Home Automation Glossary - HomeKit, HomeBridge, Home Assistant, RTSP, MQTT, etc

This is a quick first stab at a roundup of terms. I’m a complete home automation newbie but a central list like this would be valuable. (Disclaimer: I don’t know much about any of these - please feel free to correct any misunderstandings on my part.)

HomeKit:
Standard maintained by Apple Computer for integrating and controlling multiple vendor home automation hardware (cameras, sensors, locks, etc.) under a single Apple-designed control umbrella. Typically requires an Apple control module (e.g., HomePod). Typically works with Apple technologies such as Siri for voice recognition. Promises local offline / off-cloud control. Participating equipment requires certification by Apple. Not supported by Wyze hardware.

HomeBridge:
Open source community project designed to integrate equipment that is not certified by Apple into the Apple HomeKit environment. Not supported by Wyze, but integrated independently through 3rd party developers.

Home Assistant:
Open source community project for integrating and controlling multiple vendor home automation hardware (cameras, sensors, locks, etc.) under a single vendor-independent control umbrella. Typically runs on a small Linux server such as a Raspberry Pi. Local offline / off-cloud control is a primary goal. Not supported by Wyze, but integrated independently through 3rd party developers.

RTSP:
Standard Real Time Streaming Protocol for video streams. Often handled by FFMPEG software, the VLC player, and NVRs/DVRs such as the open source ZoneMinder or the commercial Blue Iris. For Wyze cameras, supported officially in alternate firmware from Wzye as well as independent Dafang Hacks firmware. With the official Wyze firmware, RTSP features can be used while maintaining a connection to the Wyze “cloud”.

ONVIF:
Interoperability standard for IP cameras, originally “Open Network Video Interface Forum”. This appears to focus more on the control layer (e.g., PTZ / Pan Tilt Zoom functions) than on the video codec layer such as RTSP. Not supported by Wyze.

MQTT:
IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity (messaging) protocol for sensors, low power devices, and home automation. Supported by Home Assistant and other management tools. Valuable in offline, off-grid use cases. Not supported by Wyze.

http://mqtt.org/

Alexa:
Amazon’s platform, run through their servers with “skills” linking to the cloud software on other vendor servers (including Wyze). Voice recognition and low cost devices. No offline control. Fully supported by Wyze.

Google Home:
Google’s platform, very similar to Alexa, with similar features, voice recognition, integrations, and devices. No offline control. Fully supported by Wyze.

Siri:
Apple’s acquired voice recognition software that works with its HomeKit automation platform and a “hub” such as a HomePod or iPad. “To control your HomeKit accessories remotely with Siri, you need to set up a home hub.” Not supported by Wyze.

Of course this is far from a comprehensive rundown. I hope someone finds it helpful. Thanks.

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Good start! Just to be clear, there IS a Homebridge Wyze plugin that brings Wyze Plugs, Bulbs, Contact and Motion sensors into HomeKit.

There is another plugin available that uses ffmpeg to bring Wyze cameras running the Wyze RTSP firmware into HomeKit. Neither plugin is written by Wyze nor endorsed or supported by them.

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Thanks, rbruce, I didn’t realize that. I’ve updated the language to mirror the HA 3rd party description.

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