While the Rachio IRO product is a great leap forward compared to the smart irrigation residential controllers that are currently on the market there are a few items that I would like to see implemented in a future release of their product, as listed below:
Currently the mobile software only runs in portrait mode and we sometimes install iPad in-wall controllers in landscape mode. Our clients don’t like to look at apps with their heads rotated 90 degrees! We have solved this problem by installing the SmartThings sDock Pro rotatable iPad mount but the app should be viewable in both orientations.
There should be a “gardener friendly” interface for the controller. Gardeners are not walking around with iPhone and Android control devices so there needs to be some fundamental control interface on the IRO itself where a gardener can manually turn on and off a zone from the controller itself for repair and testing purposes. We now solve that problem by installing an iPod in a charging cradle next to the irrigation controller that is locked down to the IRO app. This iPod becomes the mobile controller for IRO irrigation unit and only operates this system.
Despite these minor limitations the team at Rachio has come out with a great residential irrigation controller and I expect that their early success will financially enable them to engineer significant enhancements to their product in the months and years to come. This is the definition of a great product platform for the home – one that actually improves over time with software updates from the cloud at no charge to the client. It is a formula that has worked exceptionally well for Sonos and NEST and I would expect the same for Rachio. Welcome Rachio to our custom integration world.