3 Reasons Why You Should Use Open Source Home Automation

Updated on 20th Sep 2020 22:34 in General, Smart

With so many different plug and play options, why would anyone want to put with all the extra effort required with an open-source home automation controller? Well, one reason is that you can customize it however you like. Another is the ability to see precisely what the software is doing, relieving any privacy concerns. Here we're going to look into some of the reasons you might want to use an open-source home automation system and some of the reasons you might want to pass on it.

Why use open source home automation?

Read More

How to Make Mycroft run Offline to Have Real Privacy

Updated on 6th Jan 2021 16:18 in DIY, Home Assistant, Tutorial

In a previous post, we demonstrated building a voice assistant out of open source components. One of the issues that we didn't address at the time is that there are still dependencies on the cloud for some of the critical functions, such as the Speech to Text engine. Here we will see how we can modify that system to operate (almost) completely offline. 

How to run Mycroft Offline to Have Real Privacy

Read More

How to Build a Voice Assistant That Respects Your Privacy

Updated on 6th Jan 2021 16:16 in DIY, Tutorial

There are many different voice assistants available, but they share one common trait that seems so difficult to escape: a required connection to the cloud. Today we are going to build a voice assistant that can work completely offline, but we will explore setting up your own TTS and STT servers in a future article. For now, we will use the Mycroft servers which claim to respect user privacy by anonymizing every request and requiring an opt-in to their data collection program.

The finished product

Read More

How to Build a Cheap Thermometer and IR Blaster For Home Assistant

Updated on 15th Sep 2020 23:25 in DIY, Home Assistant, Tutorial

The situation seems so familiar: you have an air conditioner unit that uses an IR remote, but you want to control it via your own thermostat. At least then you could manage it remotely or start cooling the air before you get home from work. This was the situation I was in, and to solve it, I built a temperature sensor with an onboard IR blaster, allowing it to also send commands to my portable air conditioner. All of this can be done for under 20$ as a relatively simple DIY project.

The finished product

Read More

How to Automatically Sync iOS Alarms With Home Assistant

Updated on 15th Sep 2020 14:02 in Home Assistant, Tutorial

For a very long time now, I have wanted to be able to sync my "bed time" alarm within the iOS clock app with my Home Assistant automations. It would be so nice to only need to specify my alarm in one place instead of multiple or having to abandon the app I've used for so long. I always thought this was impossible, but I have recently discovered that the Shortcuts app on iOS can be used to do this task, and so much more!

The Shortcuts iOS app is great for automation

Read More