Home Monitoring with Things Gateway 0.6

When it comes to smart home devices, protecting the safety and security of your home when you aren’t there is a popular area of adoption. Traditional home security systems are either completely offline (an alarm sounds in the house, but nobody is notified) or professionally monitored (with costly subscription services). Self monitoring of your connected home therefore makes sense, but many current smart home solutions still require ongoing service fees and send your private data to a centralised cloud service.

A floor plan style diagram describes uses of autonomous home monitoring with Project Things

The latest version of the Things Gateway rolls out today with new home monitoring features that let you directly monitor your home over the web, without a middleman. That means no monthly fees, your private data stays in your home by default, and you can choose from a variety of sensors from different brands.

Version 0.6 adds support for door sensors, motion sensors and customisable push notifications. Other enhancements include support for push buttons and a wider range of Apple HomeKit devices, as well as general robustness improvements and better error reporting.

Sensors

The latest update comes with support for door/window sensors and motion sensors, including the SmartThings Motion Sensor and SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor.An illustration with icons of various sensors used in home monitoringThese sensors make great triggers for a home monitoring system and also report temperature, battery level and tamper detection.

Push Notifications

You can now create rules which trigger a push notification to your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. An example use case for this is to notify you when a door has been opened or motion is detected in your home, but you can use notifications for whatever you like!

To create a rule which triggers a push notification, simply drag and drop the notification output and customize it with your own message.

A diagram showing how the Intruder Alarm is triggered by the interaction of the sensors.Thanks to the power of Progressive Web Apps, if you’ve installed the gateway’s web app on your smartphone or tablet you’ll receive notifications even if the web app is closed.

Push Buttons

We’ve also added support for push buttons, like the SmartThings Button, which you can program to trigger any action you like using the rules engine. Use a button to simply turn a light on, or set a whole scene with multiple outputs.

Diagram of writing rules that trigger actions by the the Push Button

Error Reporting

0.6 also comes with a range of robustness improvements including connection detection and error reporting. That means it will be easier to tell whether you have lost connectivity to the gateway, or one of your devices has dropped offline, and if something goes wrong with an add-on, you’ll be informed about it inside the gateway UI.

If a device has dropped offline, its icon is displayed as translucent until it comes back online. If your web app loses connectivity with the gateway, you’ll see a message appear at the bottom of the screen.A diagram of all the sensors showing their status.

HomeKit

The HomeKit adapter add-on now supports a wider range of Apple HomeKit compatible devices including:

Smart plugs

Bridges

Light bulbs

Sensors

These devices use the built-in Bluetooth or WiFi support of your Raspberry Pi-based gateway, so you don’t even need a USB dongle.

Download

You can download version 0.6 today from the website. If you’ve already built your own Things Gateway with a Raspberry Pi and have it connected to the Internet, it should automatically update itself soon.

We can’t wait to see what creative things you do with all these new features. Be sure to let us know on Discourse and Twitter!

About Ben Francis

Full time UK-based Mozillian, working on the Web of Things.

More articles by Ben Francis…


16 comments

  1. Eduardo

    Hi Ben!
    I can see Mozilla IoT growing up rapidly in many aspects. For example, giving support to first line manufacturer products …but, I think there aren’t any news about maker-friendly hardware like ESP8266-ESP32, Arduino. We are so much people that will appreciate some improvements (libraries, example code, tutorials) about integrating solutions based in such inexpensive hardware.

    Best regards,

    Eduardo

    October 16th, 2018 at 02:55

    1. Ben Francis

      Hi Eduardo,

      We are continuing to evolve the Things Framework to support new features of the Web Thing API, including the webthing-arduino library, and there’s some guidance on our blog.

      If there’s something specific you’d like to see then let us know.

      October 17th, 2018 at 06:58

  2. Michael A Draves

    I don’t see any of the WYZE or WyzeCam types of support for your future? I have three WyzeCam cameras & their systems are Rapidly beginning to make a difference in home Security Systems, Also I know that many people have this app as well! I hope that you will take the Opportunity to look forward to the new Mozilla Weborama
    Thank You:
    Michael A Draves
    blonojt356@yahoo.com

    October 18th, 2018 at 10:53

  3. Wim

    I have 0.6 set up now and I’d like to add some stuff to test with.
    Are there any cheap things we can test with?
    It is fun to test, but to buy a lightbulb for €65 just for testing seems a bit…

    October 25th, 2018 at 00:59

    1. Ben Francis

      Great! Here is a list of supported hardware https://github.com/mozilla-iot/wiki/wiki/Supported-Hardware

      If you’re looking for a smart bulb then I’ve found IKEA TRADFRI bulbs are quite affordable, but take a look at the list and see what you like the look of.

      October 25th, 2018 at 05:07

      1. Wim

        Awesome, way better.
        Can you also tell what can be done with a Chromecast?

        October 26th, 2018 at 05:10

        1. Ben Francis

          There’s an experimental add-on contributed by a community member which lets you pause/play playback, see the name of the current app, and “stop” to go back to the Chromecast home screen. Connectivity is currently a bit unreliable but it does work.

          October 29th, 2018 at 07:21

      2. Wim

        Just to be sure, the hub for the Ikea bulb is not necessary?

        November 1st, 2018 at 14:32

        1. Ben Francis

          Correct, you can pair IKEA bulbs directly with the Things Gateway, if you have an XStick Zigbee dongle.

          November 2nd, 2018 at 06:32

          1. wim

            It seems very hard to buy this in the Netherlands, but I found this on Amazon in Germany:
            https://www.amazon.de/ConBee-ZigBee-intelligente-moderne-Funkbeleuchtung/dp/B01FDWOIHK/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&keywords=zigbee%20gateway&language=en_GB&qid=1541359808&sr=8-15
            Does that do the trick too?

            November 4th, 2018 at 11:36

          2. Ben Francis

            Sorry by currently only the XStick is supported, but Dave Hylands is working on adding support for more Zigbee dongles, including ConBee (see here https://github.com/mozilla-iot/gateway/issues/410#issuecomment-431885030).

            November 5th, 2018 at 05:07

  4. Ian Archbell

    Hi Eduardo & Ben.

    At oddWires, we have a range of ESP32-based boards called IoT-Bus. These work great with mozilla-iot. You can find them here: http://www.oddwires.com/iot-bus/

    Even better you can find our Mozilla-IoT Examples on github here:
    https://github.com/iot-bus/

    You’ll also find an extended webthing-arduino library that supports labels, units and writable property (when it is implemented) on the same page.

    Hope that helps and there is much more to come!

    Ian.

    October 27th, 2018 at 11:08

  5. Bob Nmeet

    I see there is no mention of Alexa or Google Home integration (unless I missed it?) Any plans for that support?

    Bob

    October 29th, 2018 at 11:46

    1. Ben Francis

      Hi Bob,

      We’re working on it:
      * https://github.com/mozilla-iot/gateway/issues/654
      * https://github.com/mozilla-iot/gateway/issues/655

      October 29th, 2018 at 11:55

  6. Rahul Bhagwat

    Hey, i was wondering if there was a guide on setting up the gateway to send push notifications and installing it as an app on your phone. If yes then could you please share the link here.

    November 5th, 2018 at 17:00

    1. Ben Francis

      Hi Rahul, we’re working on a user guide at the moment. In the meantime you can create rules in the rules engine with a notification as an output and provide your own notification message. You can add the Things Gateway web app to your home screen in Firefox for Android by pressing the add to home button in the URL bar (see here https://hacks.mozilla.org/2017/10/progressive-web-apps-firefox-android/).

      November 6th, 2018 at 07:03

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