Home Assistant: why the open smart home merges with the Open Home Foundation

Home Assistant: why the open smart home merges with the Open Home Foundation

The market segment that encompasses devices for smart home it has no boundaries: there are countless products and services that allow you to remotely manage and automate any type of activity.

The underlying problem is that until yesterday many producers have invested in closed ecosystems: the devices of one could not communicate with those of the other. In this sense, the widely shared approval of the protocol Matter – once thought to be almost unachievable – is helping to improve things. Indeed, Matter 1.2 has recently introduced several new features, further expanding the “range of action” of the protocol.

Home Assistant is open source software designed to control smart devices in the home through a unified interface. It works like a central hub for home automation, independent of any supplier, allowing users to integrate and manage a vast range of devices and services, such as smart lights, thermostats, security cameras and much more.

Protecting Home Assistant: this is why the Open Home Foundation was born

An open solution like Home Assistant, we were saying, integrates with a vast range of devices and services so much so that it is possible to insert devices from completely different manufacturers that use protocols such as Zigbee, Z-Wave, WiFi, Bluetooth, Matter and other.

With Home Assistant users can design a smart home offline: this means that i smart devices they become able to function even in the absence of an active and functioning Internet connection. In other words, disconnecting them from the manufacturer’s cloud or adding the possibility of managing the devices through one centralized platform under your full and exclusive control, it is possible to create an open and dialoguing ecosystem.

Behind the Home Assistant project there is much more than a simple technological platform: there is a deep commitment to the principles of privacychoice and sustainabilitywhich is now the new initiative Open Home Foundation it aims to embody and exalt.

The beginning of the Home Assistant journey

The founder of the Home Assistant project, now so popular and appreciated, began writing a handful of lines in 2013 Python code to control Philips Hue smart bulbs. The goal of Paulus Schoutsen, this is the name of the inventor of Home Assistant, was clear from the beginning: to allow users to manage their devices without being bound by the decisions of large companies. Since then, Home Assistant has grown thanks to the contributions of thousands of volunteers, becoming a complete platform for managing multiple devices brand.

The growing interest in Home Assistant has led Schoutsen and his closest collaborators to take a lot of time away from their work activities to solve bugs and various problems in the project. To monetize the efforts made without distorting the open philosophy underlying Home Assistant, Schoutsen founded in 2018 Nabu Housea for-profit reality that provides services cloud per Home Assistant.

As happened in the case of other similar realities, Nabu House he showed he knew how protect the project Home Assistant and to enhance it, simultaneously promoting the active participation of its employees in community work.

The birth of Open Home Foundation

With the precise aim of safeguarding the Home Assistant project and its values, it is born now Open Home Foundation. The establishment of the foundation, strongly desired by Schoutsen, represents a milestone for the sustainability and independence of the project. It allows you to avoid the risk that Home Assistant is influenced or even acquired by commercial entities, guaranteeing the check on the various software components included in the project itself.

The promoters of the Open Home Foundation initiative recognize that smart home offers, if not managed correctly, can seriously undermine individual privacy, to limit the user choices and have a negative impact on the environment.

To achieve its goals, Open Home Foundation has taken under its wing over 240 projects, standards, drivers and libraries, including Home Assistant, ESPHome, Zigpy, Piper, Improv Wi-Fi, Wyoming and many others, in order to create a solid defense against the idea of ​​mass surveillance, the risk of acquisition by large companies and the abandonment of open source projects. By doing so, it is hoped that users of smart home products and services will be able to continue to benefit from these resources in the long term, regardless of what happens in the future.

Through close collaboration with Nabu Housethe foundation funds, directs resources and collaborates on the development of critical external projects such as Z-Wave JS, WLED, Rhasspy e Zigbee2MQTT. We want to ensure that these projects remain open to all and in line with the founding principles of the initiative.

The other objectives of the Open Home Foundation

Furthermore, the Open Home Foundation aims to press the button of politics: wants to do this by educating the public, public officials and companies producing smart home devices and services on the importance of open standardsopen source projects, and privacy, choice, and sustainability.

First of all, as highlighted above, we want to ensure that users maintain the control of your data, with the possibility of sharing information only in the face of a personal choice, made in total autonomy. In short, smart devices must mainly function in localewith cloud connection offered as an additional and optional option.

Furthermore, users must be free to use any device in any way they wish, without arbitrary limitations by the producers. An objective that can be achieved through the use of open standards and local APIs for device control.

Finally, the aspect that aims to promote sustainability has as its guiding star the use and the long-term reuse of electronic devices, reducing environmental impact and resource consumption through automation and monitoring of energy consumption.

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