Quest for a low-power home hub

I’m talking about this at #iotlondon next week.  Objective: to let people know what I’ve found so far and see if others want to collaborate.

It all started when my router blew up because I had 16 devices talking like the clappers to multiple services.  Got a new router but that’s no permanent solution.

I thought: we’ve got all these devices with their own protocols talking to all these cloud services also with their own protocols.  We need a hub in the middle to make sense of this.  But, this hub needs to be powerful, versatile, low-cost and low in power consumption (as it’ll be always on).

That combination of attributes turns out to be challenging.  I’m looking at a number of hardware and software platforms and have some interim results.  Also building some demo apps to apply a little stress testing.

This hasn’t been plain sailing.  Glad I gave myself a deadline for this talk.

The quest continues.  Anyone got any spare coconut shells?

Update:  The session seemed to go well and useful input was received. Slides on slideshare.

@andypiper mentioned AIKO, an interesting platform that deserves a detailed look.  qp is another one I need to look at further.  The emotional pull of node.js is irresistible at the moment (such a time-saver) so support for this could end up as a key requirement.  Off to lnug (London) meetup tonight to top up my knowledge and contacts.

The more I think about it the more this is indeed a grail quest.

3 thoughts on “Quest for a low-power home hub

  1. Why not put the control logic in (Yet Another) cloud service?
    This is what groups like paraimpu and sen.se are trying to do.

    Many of the cloud-connected wireless sensor systems don’t work unless their hub is online anyway. So, having the control logic on a box in your home doesn’t seem to add much.

    For truly local control, you end up needing a box with multiple radios in close proximity, which is likely to be complex and expensive.

    • Good question Joby. Differemt kinds of control data need different treatments. So configuration stuff does belong in the cloud. However, some things need to be independent of the connection to the cloud.

      For example, my heating controls need to manage the boiler in exactly the same way duriing an internet outage.

      So everything that can go into the cloud should do so but anthing that cannot should be handled locally. Anything important going on in the hub can be protected by uninteruptible power.

  2. Pingback: Digital Economy-Intelligent Infrastructure | Connected Services. Internet of Things Tech Meetup 8 #iotlondon