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Home Attitude

I finished writing Home Attitude: Everything You Need to Know To Make Your Home Smart, the fourth in a series of Attitude LLC books. Many steps are ahead including editing, getting reviewers to offer feedback, getting some blurbs for the back cover, engaging CreateSpace to perform interior editing of page layouts, finalizing the book cover, creating an index, and some other publishing steps. The target publication date will be in October. The following paragraphs from chapter 9, Hubs and Networks, will offer a further glimpse at what the new book will be about. If anyone would like to be a reviewer of Home Attitude, please drop me an email at [email protected].

The central part of a smart home is the hub. The home automation hub is analogous to other kinds of hubs: the hub of a wheel which connects the spokes, a geographic regional hub which facilitates economic activity, or a transportation hub which expedites national and international transportation. Every smart home has at least one hub which serves as the commander in chief. The hub coordinates commands to and from the devices. A hub, sometimes called a controller or gateway, can be a standalone device or a desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, or smart watch. A hub can be as simple as a single purpose hub to control the light on the front porch, or it can be a very sophisticated hub which controls everything in the smart home including hundreds of devices.

The hub uses specialized home automation software to tell devices what to do and when to do it. To make this possible, hubs have special capabilities including schedules, action groups, triggers, and scenes. The nomenclature may differ among the various vendors, but the capabilities are basically the same. Hubs have a user interface which allows smart home owners to use these capabilities. The interface can be a smartphone app, a smart watch, a web page, or your voice.

I will describe two hub alternatives out of the many choices available. First is the Samsung SmartThings Hub, available for $99. It requires an iPhone or Android phone for the user interface. The SmartThings Hub is easy to set up and easy to use, although somewhat limited in its capabilities and compatibility with other devices. The second hub I will describe is the Indigo Smart Home Software platform. Indigo has a very broad set of features and capabilities. It offers the do-it-yourself hobbyist a virtually unlimited home automation solution. Indigo costs $250 and requires an Apple Mac computer.