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Update: Aug 26, 2021
Wyze and Home Assistant: A cautious reunion
In a rather cautious move, Wyze has given the green light for the Home Assistant custom component to resume development. However, this revival comes with a set of significant constraints. As a leading smart home device manufacturer, Wyze's decision to permit the integration of its products with Home Assistant, could be seen as a step towards enhancing user experience. Nevertheless, the imposed limitations suggest that the company is treading carefully to protect its interests and maintain control over its products.
The reunion of Wyze and Home Assistant may bring a sigh of relief to many tech enthusiasts who appreciate the convenience and versatility that such integration offers. But it's important to remain mindful of the restrictions in place, which could curb the full potential of this collaboration.
Wyze, the U.S. tech company based in Seattle, is renowned for its budget-friendly smart home devices. It has long tantalized consumers with its range of bulbs, cameras, and sensors that rival their more expensive counterparts. Sleek and affordable, these gadgets have found a place in the hearts of many tech enthusiasts. Regrettably, Wyze has remained steadfast in its reluctance to open itself up to third-party integrations, such as Home Assistant, leaving its customers pining for greater connectivity.
Resourceful users had found solace in an unofficial Home Assistant integration, which relied on an unofficial Wyze API. This workaround enabled control and access to information from Wyze's array of bulbs, switches, cameras, motion sensors, and locks. Alas, this beacon of hope has been extinguished, as Wyze has decided to clamp down on the unauthorized use of its services.
Wyze's rate-limiting decision spells doom for the unofficial integration, signalling the likely end of its functionality. Consequently, the smart home enthusiasts who found a way to bridge the gap between Wyze's devices and third-party integration now find themselves back at square one.
Wyze's motives: keeping users within the fold
While one can only speculate about Wyze's decision to halt the unofficial Home Assistant integration, there are two plausible explanations that ultimately point to the same objective: keeping users within the Wyze ecosystem and encouraging them to use the Wyze app.
Costs and control: the Wyze app advantage
Firstly, the unofficial API relied on an undocumented Wyze service, which meant that every use incurred a cost for the company. The custom component for Home Assistant essentially reverse-engineered the Wyze app and depended on access to Wyze's online services. Naturally, Wyze would prefer users to stick with their app, as it allows them to monitor usage, promote other devices, and maintain a direct link to their online shop.
Additionally, the app plays a crucial role in delivering firmware updates. Users relying solely on the unofficial Home Assistant integration might miss important updates, potentially jeopardizing the security of their smart home systems.
Selling services: the business angle
Another perspective to consider is Wyze's interest in selling their services. With offerings like the Wyze Home Monitoring service at US$5/month and Cam Plus subscription at US$1.99/month, Wyze seeks to monetize its array of devices. Integrating Wyze cams with a custom NVR or building a home monitoring system with Home Assistant eliminates the need to subscribe to these services, conflicting with their business strategy.
Exploring alternatives to Wyze
As Wyze continues to evolve into a vendor whose devices rely heavily on their services, users seeking greater control over their gadgets should consider options that offer local access and independence from cloud services. Notable alternatives are security cameras by Reolink, TP-Link Tapo, and SONOFF.
Reolink: user-friendly with advanced capabilities
Reolink cameras have gained popularity within the Home Assistant community due to their user-friendly interface and advanced features. By using the Reolink app, users can enjoy an experience similar to that of Wyze. Importantly, many Reolink cameras support both RTSP and ONVIF, such as the RLC-810A, E1 Zoom, and RLC-820A.
TP-Link Tapo: catering to diverse security needs
TP-Link's Tapo collection of security cameras ensures there's a suitable option for everyone's surveillance requirements. The Pan/Tilt Home Security (Tapo C210) Wi-Fi Camera provides a comprehensive 360° view of your living space with crisp 2K resolution, while the Tapo C110 presents an affordable alternative with a fixed position. For those seeking an outdoor solution, the Tapo C310 comes as a weather-resistant model, making it ideal for exterior placement.
SONOFF GK-200MP2-B: versatility in a cost-effective package
The SONOFF GK-200MP2-B is a relatively new contender in the smart home market. Its appeal lies in its support for the RTSP protocol and the option to use either Wi-Fi or Ethernet. As with other SONOFF products, the camera is an affordable alternative.
While the SONOFF camera offers a lower resolution (1080p), only up to 15 m night vision, and a single RTSP stream compared to the more expensive Reolink options, it remains a viable choice for those seeking a cost-effective solution.
About Liam Alexander Colman
Liam Alexander Colmanis an experienced Home Assistant user who has been utilizing the platform for a variety of projects over an extended period. His journey began with a Raspberry Pi, which quickly grew to three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-fledged server. Liam's current operating system of choice is Unraid, with Home Assistant comfortably running in a Docker container. With a deep understanding of the intricacies of Home Assistant, Liam has an impressive setup, consisting of various Zigbee devices, and seamless integrations with existing products such as his Android TV box. For those interested in learning more about Liam's experience with Home Assistant, he shares his insights on how he first started using the platform and his subsequent journey.