The Open Home grows stronger
7 min read

The Open Home grows stronger

Image by Paulus showing Robot Vacuums created by Midourney
Robot Vacuums by Paulus with Midjourney

Its June! And today is my Birthday! ๐ŸŽ‚ What better birthday gift is there but Home Assistant's June release and two live stream announcements! Last month I was also able to attend my first in-person conference in 3 years. I attended CONNECTIONS in Dallas, TX, met many companies, and learned a lot about where the Smart Home space is headed. I talk all about my personal thoughts in my latest video. June also brings news about Matter! A CSA alliance (formerly called Zigbee) meeting with all the big players like Google, Amazon, and Apple at the end of the month will announce new details, but what does that mean for Home Assistant? Check out some of the news on that below!

โ€“ Zack

Home Assistant June Release!

Since the beginning of the year, Home Assistant has been sending out very large releases jam-packed with features, bug fixes, and updates. This release still brings you these features, fixes, and updates but at a bit more manageable scale. We really wanted to clean up a bit of the larger features we had released in the past to make sure they were polished up and not left alone for months. Bdraco and others made sure to bring the new features and fixes though as the community is amazing. Check out some of those below and make sure to read all the release notes too!

Comparing Data in the Energy Dashboard

Screenshot of the energy comparison cart
Energy Comparison

Have you ever wanted to compare your energy usage day to day, week to week, or more? Well, we have now made that possible using the compare button at the top of the energy dashboard! This will give you the ability to quickly compare your energy usage in all graphs and the sources table. Allowing you to diagnose times when you could be saving more energy or just quickly know how much a new device is affecting your overall usage.

Logbooks have never been better!

Screenshot of the device page showing logbook
Logbook on the Device Page

In this release, the logbook performance went through some major improvements. Everything has been polished in the back-end to make sure loading the logbook is as efficient as possible. With those changes, we thought why not add it to a few more places. You can now see the logbook on your device and area pages. These will now show all events related to those specific devices or areas. Oh also, they update instantly! Check out the pages and if an event happens while you are on the page, it will immediately show up!

See all release notesโ€ฆ

Matter in Home Assistant

Promotion for the Matter in Home Assistant workshop.

Matter is a new and upcoming smart home standard that is scheduled to launch in the fall. Weโ€™ve been hard at work on Matter support for Home Assistant.

On June 15 we're hosting a free Matter in Home Assistant workshop. We will explain what Matter is and isn't, how it will work in Home Assistant and we will guide you on setting up Matter in Home Assistant yourself!

Learn more about the workshop.

Let's get loud! Event about audio in the open home

Audio in the smart home is ruled by closed systems which are incompatible with the values of the Open Home. Marcel van der Veldt got fed up and decided it was time for change. He teamed up with ESPHome, Home Assistant, and Raspiaudio to try a new approach.

Join us on June 16 to see what we've cooked up.

Strengthening the Open Home, one project at a time

There are many pieces of amazing open-source software available out there. You can find free-to-use software that solves pretty much any problem.

A lot of open-source projects are created by programmers. Individuals solved a problem they had and decided to share that solution with fellow nerds. Sharing things with fellow nerds has a perceived advantage: you assume a certain level of technical knowledge and so the getting started instructions are a couple of command-line commands.

To get people to use something, they need to see the value. Why would they spend their time and energy on this project instead of watching a movie, playing a game, or going for a hike? To see and experience the value, they need to get the project up and running. Every step that uses unfamiliar tools, like terminals, will cause more people to stop trying.

With Nabu Casa and Home Assistant, we want any project that promotes the Open Home values to be easy to use. That's why we've been working for the last two years building tools and helping project maintainers to improve the getting started experiences for their software.

With Home Assistant we allow projects to create add-ons to distribute their software to users. Projects like ESPHome and Rhasspy leverage this to allow users to install their software, keep it up-to-date, secure it with Home Assistant authentication, and leverage Home Assistant Cloud end-to-end encrypted remote access to be accessible from anywhere. There is no onboarding and users can get started right away.

For open-source firmware projects like Tasmota or ESPresence, we've created Improv Wi-Fi and ESP Web Tools. Improv Wi-Fi is an open standard to get devices connected to the internet and ESP Web Tools is a toolkit that projects add to their website to offer users an easy way to get started and manage their devices via their browser.

All of these solutions have something in common: users can be up and running with a project in less than 5 minutes. This will make the treasure chest of open source software more accessible to everyday users and strengthen the value proposition of the Open Home.

โ€“ Paulus

Home Assistant Yellow โ€“ We're making it easier to get started with Home Assistant.

With Home Assistant we've always spent a lot of time and energy on making sure that users can see the value of Home Assistant as soon as they turn it on. Most integrations are automatically discovered and set up in a couple of clicks. When a user is done with the initial setup, they can already have a great-looking dashboard showing the devices in their home.

Screenshot of Home Assistant onboarding showing 14 discovered devices and services.
Home Assistant shows all discovered integrations during onboarding.

Home Assistant is easy once you get it running โ€“ but getting it running is still difficult! To solve that we launched a crowdfunding campaign last year to produce the Home Assistant Yellow. It's a hub with a Zigbee/Thread/Matter radio and comes with Home Assistant pre-installed. We just passed certification and expect to start sending out the first units to backers this summer!

Rendering of the Home Assistant Yellow highlighting Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, Gigabit-Ethernet with optional power-over-ethernet, Zigbee module that is Matter compatible and an M.2 expansion slot for an SSD.

Home Assistant Cloud Updates

If you subscribe to Home Assistant Cloud by Nabu Casa, you get access to a cloud service for your smart home and fund the development of the Open Home. The cloud service consists of:

  • End-to-end encrypted remote access to access your Home Assistant instance from anywhere.
  • Control your Home Assistant instance via Google Assistant and Alexa.
  • State of the art text-to-speech service allows you to create personalized audio alerts.
  • Webhooks to integrate the Home Assistant mobile apps and other things.

As the user base grows, our cloud service needs to grow along too. This growth hasn't always been as smooth as we wanted, but since the start of the year, we've worked hard to improve this. We're putting the final touches on some changes that will allow us to scale our services easily for a long-time to come. We hope to roll those out soon.

Community Highlights

Other noteworthy news

Tip! Join the community on our Forums, Twitter, Chat, and Blog