Ultimate Home OS Guide

What IS, What's NOT.

The Ultimate HomeOS Guide.

To help choose the right technology for Your Home.

So much confusion about all this.

Let me help you, understand.


I. The Big 4
  • Apple: Homekit & Siri
  • Google : Home & Google Assistant
  • Amazon : Alexa
  • Samsung : SmarThings

Fact 1: the first 3 have the bests Voice Assistants.

Fact 2: They all have a beautiful Home Apps organizing many devices under one roof.

But First Quirk:

similarly to the market wars of VHS/Betamax and games consoles...

  • Each of them don't integrate every possible device.
  • Some devices are exclusives to some of these platforms.
  • Google and Alexa runs on both iOS and Android
  • HomeKit is exclusive to Apple iOS / iPadOS / MacOS

So You cannot pick and choose whatever device you want with them but only what is compatible.

If tomorrow you wish to switch your phone from one another: Apple | Google

  • switching to iPhone, all 4 platforms have an App there.
  • switching to Android your HomeKit is not available.

II. The Others

  • Control4
  • Crestron
  • Lutron
  • Insteon
  • Savant
  • Brillant

Theses Companies offer great products, but...

We may have a few intrinsecal problems, issues, limitations...

Protectionists & Proprietary


  • Because they also create and sell their own smart devices (lighting | shading | security | climate | etc..)
  • Will they only integrates what complements their products lines?
  • Therefore will they ever integrates anything and everything that compete with their own products?
  • So maybe, intrinsically, they're not and cannot be an Home OS focused development company?


  • These systems are proprietary and closed.
  • No one but themselves will develop additional integrations.
  • Some of these systems came to market 20 to 30 years ago.
  • Long before the new wave of smarthome developments , like the iOT (internet of things), and the ecosystems from Apple | Google | Amazon.
  • Yes, they are "mature" but ... at the same time are "old school" and archaic.
  • Old UI (user interface), graphical experience, usability.
  • Old code running the platforms, the backends...
  • When something is started and brought forward for over a decade or two, in technology, it's archaic.
  • Very few companies (like Apple, successfully did it several times) doing a cut-off from one generation to the next.
  • (motorola -> to intel -> to apple silicon).
  • Rewriting everything from scratch in the process.


  • Last but not least they are dealer-centric.
  • Meaning you have no admin access to a system you have paid for, and supposedly own.
  • It is OK to have a specialist (dealer) quoting, installing and delivering a system.
  • But, in our personal opinion, it's not OK not having full access to Your property.
III. Performance & Privacy Issues

TUYA / Smartlife

  • It's a Chinese manufacturer, of both products and a cloud based smarthome system platform.
  • there are tens of thousands of white label sub-manufacturers
  • there are hundreds of thousands of cheap devices (i.e. in ali-express)
  • Any and All of these products do not function LOCALLY!
  • Meaning... when you press on their APP the button to switch ON the light...
  • Your request goes from your APP, in your Home (in USA / Europe, etc..)
  • All the way to China,
  • to the TUYA servers,
  • There, it gets approved,
  • Then a confirmation packet travels all the way back to your Home,
  • And your light switches on...

IMHO It's total non-sense...

Unless a series of deliberate intents and motives

are behind this system and modus operandi ?

Please note that many light switches and light bulbs have a "disco" feature...

The lights will change and flickers at the rhythm of the music you are playing in your home.

Does this means that every bulb and switch with "disco" have

  • A buil-in microphone ???
  • Cloud controlled ???
  • From a foreign government. (China) ???

So to Recap... It translates in what ...

  • You press the switch ON light...
  • and depending on the internet speed
  • between your home and the Tuya servers located in China
  • at that specific moment in time...
  • you may have the light that switches ON
  • after … 1 second in the best case scenario...
  • or 2.. or 3 … or 5 .... seconds...
  • sometime it doesn't ...

smarthomes with local controllers and local operations

works in the range of 5 to 10 miliseconds

  • TUYA averages 1 to 5 seconds...
  • local control 5 miliseconds...
  • x 1000 times faster...
  • Not a small change…

  • But now for the best part...
  • if the internet is down...
  • at your home...
  • or in between ...
  • Your smarthome cease to work !
  • No smarthome...
VI. Conclusions

For the above reasons, none of the above (I & II) can fairly claim to be a Global Home OS platform.

They voluntarily and explicitly (for economics and market share reasons, mainly) have designed these hardware and software solutions with limited interoperability and cross systems incompatibilities.

When the greed and excessive competition become an impossible roadblock for the main providers to deliver to the consumers a solution...

Guess what happens...

When the people, the World have enough of this...

The Open Source community may be the best solution.

V. The Open Source Response

A few projects have been started in the last 10 years.

Some more successful then others.

And in the world of open source, success is measured by the traction your project have gained in the community, mainly the number of developers that have joined the project, are active, developing and contributing.

This success translates into the project by becoming extremely complete, supporting thousands of hardware, brands and devices.

  • 1. homeassistant (the undisputed king)
  • 2. openHab
  • 3. domoticz
  • 4. homebridge

The list of Manufacturers and Platforms on both II. and IV. is not exhaustive.

As the world of Home Automation and smarthome is burgeoning on a daily basis with new ideas, new services, new products, new hardware, new software.

So if you find this article and don't find your company listed, my bad as it would take even more of the time i'm dedicating to the writing of this article.

Which scope is to give some basis, information and perspective to end-user and clients.

VI. Home OS

So what could we all agree on the most proper definition for the Ultimate Home OS ?

I would say this :

A platform which goal is to:

  • to make any device talk to any device
  • integrate as many devices as possible if not all
  • be open source so anyone can contributes, develop and add its own integration
  • respect and guarantee our privacy in our homes
  • run everything locally (not forcefully form the cloud)
  • so that we, the end users, are free to choose and mix and put in our homes what we want.

As per 2023, the best answer to these requirements and requests is :


It's not the perfect answer, or the perfect product, or platform.

But the whole community and founders working at it are surely going in that direction.

Hopefully this article will help whomever is doing some thinking into investing and making their new smarthome or renovating one.

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