Linux lab: Mozilla's WebThings Gateway

Protocols

The protocol function in the Settings menu lets you obtain useful information such as the energy consumption data.

The Logs item opens a new view. Select one of the devices integrated into the system for the protocol function by clicking the plus button. In this dialog, you can also decide how long WebThings should store the logs. You can also create a floor plan of your home using the Floorplan dialog in the Settings menu. Enter the locations of all end devices in the floor plan. If you have a large number of integrated devices, the floor plan will definitely help you maintain an overview.

Defining Rules

Using the entry Rules in the Settings menu, you can define rules for controlling terminal devices. Define rules by dragging and dropping components from the device list. For instance, you can switch a terminal device on or off at a predefined time with just a few mouse clicks. To create new rules, press the plus button bottom right in the window.

Catastrophic

In our hands-on session, Mozilla's WebThings gave us a catastrophic first impression. Although the user interface is intuitive, and logically structured, there are only a few modules – often for devices that are no longer manufactured. Some of the devices do not even exist in Europe.

In our lab, we were unable to control even one of the half dozen end devices by manufacturers Aurora Lighting, Enlite, Müller-Licht, Philips, and OSRAM with WebThings. Mozilla's compatibility list does at least support Philips lamps and OSRAM socket adapters [11].

Hue lighting by Philips will only harmonize with WebThings if you reset the lamps to the factory settings. But to do this, you need a Philips control unit. Many popular vendors on today's home automation market are simply missing from the WebThings compatibility list.

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