openHAB 1.5 - Release Highlights

Posted by Kai Kreuzer on June 16, 2014
Another 4 months have passed since the openHAB 1.4 release and we are happy to announce the release of version 1.5!

This is in any respect a very special release - I am proud to say that the community has really fully embraced the project. Not only has the rate of binding contributions further increased (we are now counting more than one new binding every single week), there are also many enhancements and fixes for existing functionality - see the 1.5 release notes for the impressively long list. The increase of contributions can be nicely seen on the contribution chart on GitHub - 2014 is indeed the year of the smart home!

Let me mention some highlights of the release:

First of all, we finally have a new iOS application available in the AppStore that is fully iOS7 compatible and supports the latest openHAB runtime features. It is now very performant, can be used remotely (also through my.openHAB) and support push notifications. This is a huge step forward for all openHAB users on iOS!

Previous versions of openHAB were already able to send notifications to XBMC, now there is a full integration with XBMC - you can now receive realtime updates about the player state and you can take control of XBMC. What is now possible with this new binding is nicely demonstrated in this video:

A whole new world opens to openHAB through the IRTrans binding - the world of infrared signals! The cool thing about IRTrans is that it works both ways - you can not only receive signals from your various remote controls and thus use these as controllers for your home, you can also send out infrared telegrams and hence use openHAB as your One-4-all - your home cinema can be fully prepared through openHAB.

For many German openHAB users it might be worth to know that release 1.5 includes a completely overhauled Homematic binding with many new features. There is now support for wired devices and CCU variables and programs. The communication between openHAB and the CCU has been much improved by using binary instead of XML communication, metadata synchronization through scripts and new caching strategies. It now even comes with an action to send text messages to the 19-button remote control. The list of supported and successfully tested Homematic devices is huge.

There are many many more very helpful bindings - from calculating astro times to support for Freeswitch. It is interesting to see that there are bindings for so many different categories - it shows the versatility of openHAB as a central integration hub. It will be thrilling to see what more will come up. If you are interested in the further evolution of the core openHAB itself, you should also have a look at this blogpost.