Home Assistant

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Home Assistant
Home Assistant Logo.svg
Original author(s)Paulus Schoutsen
Developer(s)Home Assistant Core Team and Community
Initial release17 September 2013
(8 years ago)
 (2013-09-17)
Stable release
2021.9.7 [1] / 18 September 2021
(3 days ago)
 (2021-09-18)
Repositorygithub.com/home-assistant
Written inPython (Python 3.8)
Operating systemSoftware appliance / Virtual appliance (Linux)
PlatformARM, ARM64, IA-32 (x86), and x64 (x86-64)
TypeHome automation, smart home technology, internet of things, task automator
LicenseApache License (free and open-source)
Websitewww.home-assistant.io

Home Assistant is a free and open-source software for home automation that is designed to be the central control system for smart home devices with focus on local control and privacy.[2][3][4][5] It can be accessed via a web-based user interface, via companion apps for Android and iOS, or using voice commands via a supported virtual assistant like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

IoT technologies, devices, software, applications and services are supported by modular integration components, which not only include native integrations for local connectivity protocols like Bluetooth, MQTT, Zigbee and Z-Wave, but also support for controlling proprietary ecosystems if they provide public access via an Open API for third-party integrations. After the Home Assistant software application is installed as a computer appliance it will acts as a central control system for home automation (commonly referred to as a smart home "hub", "bridge", "gateway", "controller", or "coordinator").[6][7][8]

Information from all entities it sees can be used and controlled from within scripts trigger automations using scheduling and "blueprint" subroutines, e.g. for controlling lighting, climate, entertainment systems and appliances.[9][10][11]

History[edit]

The project was started as a Python application by Paulus Schoutsen in September 2013 and first published publicly on GitHub in November 2013.[citation needed][12]

In July 2017, a managed operating system called Hass.io was introduced which made it easier use to use Home Assistant on the Raspberry Pi. It allowed to manage, backup and update the local installation and introduced the option to extend the functionality of the software with add-ons.[citation needed]

An optional subscription service was introduced in December 2017 for $5/month to solve the complexities associated with secured remote access, as well as linking to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.[citation needed] Nabu Casa, Inc. was formed in September 2018 to take over the subscription service. The company's funding is based solely on revenue from the subscription service. It is used to finance the project's infrastructure and to pay for full-time employees contributing to the project.[citation needed]

In January 2020, branding was adjusted to make it easier referring to different parts of the project. The main piece of software was renamed to Home Assistant Core, while the full suite of software with operating system and management system that runs on the Raspberry Pi was renamed to Home Assistant.[citation needed]

Features[edit]

Hardware[edit]

Home Assistant is supported and can be installed on multiple platforms, these include single-board computers (like example Hardkernel ODROID, Raspberry Pi, Asus Tinkerboard, Intel NUC), operating systems like Windows, macOS, Linux as well as virtual machines and NAS systems.[13]

On officially supported hardware platforms like the ODROID N2+ and Raspberry Pi 3/4 single-board computers, the installation requires flashing a corresponding system image onto a microSD card, eMMC, or other local storage from which the system can boot.[13] It is possible to use Home Assistant as a gateway or bridge for devices using different IoT technologies like Zigbee or Z-Wave, necessary hardware can be mounted onto GPIO (Serial/I2C/SMBus), UART, or using USB ports.[14][15] Moreover, it can connect directly or indirectly to local IoT devices, control hubs/gateways/bridges, or cloud services from many different vendors, including other open and closed smart home ecosystems.[16][17][18][19]

In December 2020, a customized ODROID N2+ computer appliance with bundled software was introduced under the product name "Home Assistant Blue" as an officially supported common hardware reference platform. The same package is also referred to as "ODROID-N2+ Home Assistant Bundle" when sold without the official custom-made enclosure. It comes with Home Assistant OS pre-installed on local eMMC storage, a power-adapter, and a custom Home Assistant themed enclosure. Home Assistant founders made it clear that the release of official hardware would not stop them from keep supporting other hardware platforms like the Raspberry Pi series.<[20][21]

