CES—the Consumer Electronics Show—may be over but we’re still processing a lot of information and devices from this year’s event.
Take the Athom Homey, for example, a unique smart home hub that is capable of controlling more than 30,000 devices. It’s a Europe-born piece of tech that is finally making it’s way to the states, and we couldn’t be happier.
The Homey Smart Orb Is a Hub for the Modern Landscape
The Homey smart orb has earned several awards and accolades back home in Europe.
If you follow the smart home market you know it’s incredibly fragmented. Hell, even if you don’t follow it, it’s easy to see. That’s because there are so many different platforms, brands, and devices available and they all have separate compatibility options.
To name a few platforms there’s Nest, Wink, Samsung SmartThings, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and many more. These aren’t necessarily brands, more like ecosystems. And there’s never a guarantee a new smart device will work with all—or even one—of the named platforms.
It’s why we have massive compatibility lists like this one.
Wouldn’t it be ideal to have a single hub or platform that could interface with just about everything? That’s where the Homey smart orb comes into play.
It uses an open source model—similar to Android—which means developers have the freedom to create and deliver support for their products. The community at large isn’t stuck waiting for official support from the Athom Homey team. All tech is supported through the proprietary Homey app, which is directly integrated with the likes of Amazon Echo (Alexa), Google Home (Google Assistant), and even Facebook Messenger.
Even better, the Homey smart orb has a built in infrared blaster which allows you to control alternate tech like TVs, entertainment or stereo systems. Of course, the WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, Zigbee and Z-Wave support are there too—don’t you worry.
This allows you to control every device in your home from one place, something that all other smart home hubs have purported to do, yet failed, for the most part. I can’t even begin to count how many devices I’d love to sync up with my Wink hub, but that’s a no-go.
Athom aims to deliver an interwoven system compatible with nearly all your gear, and I say it’s about time.
What Else Can the Homey Smart Orb Do?
The Homey smart orb can turn off TVs and more, thanks to an IR blaster (on top of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth).
Similar to Wink’s Robots, Homey uses an automation system called Homey Flows. By creating processes called “Flows,” you can activate or deactivate certain things on a schedule. You can also carry out actions through simple, yet specific commands. They gain voice controls too.
The Athom Homey smart orb is so successful in Europe the company has several accolades including the Philips Innovation Award, Accenture Innovation Award, and even a first place title in the EIT ICT Labs Idea Challenge (2014). I think it’s safe to say this thing is epic.
You may be surprised to know that the Homey smart orb was originally funded—and launched—via Kickstarter, back in May 2014. How’s that for inspiration folks?
Although there’s been no official news about cost, Homey is £269 in the UK, so we can expect it to be around the $300-$350 mark here in the US.
What do you think? Are you going to ditch your existing hub for the Homey smart orb? Personally, I’m ready to do just that.