall Outlets that'll be up on Amazon soon (for anyone interested). The central controller was the sell for me, so if that software is EOL then I'm not going to buy another 12 dimmers and 10 outlets various mPorts & sensors to finish my home automation solution. I'll cut loose and switch to zwave or something.

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Re: is MFI dead?

Thank you @UBNT-Robert for the update. I'm glad there is still an ongoing IOT commitment. I have no doubt that any future products will benifit greatly from what was attempted with the mFi platform.

 

RIP mFiSmiley Sad

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Re: is MFI dead?


DrDiesel wrote:

Cryin

 

Thank you for the update.


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Re: is MFI dead?

Thanks for the update @UBNT-Robert

Can you give us some light regarding new IOT products that might be available this year?

Thanks!

 

Felipo

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Re: is MFI dead?

@UBNT-Robert This info is greatly appreciated. I would suggest an "mFI EOL Notice" or similar in the mfi support section on the website, or on the main page. This could prevent a lot of people from buying things just to find out it's not longer being made or supported - for many once they get a bad taste in their mouths, they won't take another bite.

 

Just a thought.

 

Again, thank you for your candor and time.

 

@UBNT-Ben @UBNT-BrandonThanks if either of you passed this along )



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Re: is MFI dead?

[ Edited ]

 

@UBNT-Robert To continue to produce mFi hardware would only make sense if your long term commitment to IOT will include the existing mFi hardware once whatever is released in the future is available. Effectively you would rebrand the platform with new software/firmware and utilize the old hardware the best you could while cooking up new hardware with more features at a later date.

You really need to consider the user base and future customers. We appreciate the update, but only sharing what you did indicates that there is no firm plan in place.

Continuing to sell hardware with no guarantee of future compatibility and a fairly limited existing feature set, when compared to other products on the market, screams that you plan to continue to use customers to recoup lost R&D costs while you make another attempt at cracking the IOT.

I'm sure you already know, but there will be many angry customers, old and new, that are likely never coming back to Ubiquiti because of this and other poorly implemented and supported product lines.

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Re: is MFI dead?


felipog wrote:

Thanks for the update @UBNT-Robert

Can you give us some light regarding new IOT products that might be available this year?

Thanks!

 

Felipo


Sadly, we just got the once a year communication from @UBNT-Robert. I have my suspicions from reading his notes that a) there's no real plan in place, b) they think they can offset their losses by selling hardware with 2 year old firmware at the expense of customers, and c) they really don't want to communicate it because they want people to keep buying an EOL product. Why they'd continue to sell something that they're not developing for is beside me unless there is a strategy to support the existing hardware on whatever said new IOT attempt is. It all sounds a bit to vague for my liking, and I'd be very surprised if you saw something this year given their track record on this. Even if they released it this year (doubtful) it'd be 12 months before you could find a supplier with any to sell you.

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Re: is MFI dead?

[ Edited ]

esseph wrote:

This could prevent a lot of people from buying things just to find out it's not longer being made or supported - for many once they get a bad taste in their mouths, they won't take another bite.


@esseph Josh, please reread Robert's last sentence "will continue to produce and support mFi hardware".  Of course however, "supported" needs to be taken with a grain of salt since software development has halted.

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Re: is MFI dead?


LLigetfa wrote:

esseph wrote:

This could prevent a lot of people from buying things just to find out it's not longer being made or supported - for many once they get a bad taste in their mouths, they won't take another bite.


@esseph Josh, please reread Robert's last sentence "will continue to produce and support mFi hardware".  Of course however, "supported" needs to be taken with a grain of salt since software development has halted.


@LLigetfa this can be taken as very misleading, and will still leave a bad taste over a lawyerish technicality



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Re: is MFI dead?

@UBNT-Robert  @UBNT-Ben  @UBNT-Brandon  Appreciate the update and not stringing us along further even though it wasn't what we wanted to hear.

 

Many of us would appreciate some code release or some hints on how to fire up firmware as a virtual device.  I don't think anyone would care if you used new ideas from that for future Ubiquiti IoT and it would soften the blow.

 

Will this forum continue to exist or should we be finding a new home?   Any interest out there in an unofficial forum?  I would at least click on a donate beer button.

 

mFi saved a server room the other day after multiple other failures and pretty graphs have helped get building HVAC changes made that would have never happened otherwise.  I appreciate the hardware reliability and isolation from the internet for my home automation as well.

 

 

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Re: is MFI dead?

What ever form the new product line ends up taking I really hope the keep the controller as that is a key selling point for myself. I need the ability to view all the sensors , data and manage them from one location. I have no interest in having a collection of unmanaged individual sensors that I would have to monitor and controll seperatly like so many other solutions do.

 

It would also be very nice if they built in a to output the sensor data to Splunk so advanced analysis behond what Ubiquiti is capble of can be performed on the data

 

Sad to see this announcement. I have a lot of time and resources invested in this product line both personally and professionaly. 

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Re: is MFI dead?

I agree with all these posts since Roberts bombshell.  And MOST agree with, and HOPE, that any future IOT product, works with older mfi hardware.  Even if a new firmware is needed that make its unusable with old mfi controller, which is fine because it will work with new IOT controller.  Otherwise its pointless for ubnt to continue to sell mfi hardware.

 

I would also hope that ubnt doesn't get rid of the controller concept also.  Robert said in a post a few motnhs ago, that thier vision was to have a mobile app, and no controller.  That doesn't sit well with me.  In "Home automation" with a few devices, a controller might not be needed, but a in "Business monitoring and automation" with several 10's and 100's of devices, a centeral controller is needed.  I do not use mfi for my home.  I use it for my business and clients.  Over 70 devices all together.  If ubnt's vision is only the home market, they are missing out on alot on the business side.

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Re: is MFI dead?

Thanks Robert, I appreciate the clear communication.

 

Regarding the future of mFi- I do hope the stratagy includes the ability to read 3rd party sensors.  Specifically:

  • Analog: 0-5V
  • PWM
  • Serial (At least RS232 but also TTL, 1-wire & I2C)

And I hope there's some facility for data logging, especially with configurable intervals.

 

And I hope whatever replaces mPort will have a very stable 5V supply that can put out at least 500mA

 

Here's to the new beginnings. 

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Re: is MFI dead?

Thank you for update.   Although not perfect, the mFi suite of prodcuts and centralized controller concepts still works, albeit not perfect.   

 

Any chance code base for discontinued mFi product suite (controller and device) can be released for existing mFi userbase to try to improve in an Open Source model.

 

I think that would go a long way to buy back many mFi adopters to your product suite and future IoT solution.

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Re: is MFI dead?


jimr66 wrote:

Thank you for update.   Although not perfect, the mFi suite of prodcuts and centralized controller concepts still works, albeit not perfect.   

 

 


100% agree there.  I mainly only use mpowers as remote IT closet devices.  So as far as mpowers goes, with the exception of not having a port "reboot" functionality/button from the controller, it works perfectly for me, and doesn't need much improvement at all.   now the mports and rules/etc relating to that need a little more improvment, but like I said in my previous posts, I'll prolly still use the mpowers for years to come because it works well enough for me. 

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Re: is MFI dead?

Glad to hear the hardware is going to stay in production.

 

I like many others feel that the hardware that does exists serves a valuable purpose.  For me monitoring temps/humidity in server rooms and data closests, and the mPower functionality in those locations as well is critical, and I think the mFI does that nicely.  Would have loved to see the controller become a little more refined, and some new hardware, but if this is all it's going to be it meets my needs.

 

I too hope that any future production into  IoT finds a way to incorporate the older mFi hardware.  

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