Finding out if my IoT (home automation) devices can talk to each other.

Getting to simple, both from what you have and what you document. One of the things in Home Automation that is frustrating is the figuring out who talks to whom. It seems strange that there could be a protocol (or in this case multiple protocols) and within each of those protocols there are devices that do not speak with other devices running on the same protocol.

If you, take a moment, to consider this. You can decide that you are going to implement Zigbe as your primary automation protocol. You can pick your various devices that speak that protocol (Zigbe). Everything as they say is copacetic. Well except for one small problem/.

You’ve picked a door lock. You’ve picked a lighting system. They both operate on Zigbe so you’ve picked a hub for that as well. Perhaps you’ve consider a number of hubs and you probably have.

So where do I go, where is the database on the internet that tells me who talks to whom? Or better yet, what devices using what protocol talk to what other devices. It doesn’t exist by the way.

You can have 10 devices that operate on Zigbe and unless they are from the same company they may or may not work together. Many years ago when I was an email transition specialist I worked with email protocols. Those protocols would be implemented by each of the different mail servers. The reality of connecting them together ended up becoming the LCD or lowest common denominator. It made messages between mail systems

The same is now true with the various protocols and a single place to go to figure out do the devices talk to each other. You’ve already fixed your network so in the end that isn’t an issue it is now the actual devices being able to consume information and share information with the many other devices. It is also about not having to have 200 hubs stacked by your router. One hub to rule them all and in IoT bind them.

You can of course fix this problem quickly. Pick your hub and then only use devices from that company. It adds cost over time to the equation but effectively you don’t have to worry about connectivity issues.

It seems strange in the end. The reality of connections to improve your home may drive you nuts. It is the sad reality. Choose wisely young grasshopper!


IASA Fellow