September 17, 2014

Smartphone Controlled Home

This post describes a low cost open source home automation system that you can build your self. The goal is to use a smartphone as remote controller for your home. The system is based on the openHAB software and MySensors Arduino library.

Home automation enables you to observe and control your home. You can observe temperature, humidity, energy consumption and so on. It will also let you control your lights, media units, window blinds and other objects in your home. You can also create rules based on senors value, time of day or other conditions that will automatically control your home.

Home Automation System Parts
A standard WiFi router is used to connect the smartphone to your local network. The Server (or Controller) is a computer running openHAB runtime core. This is the heart in the system that keeps track of the system. This can be a Window or Linux computer. A Raspberry Pi will do the job. The Gateway (or Access Point) is an Arduino board running the myControler software. The sensor network is a radio network connecting the sensors and the Gateway.

User Interface
Below is a screenshot of the openHAB smart phone user interface. A web browser can also be used.

The openHAB software with enabled encryption and authentication is fairly secure. But the sensor network has very few security features. Since the range of the sensor are limited it should not be a problem unless you live in a densely populated area. I would not connect it to my door lock or something that could cause damage or fire.

MySensors - Arduino library for the sensor radio network.
openHAB - Vendor and technology agnostic open source home automation software.