Home Assistant

Open source home automation that puts local control and privacy first.

Source: Home Assistant

I’ve been through MythTV, Plex, Zimba, and OwnCloud, and eventually just given up on each of these self-hosting categories, and fallen back to using established service providers. This whole field of self-hosted home automation looks very cool, but even if I decide to go down this road, at this point, I’m just going to get into bed with HomeKit.

It’s kind of scary how much of my life now revolves around Apple. They do a lot of messaging about respecting the vast trust we users put in them. I know that doesn’t necessarily prove anything on its own, but they unquestionably have the best track record for trustworthiness among the big tech firms. They are certainly the most financially-aligned with user rights and privacy, and that’s really the only metric that matters. As long as Apple primarily makes money selling hardware, and their services are fundamentally just icing on that cake, then I think we’ll continue to get along just fine.

The Biden administration has already done a lot of interesting things to put a check on big tech and monopoly power, though we’ll see how this plays out over the next couple of years. I think some new laws should be written to codify these executive orders to direct regulatory agencies, once they’re proven in practice and tweaked. Otherwise, the next President can just reverse these things, which we’ve already seen through Bush, Obama, Trump, and Biden. It’s become a game.

Anyway, I hope Apple — like other monstrous companies — can read the prevailing winds, look at their balance sheet, and decide to let a little profit slip through their fingers in the name of giving users a little more privacy, a little more respect, and a little more freedom.