Domotz Turns Raspberry Pi Into Smart-Home Hub

Senior Editor, Tom's Guide
Updated

LAS VEGAS — Here's yet another reason to pick up the Raspberry Pi. Domotz's new home-monitoring software can turn the $35 mini-PC into a smart-home hub that, via your smartphone, will let you monitor and control all the connected devices in your home.

After reviewing several of them, we haven't been wild about most smart home hubs, as they're either too hard to use, too expensive, or don't work with enough devices. Domotz's low barrier to entry — the $35 Raspberry Pi, as well as a monthly $2.99 service fee — makes it a relatively low-risk investment.

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Once installed, the Domotz Smart Home Monitoring app (for Android and iOS) is designed to automatically detect all devices connected to your home Wi-Fi or Ethernet network, which can include such things as the Nest Learning Thermostat and Philips Hue lights.

Currently, there's no support for ZigBee or Z-Wave devices — which rules out a large number of smart-home gadgets — but Domotz says it's working on adding those protocols. At the moment, Domotz also supports Belkin WeMo, Digital Logger, Time2, WISPP and Orvibo power switches.

Unlike competing hubs, Domotz looks like it will present you with much more detailed information about your connected devices, including, according to the Domotz site, "battery levels, bulb life, signals and jitter quality, number of neighboring repeaters, packet error rate [and] signal degradation." 

Domotz can also be installed on some network-attached storage drives (from ReadyNAS, Synology or QNAP), and the company is crowdfunding its own Domotz Box in 2016, but the Raspberry Pi looks to be the most practical method for integrating all your gear for now.

We're interested to see how it all works, so stay tuned for our hands-on with Domotz at CES 2016.