Connected Home Systems

Looking to add a wireless automation or security system in your home?  This type of technology has made big promises for decades now but has failed to gain widespread adoption due to installation hassles, high prices, and proprietary protocols.

This has recently been changing due to the rise of smartphones in everyone's pocket and deceasing connectivity costs with a batch of new gateways, sensors and connected products becoming available.

Below is a list of a few smart home systems on the market to help you get started in your search.




"Ninja Blocks are tiny cloud enabled computers that can sense their environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors & can affect their surroundings by controlling lights, power sockets, and other actuators.

At the heart of Ninja Blocks is an Open Hardware philosophy that makes our electronics schematics, case designs and source code available to developers and students so that they can learn from them and submit suggestions and modifications."


Cost: $199
Service Fee: No

- RF 433.92 Mhz, USB Wi-Fi module, Ethernet

Product Devices:
Motion Sensor
Temperature and Humidity Sensor
Window & Door Contact Sensor
Wireless Button
Smart Socket

Features: REST API
Open Source: Yes, Open Hardware, Arduino Compatible

Apps: None


"EVE is open hardware. A server for connecting all your wireless devices to a single point, no larger than a box of playing cards. Eve is a plug in board for the Raspberry Pi mini computer. A hub that connects your wireless devices to each other and the web."


Eve Alpha

Cost: ?...£190 during Kickstarter
Service Fee: No

Physically Support: 33Mhz or 868-915Mhz RFM12B module, Z-Wave module, EnOcean module, XBee shaped module, Ethernet, USB dongle for Wifi, etc.
Product Devices:
None, but should talk to almost everything

Features: Based on Raspberry Pi

Open Source: Yes, Open Hardware
Apps: None

"SmartThings adds intelligence to everyday things in your world, so that your life can be more awesome."


Cost: $299
Service Fee: Yes, Ranging between $0 and $14.99

: Zigbee, Z-Wave

Product Devices:

Power Outlet
Open/Shut Sensor
Motion Sensor
Presence Sensor
Moisture Detectors

Features: RESTful API
Open Source: No/Partial

Apps: Android, Apple


"Vera keeps you connected to your home and business, no matter where you are. Vera is the most flexible, powerful and affordable home controller on the market today."

Micasaverde: Vera 3

Cost: $299
Service Fee: No

: Z-Wave, UPnP devices, Supports bridging z-wave and Insteon networks over IP

Product Devices:
Smart Switch

"Guaranteed compatibility with ALL Z-Wave devices - Includes deadbolt locks, scene controllers, all kinds of sensors and lighting, thermostats, energy meterin"

Features: Open API
Open Source: Partial

Apps: Android, Apple

- Review: Network World 3/5


"Blazing Fast 802.11ac WiFi - 1.17Gb/s. Compatible with 100's of Z-Wave & ZigBee smart sensors. All in one exquisitely designed device."


Cost: $99
Service Fee: No

- WiFi - 802.11ac (1.17Gb/s)
- Z-Wave
- Zigbee

Product Devices: None

Features: 2.8” TFT Touchscreen, DLNA Streaming, IPv6 Support, UPnP
Open Source: No

Apps: Apple, Android


"Iris is your one-stop solution for creating the smart home of your dreams. With the DIY expertise you expect from Lowe's, Iris lets you set up a reliable and easy to operate system customized to your home in about an hour."

Lowe's Iris

Cost: $179 & Up
Service Fee: Free to $9.99/ Mo

WiFi, Zigbee and Z-Wave, & Cellular add-on expected

Product Devices:

Contact Sensors
Motion Sensor
Smart Plug
Smart Thermostat

Open Source: No

Apps: Android, Apple

- Article: Wired Geek Dad Living With Iris: Home Automation That Works (Part 1) 





Insteon Hub

- Crestron Systems

- Savant Controllers

- Control 4