Welcome to the December(-ish) edition of the Open Home newsletter, the place to learn about the latest and greatest things for your smart home that improve its privacy, choice, and sustainability.
The Open Home newsletter is written by Paulus Schoutsen, founder of Home Assistant and Nabu Casa. Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe here!
This December edition is a bit late, but I didn't want to let 2023 go out without talking to you all. Today, you're not getting another newsletter complaining about companies doing unjust things to their users. Instead, I want to take some time for reflection and talk about just one thing: thank you all so much! 🙏
2023 marked ten years of Home Assistant, and the project is more alive than ever. In the past year, we worked hard on bringing voice to open-source home automation. We improved the dashboards with expanded tile cards and beautiful, new, more info dialogs. And let's not forget the new logo and the Home Assistant Green!
This is all made possible by the fantastic community around Home Assistant. According to GitHub, we were the 2nd most active open-source project in the world. In 2023, more than 17,000 contributors helped make Home Assistant what it is. Not just contributors make up our community; many people in the Home Assistant community do not touch a line of code.
The users who live with Home Assistant daily and automate the coolest things. The creators who write guides, record videos, or make other content about Home Assistant. The users helping each other on our platforms, and the moderators who volunteer to make those platforms friendly places to be. The list goes on and on. Thank you all, because Home Assistant wouldn't exist without you.
Ten years of Home Assistant also means we celebrated five years of Nabu Casa. Without receiving a cent from investors, our bootstrapped company now employs more than 30 people to work on Home Assistant full-time. Again, thank you because Nabu Casa wouldn't exist without your subscriptions. We are so grateful that so many of you trust us.
Going to CES 2024
I'll be at CES this year! Nabu Casa and Home Assistant won't have an official booth or presence at the show, but I think it's essential to keep up to date with what is happening. While I'm there, I want to meet with interesting brands, people in the smart home sector, and reporters covering that beat. If you'll also be there, hit reply and send me a message! And if enough people are around, we may organize an impromptu Home Assistant meetup.
Year of the Voice
We live-streamed Chapter 5 in December, officially bringing the Year of the Voice to a close. But don't worry, as we've promised you, this is not the end of Voice in Home Assistant. Mike is not going anywhere, and we'll keep working on making sure you can control Home Assistant in your own language.
Chapter 5 also introduced support for the ESP32-S3-Box devices. Not only do they have a great microphone for Assist, but they also come with a screen. Chapter 5 was the perfect moment to introduce our new mascot! We hope you love it just as much as we do. If you own one of the S3-Box models, follow our tutorial to turn it into a voice assistant or customize it to your liking.
Silicon Labs partners with Nabu Casa
One of our recent announcements we're very proud of is that Silicon Labs has entered an official partnership with Nabu Casa to support our open-source and hardware efforts. Silicon Labs is the company behind Z-Wave and designs chips for Z-Wave, Zigbee, Thread, and more standards.
With the revenue we get from your Home Assistant Cloud subscriptions (thank you!), Nabu Casa employs developers to build open-source implementations of Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Matter. They work with Silicon Labs technologies on a daily basis. Z-Wave JS, for example, is the only open-source implementation of Z-Wave, and many platforms beyond Home Assistant use it. Our work is fundamental to the growth of the Z-Wave ecosystem, and we're very happy to see Silicon Labs acknowledge this.
Home Assistant 2023.12
The last release of 2023 brought some nice quality-of-life changes. The thermostat card was redesigned to match the gorgeous new entity dialog introduced earlier, a new feature was added for the ever-improving tile card, you can now re-import blueprints, and there's much more you can check out!
Star Trek LCARS Voice Assistant
Callie turned her ESP32-S3-Box-3 into a voice assistant with a Star Trek-inspired LCARS interface. Now it just needs the Computer voice!
Home Assistant on a Magic Mirror
Oliver explains how you can show data from Home Assistant on a Magic Mirror - a screen behind a semi-transparent mirror that makes it look like the text is floating in the mirror.
Using webhooks on your smart TV
Combining webhooks with an Android TV-based smart TV can open up your possibilities for smart home control from your media center.
Home Assistant Assist desktop app
Aidan has made a desktop app version of Home Assistant Assist. Now you can use Assist straight from your Windows, MacOS, or Linux desktop.
In other news
- Philips Hue reorganizes, plans job cuts to save $218 million annually. They're not saying how many people are fired, but it wasn't a very merry Christmas for some. (Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, The Verge)
- UniFi devices broadcasted private video to other users’ accounts. Video cameras may be the worst of all the devices that can possibly get mixed up between users. (Dan Goodin, Ars Technica)
- 2023 in the smart home: Matter’s broken promises. A pretty damning look at the current state of Matter from Jennifer. We are much more optimistic about the future of Matter, but understand where her frustrations are coming from. (Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, The Verge)
Enjoy this newsletter?
Forward to a friend, sharing is caring.
Anything else? Hit reply to send us feedback or say hello. We read everything!