Homey Community Forum

Athom's Decision for Mobile First and removing of the Desktop Interface/WEB UI in Homey v2.0.0


Okay, back of the envelope time!

  • BOM for a Homey: €100 to €150, let’s take the latter
  • Marketing cost, MediaMarkt’s share: €50
  • Gross income per Homey: €100

Times your 250K equals €25M.

Cost of a decent desktop app: €100K.

Why would they not have spent that chump change on a desktop app? Or a Zigbee update? Or a Z-Wave update? Or better testing?


The problem is that Athom can’t protect a concept like this. The greatness of Homey lies in the concept. It’s very flexible. Athom supply the hardware and firmware. Others supply the software that makes it work with different solutions. And it’s a proven concept by now.

Ergo, anyone can build a similar platform without having to ask Athom for permission.


That is what they are doing now: they supply hardware and a real API, anyone else (ergo : we) can use it to create userinterfaces…


Not to the end user.


I think even an intern could do the job like the one that created HomeyDuino. Great app BTW.


Please note that there are more topics besides the ones you investigated where people expressed their frustrations regarding the missing desktop app/webif. Taken the silent majority into account I still think that there are many users who don’t like making flows on a phone.


I think so too… But we have been saying that for > 1,5 years and this is the situation we have to deal with now… So better make the best of it, Homey stills tops all other devices (and could have been better if Athom had the manpower)…


I keep hearing this as an excuse for Athom to not do something. Fact is: even in the current climate, it’s not that hard to find developers. You just have to provide the right incentives (and from personal experience I know that Athom doesn’t…).


For people who want to see the changes between the two versions:


… even very efficient companies struggle to reach an ebit of 10%…


I’m talking about gross margin (“gross income” doesn’t apply to companies, I think), so excluding expenses except cost of goods.

But we keep hearing that Athom is such a small company, so their burn rate would be, what, €1M a year?


The strange thing in this is that this decision is quite unnecessary if the basic design was solid. It feels a bit like there is a bit of prestige with some design “guru” at Homey that got them in this situation. With a modern software framework this should not be an issue. But if you are stuck in a homemade architecture this is the likely outcome…


For me a missing Webapp or Desktop App eventually will be the breaking point where I look for different smart systems.
Already now I am sick and tired of changing flows and what not on my cellphone, it just sucks. It is hard to keep track, keeping your flows organised etc. The old desktop app and the way flows were created is what got me here in first place.


based on their account extracts - tthey have less revenue now than before.

Revenue is about EUR 4 ml / year (and 5.2 i think the year of the Kickstarter)

I don’t have their full accounts but if anyone got access to Deutch KVK database search it should be easy to find (you can buy the accounts for last few years for Euro 4.20)

IF all they do to make money on is Homey - then I think there is roughly 50-80.000 homey’s sold in total. I’m basing that on an average sale price of Euro 200 + VAT. That price might be a bit on the high side.


As for now it’s a bit useless to discuss this topic for all this time. It’s a done deal, so we all have to live with Athom’s decision to get rid of the desktop flow editor, and move on. Some are happy with V2, others disappointed. So be it. The future will tell if this was a ‘smart’ move from Athom.

From a business point I can’t understand Athom, focusing on young customers only with a €300,- device, and reject elderly buyers by removing the tablet dashboard or desktop option.
Especially in this time and age, where society gets older and older. Assistive domotics, focusing on senior citizens will become a huge market in future. Athom will probadly not be part of this with current software options. :roll_eyes:


I agree. I work with systems development at SOS Alarm. We handle the emergency calls in Sweden. We also work with care and security services (security alarms for for sick and/or elderly people, fire/burglar alarms, and so on). So I have a pretty good insight in both home automation and automated security. To me, it’s only a matter of time before they start to converge into more unified solutions.

But it might be a long wait, since home automation need to mature a lot. Noone would supervise elderly people in their homes with gadgets that works “for most users”. Or might stop working because someone forgot to test the latest update before releasing it.

It’s actually the same with home automation solutions. There is no real “A-list segment”, with companies that sells smart home solutions to customers who has no interest in tinkering themselves, but are ready to pay whatever it costs for someone else to do it for them. If you can’t guarantee it will work and remain stable, you can’t sell it. Any faulty update might mean the end for your business.


There is no substitute for real human contact regarding elderly care. Home automation can only do so much, it will not do much more for elderly then for the average person. There can be some automation, some convenience but that’s it.
That quote of you above, ready to pay whatever it cost… hire a good qualified care taker.

I do not find this part of the discussion of much use to home automation (or Homey or desktop interface or dashboard).


I don’t know the financials of Athom.
Don’t know if the comparison is of any use, but you know, here it goes, purely for entertainment.
In other niches, but stock traded software only companies, they have a development team of 10 full time employees per annual revenue of 5 million euro.
(there are all sorts of other employees then developers, but only 10 developers per that revenue)

That would be in line with your calculations of Athom (revenue/developers).


Let me clarify. People in need of care are sometimes being monitored in their homes today. I’m not talking about future solutions. I work in that field already and attend trade fairs regularly.

Since I know a bit about both fields and the solutions available I also know about the overlapping solutions and the possibilities relative to the requirements. You don’t have to explain this to me.

About hiring a caretaker, that’s not what I wrote either. It was not about care/security systems, but - literally - about home automation/smart homes.


I do not see a interesting market for Athom/Homey regarding elderly, or elderly care. You do. As is Willem.
So without further ado I am ready to agree to disagree and leave it at that.