In September 2021, Home Assistant developers at Nabu Casa announced a crowdfunding campaign on Crowd Supply for pre-order of "Home Assistant Amber", a new official home automation controller hardware platform with Home Assistant pre-installed, as the spiritual successor to "Home Assistant Blue". "Home Assistant Amber" is designed to be an appliance and its internals is architectured with carrier board (or "baseboard") for a computer-on-modules compatible with the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4) embedded computer as well as include an integrated M.2 expansion slot meant for either an NVMe SSD as expanded storage or an AI accelerator card, plus an onboard EFR32 based radio module by Silicon Labs capable of acting as a Zigbee Coordinator or Thread Leader (Thread Border Router), an well an optional variant with PoE (Power over Ethernet) support. The most otherwise notably features missing on "Home Assistant Amber" an HDMI or DisplayPort to connect a monitor, (which is likley due to it like most smart home hubs being purpose-built to act as a headless system), as well as lack of onboard Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a USB 3.0 port. Shipping of "Home Assistant" is targeted for June 2022, provided the $140,000 funding goal for the crowdfunding campaign is met.[22][23][24]

Dashboard[edit]

The front-end dashboard is called Lovelace (named after Ada Lovelace),[25] which offers different cards[clarification needed] to display information and control devices. The design language is based on Material Design and can be themed with global themes. The interface is fully customizable using the integrated editor or by modifying the underlying YAML code. Cards can be extended with custom resources,[clarification needed] which can be integrated manually or using HACS (Home Assistant Community Store).

Automation[edit]

Home Assistant acts as a central smart home controller hub by combining different devices and services in a single place and integrating them as entities. The provided rule-based system for automations allows creating custom routines based on a trigger event, conditions and actions, including scripts. These enable building automation, alarm management of security alarms and video surveillance for home security system as well as monitoring of energy measuring devices.[26][27][28][29] Since December 2020, it is possible to use automation blueprints - pre-made automations from the community that can be easily added to an existing system.[30]

Security[edit]

Home Assistant as an on-premises software, with its focus on local control for the purpose of privacy in combination with its state as an open-source application, has been described as beneficial to the security of the platform, specifically when compared to closed-source home automation software based on proprietary hardware and cloud-services.[2][3][4][5]

There is no remote access enabled by default and data is stored solely on the device itself. User accounts can be secured with two-factor authentication to prevent access even if the user password is known by the attacker. Add-ons get a security rating based on their access to system resources.

In January 2021, cybersecurity analyst Oriel Goel found a directory traversal security vulnerability in third party custom integrations. The issue got disclosed on January 22, 2021 and finally patched with Home Assistant version 2021.1.5 available from January 23. There is no information about whether the vulnerability has been abused.[31][32]

Awards, reception and reviews[edit]

Home Assistant took second place in 2017[33] and 2018[34] for the Thomas Krenn Award (formerly Open Source Grant), later winning first place in 2019.[35] Home Assistant also won an DINACon award in 2018 for their "Open Internet Award" category.,[36][37] as well as being a nominee for the same awards in 2013[38]

