The concept of "integration" in personal domotics

3 minutes of reading

In personal home automation, that of integration - unlike the concept of compatibility - it is a less articulated concept but, if possible, even more important.


For "integration"Means the possibility of abstracting a given home automation component (such as: device, actuator, sensor, etc.) or functionality (eg weather forecasts) in order to make it a elementary entity available at the proprio HUB personal, like a "brick"From buildings.


Since i HUB personal I'm software platforms for centralized home automation management, to integrate a component and / or functionality means forget of its original operating environment and technology (app mobile, cloud proproducer etc.) to take advantage of its features directly from the centrality of thepersonale HUB, not so much because these features somehow change, but rather because they are all concentrated in a single operational environment from which to act, allowing us to relate them and make them work in concert. Moreover, being the personal HUBexcellent interlocutors for smart speakers, the integration allows to control with voice commands also non natively compatible components.integration

Integration makes the home automation components "building bricks" which, of course, can create much more complex and structured elements as they can be easily assembled together.

Bringing examples, let's imagine a scenario in which the following home automation devices are present:

  • a series of lights
  • an anti-intrusion system
  • a thermostat

In case these components are not integrated (and maybe neither integrable) with a HUB personal, to control them I would be forced to use on mine final management tool a different area applicensee (typically, the proman app mobile) for each and I could not (except for some cases where I use services like IFTTT) orchestrates the behavior, or define a single one automation that involves everyone (eg. "when I leave the house, turn off everything and turn on the alarm“).

The possibility to integrate a device to my personal home automation based on HUB it is possibly guaranteed by a series of assessments upstream of which there is a first question:

Is my component natively home automation?

If the answer is Yup (because trivially it is labeled as "intelligent", "smart", "domotic" or even more trivially is compatible with a Google ecosystem rather than Apple o Amazon), then the following question is:

I can integrate it with mine personale HUB?

The answer to this crucial question it is practically never supplied by the productor of the component, because today they prefer to communicate the compatibility with the ecosystems both advertised and on everyone's lips rather than on the much more structured (and, certainly, not to everyone's technical reach) HUB personal.

In case theHUB adopted staff both Home Assistant, 9 times on 10 the answer on the possibility of integrating a given component comes directly from the profirst dedicated page-list to the components: the presence of this component in this list guarantees integration.
Same speech for openHAB at the profirst page dedicated to add-on.
Homebridge, instead, it needs a search more appromerged directly on Google: usually it is sufficient to associate “homebridge Plugin"To the name of the component to be integrated to understand, among Google's results, whether or not there is something useful to integrate it with that HUB.

The integrations are essentially of two types: indirect e directed. The first, the indirect ones, are additions obtained through use of external services al prohome environment (for example, the cloud of the produttore), while the direct ones are those that do not need anything if not the possibility of thepersonale HUB to "reach" the device so, apptogether, direct, through the use of the network Wi-Fi or other channels (protocolli like ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth etc.) By definition it is always preferable the second way, because it disregards the will of the promanufacturer to provide some "bridge" service.

But if…

... my component is not natively home automation?

then there is no need to despair, because there are often alternative solutions to achieve the goal.
Some appliances / components are not intelligent and perhaps never will be. In addition to the obvious (non) solution to replace them, there are in fact techniques designed to domotize the non-domotic.

Explained all this, appare clear how the degree of integrability is a determining parameter especially when choosing and buying a home automation component: the possibility of integrating it with the proprio personal HUBis a fundamental characteristic, on pain of not being able to bring this element into its own right profirst personal home automation.

Approelucidation: FOCUS, "The domotic pyramid"

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