The Thing System Wants to Position Itself as Standard Home Automation

Marshall Rose, one of the creators of the SNMP protocol, takes time thinking about the current state of the Automation segment of systems in homes and home automation, It has joined in that effort with Alasdair Allan, another veteran in this field.

According to these engineers, it is very complicated for the different devices that are connected in our home to achieve contact between them, and often various remote controls are necessary to be able to interact with all of them. His proposal: a universal protocol that has called The Thing System.

My definition of success [in this project] is to achieve an environment without using remote controls. I want to stop this crazy trend of having a dozen of different remote controls in the table for the living room.

Rose points out, there are interesting devices that help to automate all kinds of tasks in our home, but none is compatible with other device from another manufacturer. Not only that: each manufacturer tends to offer their “walled garden” and a closed ecosystem that makes it difficult to interoperability between automation and domotica home solutions.

Our digital Butler kicks in

The example is the Nest thermostats and sensors of air Netamo, two of the most interesting products of recent times. Both offer great performance, but it’s impossible to communicate and collaborate. That’s where comes The Thing System. “We need an intermediary, which we call the steward (Steward), to implement this communication between things”.

Butler is the centerpiece of that architecture, since each device uses its native protocol, which You must have your implementation also in Butler. If it does not, the developer must implement a handler to offer that native protocol in Butler.

Starting from there Butler offers protocols to perform readings from sensors or event alerts (via the call Thing Sensor Reporting Protocol), and also to perform actions (via Simple Thing Protocol) that allow you to interact with all kinds of sugar. There are already a few compatible “things”, and the project continues to evolve to connect more and more of them.

The idea is promising, although makes necessary the collaboration of manufacturers. To succeed, we have a fantastic way of connecting all those devices in our homes and make them work together. You can start testing with this Protocol through OS X on a Mac or the implementation for the Raspberry Pi.