OpenHab – awesome design, reasonable UI, great idea

unnamedWe’re planning to build a new house. My wife has dived into most areas of the build, however I’ve been handed control over it’s (assumed) automation setup. While everything will be budget affected, I believe I should be able to create a reasonably sophisticated home automation setup – and by my current testing, I’m inclined to want to include openHab in that mix.

From what I’ve seen in my admitted limited time tinkering with it, openHab is a great idea executed with the (over)engineering chops only the Germans can give. It’s designed to be infinitely extensible, and already out-of-the-box supports a BIG list of automation platforms – possibly more than even the vaunted If This Then That (IFTTT).

But first, some thoughts on (my opinion of) what a good home automation system should do. In my mind a good home automation system should be extensible, and different platforms should be able to play together seamlessly to the end user. It should both be able to handle loss of connectivity or power, and be remotely controllable at all other times (no mean feat). It should be very easy and intuitive for anyone to use (harder and less cared about that one might expect).

It occurs that this could become quite the (self discovery) epic, so I’ll continue it as a multi part post. For now I’ll finish by adding that in trialling the components I may use to build a new automated home, I’m adding the components to our existing old miner’s cottage style home, and I hope/plan to carry over much of it to the new home once built. Currently I’m using Wemo power points and motion detectors, Xiaomi webcam, openHab home automation software, a DNS320 home NAS “Server”, Wifi, and I have on order some Wireless Tag products (temperature, humidity, motion sensors). I suppose I’d also include in the mix a Saturn smart electricity meter that I already have installed on the current house, and that provides awesome insight into household power usage. Oh, and solar will eventually feature somewhere in the mix.

That’s all for now.

EDIT: Here’s Part 2.