The Hub of the Home

What's a hub and what does it do?

Connected home devices can network in many different ways. Some communicate using radio signals and others connect directly to the Wi-Fi network. Ultimately they all hook directly, or through a hub, to the home router for Internet access, so they can be easily controlled or monitored with mobile apps and websites.

The hub is a piece of hardware that connects and communicates with home automation devices. It's like a brain for the house! It coordinates a series of devices that may not otherwise be capable of communicating with each other. But hubs can do more than just connect devices. 

Many hubs are specifically designed to coordinate the home to match the occupant’s habits. For example, you could set up a schedule using different inputs – such as time of day or location tracking. As a result, porch lights can turn on after 11pm, coffee can be ready before you get up, and the house and garage doors can be locked when the you leave.

An issue with smart devices today is some come with their own proprietary hub which only communicates with specific products.  Just like other electronic systems, smart devices all run on a variety of different protocols or languages, with rules and standards for communicating.  If one device only speaks ZigBee and another only speaks Z-Wave, they won’t be able to communicate with each other. So, you may be in a situation where you have multiple hubs.  

Ideally the home will be outfitted with devices that all speak the same language.  Or, all you may need in the future is your smartphone as the hub.

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