Home Assistant has been included in a number of product and platform comparisons, where, like many other non-commercial smart home hubs/gateways/bridges/controllers for home automation, it has often in the past been criticized for forcing users into a tedious file-based setup procedure using text-based YAML markup-language instead of graphical user interfaces.[39][40][41][26][42] However, newer versions of Home Assistant have also made it simpler to perform the initial installation as well as basic configuration of most integrations from scratch via only the main graphical user interfaces and more quickly get started compared to earlier versions, as the core development team have for the latest couple of years been working on making Home Assistant more user-friendly to new and less advanced home automation users, with most features being available from the GUI. Thus the team have increasingly moved its configuration settings from its YAML setup files to the latest revisions of its web-based graphical user interface.[43][44][45][46][47][48] GitHub's "State of the Octoverse" in 2019 listed Home Assistant as the tenth biggest open-source project on its platform with 6,300 contributors.[49] In 2020, with 8,162 contributors it was listed second place in the list of Python packages with the most unique contributors.[50]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://github.com/home-assistant/core/releases Home Assistant Core releases on GitHub
  2. ^ a b "No Privacy Compromise Home Automation". Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Home Assistant lets you automate your smart home without giving up privacy". The Ambient. 10 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Secure home automation, without clouds or dedicated hubs". 20 June 2016.
  5. ^ a b Greenberg, Andy (20 July 2016). "Now You Can Hide Your Smart Home on the Darknet" – via www.wired.com.
  6. ^ https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2021/03/how-to-achieve-smart-home-nirvana-or-home-automation-without-subscription/
  7. ^ "Home Assistant makes your smart devices work together the way you imagined". Android Central. 12 April 2018.
  8. ^ https://www.elektormagazine.com/articles/home-automation-made-easy
  9. ^ "Magical Smart Home Upgrade Lets Muggles Control Their Homes With a Wand Too". Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  10. ^ https://www.the-ambient.com/how-to/how-to-set-up-and-use-home-assistant-to-power-your-smart-home-2581
  11. ^ https://www.techrepublic.com/article/tech-projects-for-it-leaders-how-to-use-iot-for-home-automation/
  12. ^ https://www.linux.com/topic/embedded-iot/home-assistant-python-approach-home-automation/
  13. ^ a b Assistant, Home. "Installation". Home Assistant. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  14. ^ "RaspBee II Overview". phoscon.de. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  15. ^ "ConBee II Overview". phoscon.de. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  16. ^ Assistant, Home. "Integrations". Home Assistant. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  17. ^ Murphy, Dylan (May 2018). "Controlling smart lights with Home Assistant" (PDF). HackSpace. No. 4. p. 92. ISSN 0016-9900. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Transferring my Z-Wave Network to Home Assistant from Vera". HomeTechHacker. 15 August 2019.
  19. ^ "Best Hardware for Home Assistant". 21 June 2019.
  20. ^ https://techtechandmoretech.com/reviews/home-assistant-blue/ Home Assistant Blue Review
  21. ^ https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/12/16/odroid-n2-based-home-assistant-blue-announced-as-official-hardware-for-home-assistant/
  22. ^ https://www.theverge.com/2021/9/16/22678088/home-assistant-amber-smart-home-hub-specs-release-date-price
  23. ^ https://www.tomshardware.com/news/raspberry-pi-home-assistant-amber
  24. ^ https://liliputing.com/2021/09/raspberry-pi-based-home-assistant-amber-lets-you-build-your-own-smart-home-hub-crowdfunding.html
  25. ^ "Home Assistant: Getting Started With Lovelace". HomeTechHacker. 7 February 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  26. ^ a b comments, 14 December 2017 Jason BakerFeed 1481up 23. "6 open source home automation tools". Opensource.com.
  27. ^ "16 Open Source Home Automation Platforms To Use In 2020". ubidots.com. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  28. ^ "Trends In Open Source Home Automation". 21 March 2017.
  29. ^ "My Smarthome Evolution: Part 3 - Current State". HomeTechHacker. 12 December 2019.
  30. ^ Assistant, Home. "Using Automation Blueprints". Home Assistant. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  31. ^ Schoutsen, Paulus. "Disclosure: security vulnerabilities in custom integrations HACS, Dwains Dashboard, Font Awesome and others". Home Assistant. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  32. ^ Schoutsen, Paulus. "Security Disclosure 2: vulnerabilities in custom integrations HACS, Font Awesome and others". Home Assistant. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  33. ^ "Thomas-Krenn-Award 2017: Zammad, Home Assistant und Freifunk". TKmag. 12 March 2017.
  34. ^ "Die Gewinner des Thomas-Krenn-Awards 2018". TKmag. 12 March 2018.
  35. ^ Thomas-Krenn.AG (16 March 2019). "Thomas-Krenn-Award 2019 – Die Gewinner" [Thomas Krenn Award 2019 - The Winner] (in German). Retrieved 18 June 2020. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  36. ^ "Das sind die Nominierten für die Dinacon Awards 2018". www.netzwoche.ch.
  37. ^ "DINAcon begeistert 200 Teilnehmende und die Award-Gewinner 2018" (PDF) (Press release) (in German). 19 October 2018.
  38. ^ "Home Assistant > DINAcon Awards". DINAcon Awards.
  39. ^ "SmartThings vs Home Assistant: What is the Best Smart Home Hub". 29 April 2018.
  40. ^ "Best of open source smart home: Home Assistant vs OpenHAB". 28 February 2018.
  41. ^ Jancer, Matt (26 May 2016). "Smart-Home Gadgets Need a Translator Real Bad—Here's How to Get One" – via www.wired.com.
  42. ^ "Home Assistant Review – Sean's Technical Ramblings".
  43. ^ "Smart Home Home Assistant Konfiguration mit YAML". 12 July 2017.
  44. ^ "Weekend Project: Setting up Home Assistant on your PC or Mac". 22 April 2016.
  45. ^ "OpenHAB vs Home Assistant: What is the Best For Smart home?". 11 February 2020.
  46. ^ "Home Assistant Vs Openhab 2019". 10 August 2019.
  47. ^ "Home Assistant Vs OpenHAB". 29 July 2019.
  48. ^ Gadget-Freak, Chef (28 April 2019). "Comparison between Domoticz and Home Assistant".
  49. ^ "The State of the Octoverse". The State of the Octoverse. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  50. ^ "State of the Octoverse 2020: Empowering healthy communities" (PDF). octoverse.github.com. 2 December 2020.

External links[edit]