openHAB and Eclipse SmartHome News Flash

Posted by Kai Kreuzer on October 19, 2014

JavaOne and the Valley

Having spent a few days in the Silicon Valley, I feel it is time to share some experiences. The main reason for the my trip was the talk about Smart Homes for the Masses at JavaOne in San Francisco. This was well attended and we had brought a lot of toys with us to do a live demo of Eclipse SmartHome and QIVICON. There were other good talks about home gateways like the one from ProSyt about OSGi on gateways or from Eurotech about the Eclipse Kura project.

Thanks to the Eclipse Foundation, we also had two slots at the Eclipse booth in the exhibition hall to demonstrate Eclipse SmartHome and talk to people about it. Ian Skerrett even did an impromptu video recording of our demo setup.

Besides the very professionally organized conference by Oracle, it is always remarkable, how the "normal" life of IT geeks look like in the valley. I had the chance to present the Eclipse SmartHome based openHAB project at a local MeetUp in Oakland, hosted by ACE Monster Toys. Behind the rather uninviting entrance in an industrial area, there are great tools for the startups of tomorrow: huge CNC-machines, lots of sewing machines, powerful laser cutters etc. Entrepreneurs from all over the valley meet here to discuss latest technologies - such as openHAB in this case! On this occasion, I was given one of the new GE LED light bulbs, which are at less than $15 incredibly cheap in comparison to any other radio controlled light bulb on the market. And what is cool about it: It can be linked to the Philips Hue bridge and is now fully supported by the Eclipse SmartHome Hue binding!

At this MeetUp, I also had the pleasure to meet the creator of the STACK Box, a recently funded Kickstarter project. I really like the concepts this project is following as they are very much in-line with the idea of openHAB: Having an open and extensible software stack for a home gateway that serves as an integration point while protecting the users privacy. Did I actually already mention that I consider myself a home gateway junkie? Over the years I have collected an impressive compilation - and yet I am still missing popular gateways like the SmartThings hub, the Revolv hub, the Ninja Sphere or the Wink hub...

On October 3rd, I was invited to the TWiT studios in Petaluma for an interview - they have a special FLOSS channel and usually broadcast live - as I couldn't arrange the usual time, they made an exception for me and did a pre-recording. Their studio is amazing and they have a very professional crew - well, see the results of the show yourself!

EclipseCon Europe is coming!

Shortly after JavaOne, we had reached an important milestone for Eclipse SmartHome - the very initial release has been published - Eclipse SmartHome 0.7.0! A main feature of it over the initial code base from openHAB is the support of discovery mechanisms for bindings. The first developers are now actively trying this out and thus I am thrilled to already see support for Philips Hue, Yahoo Weather, Sonos, LIFX, Belkin Wemo, MAX!Cube, KNX, IRTrans and others being developed! I will soon do a blog post that shows this in action and should give you a good idea of how solutions that are built on Eclipse SmartHome can look like - so stay tuned!

If you are close to Ludwigsburg end of October, a good chance to see the first results is at my talk at EclipseCon Europe, which I am doing together with my colleague Jochen Hiller from Deutsche Telekom. You can also learn how to implement a binding yourself in 15 minutes or get your hands dirty at the IoT playground. If you are interested in the Eclipse IoT space in general and would like to meet the different people involved in it, the Unconference that is held on Monday, Oct 27th, is a good opportunity to do so - hoping to see you there!