For the sake of developments in science and technology, there will always be a need for open source systems or models to technologists in any and every niche. As the days go by, newer and better home automation products flood our markets. These products come with improvements in all fronts, which are made possible by the availability of open source platforms to operate from.
What is Open Source?
An Open Source model or software is one in which the copyright owner permits the public use, improvement and tweaking of his software or product. This means that any and everyone can gain access to the raw files or source codes of the software; hence customize, tweak or develop it further for the common use of everyone.
So, when we discuss open source in home automation, we are looking at those free models from which creative developers to come up with more innovative products for the common good of both end users and developers. On a larger scale, some of the best known open source models include MYSQL, Apache, Linux, JBoss, Xen and KVM among a host of other ones. If you have ever had to experiment your coding creativity on WordPress open source theme, you probably have an idea of both what an open source model looks like, and how important it is to technology.
Some Innovative Home Automation Open Source Models
Every day, a new device or two joins the constantly increasing ranks of devices you may use to protect your home or make it simpler for you and your family. I believe you already know the ways in which an automated home can be of benefit to you. Very briefly, here are some of the interesting benefits you will obtain from automating your home especially if you can code an open source to your custom needs:
- You will be able to monitor your home from anywhere in the world when you use the right systems
- In addition to being able to monitor your home, you can also control it by simply pushing a button or two on the screen of your smartphone, tablet or iPad.
- You will also enjoy better security whether you are at home or not since there are devices that will trigger the necessary alarm when an intruder finds his way into the periphery of your home.
- You also stand to gain speed and efficiency in doing a lot of things in the home. We can’t beat machines in certain things you know.
- You can save yourself the stress of having to do many things manually; eg switching the lights ON/OFFetc
Now here come the open source models.
Open Source Home Automation Repositories
We begin with this model which is a full-stack open source home automation software/platform from which developers can experiment with home automation. There is a server side to it, as well as, web and mobile versions for android and iOS too. This platform may feature a lot of documentation in English language but a reasonable portion f it is done in French especially the support forums you would find all over the internet.
Though you may access its source code at GitHub, there are other online destinations where you can find the same files. After all, it is open source, remember?
If you are looking for a home automation open source platform that supports a lot of devices, you may have to consider Domoticz. For one, it is accessible from both desktop and from recent smartphones. All of this is made possible by its HTML% configuration for the front end, as well as its original language which is C++.
Open Source Repository: https://github.com/domoticz/domoticz
As the name rightly indicates, it is one of the most popular home automation platforms in the world right now. So long as its complimentary device can run on Python 3, it can very easily blend and readily synchronize with other systems. This is what home automation is all about so to say. When you maximize your coding skills with this platform, you discover that even you can manage to create a system that can control your lights, locks and more. It is full-time open source and available to public users at GitHub Repository here .
This is another platform that represents Open Home Automation. It is neither a newcomer nor a nobody in the world of open source home automation. Enthusiasts of open source worldwide can attest to this since they are the ones who leverage on its features each time they code. It works on a vast number of platforms such as the Raspberry Pi and Java. This can only mean that will work correctly on virtually every device built on the platforms that are compatible with it.
Repository of openHAB : https://github.com/openhab
OpenMotics is the last of the open source platforms we will be considering in this article, and it is by no means the least. While most open source platforms in the home automation industry are available only as software’s, this one exists both as software and hardware and FREE. Its focus is in controlling devices built on various other platforms; not just synchronizing as many devices as possible.
Irrespective of the demands of this task, OpenMotics has achieved a whole lot in the industry; hence the respect of its users. You can access it on GitHub. We may now proceed with other trends in open source home automation.
How Much Will Open Source in Home Automation Grow?
As you have already read, open source has come to stay in the automation industry and the internet at large. Cloud computing is one evidence of how far open source has gone, and there are no indications that this momentum is going to slow down anytime soon.
If you are interested in technology, you would know that this is quite predictable. Home automation has not reached its peak yet and there is no way its open source aspect will reach its peak so soon. There is a great growth – perhaps a big boom – that lies ahead of the industry. When we project future growth, we are not looking at 10 years. No. The improvements are so rapid and incredible that something wonderful is expected to happen at least every 6 months.
Over the next year, and up to 2020, cloud vendors show signs of increasing their spending on similar projects.
The Future of Open Source Home Automation
Although more and more people are embracing the concept of using technological devices and systems to make their homes smarter, faster and more efficient, there have also been a lot of concerns. The chief concern home automation users have constantly raised is that of security.
The irony here is that the home automation system that is supposed to provide security for the home is suspected by the user, to be prone to get corrupted or outsmarted. Whether there is much to this fear or not – sure the fear is a legitimate one – we will depend heavily on the innovative products from open source to guarantee a smarter and safer home in the future.