The central component of the Hobson automation system is called the Hobson Hub. The Hobson Hub runs inside your home or business and is responsible for controlling and monitoring all hardware devices you tell it to manage.
Since the Hobson system supports many disparate types of hardware and protocols, it acts as a mediator to provide a consistent way to manage and control any hardware it knows how to interface with. This allows client devices, such as your phone, to communicate with devices in your home that it wouldn't otherwise know how to talk to.
Note the above diagram is only an example of a few of the protocols that the Hobson Hub works with. Furthermore, the Hub includes a robust and well-documented API that allows developers to add new protocols seamlessly.
The Hub software was designed from the ground up to be cross-platform and lightweight making it possible to run on many different types of hardware. It can run on devices ranging from small and inexpensive "mini computers" all the way up to high-end servers.
Here's some of the more interesting hardware that the Hobson Hub has been successfully run on:
As you can see, there are some low cost (and low power) options that make running the Hub very affordable. A sub-$100 automation hub that consumes negligible power is no longer out of the question!
This is all great but what about setting up a Hobson Hub? When most people hear open source they assume hours of work requiring detailed technical know-how. Hobson Hub will feature software installers for Windows, Mac and Linux as well as SD card images for select platforms which will make setting up the Hub hardware a quick and simple undertaking even for the technically challenged. An intuitive wizard will guide you through the initial software setup and you'll be off and running!
Stay tuned for more information as Hobson continues through its private beta. And feel free to request early access to Hobson Hub (through the forum) if you want to start playing with it sooner and help guide its development.