If you haven't heard the news already, Home Assistant celebrated its birthday this week. The creation of Home Assistant dates back to September 2013, when Paulus Schoutsen, known by his alias “balloob”, first conceived the idea. However, since the project did not have a website or a presence on GitHub at the time, I cannot show you the very first version. Nevertheless, it is remarkable to see how much progress has been made since then.
In honour of the occasion, the developers are treating us users to a surprise, rather than the other way around. They have given us a sneak peek of an exciting announcement set to be revealed on Wednesday, September 15th 2021, during the release party stream
What could the special announcement be?
I have no clue as to what this upcoming announcement could be about. The last significant announcement made by the developers during a live stream was the release of ESP Web Tools.
If I had to take a guess, I would wager that this announcement is also connected to ESPHome. My reasoning behind this assumption is that the announcement image features the number 8 constructed from ESP32 and ESP8266 boards, as well as some DIY tools such as pliers, a screwdriver, and soldering tin. So, if this announcement is, in fact, related to ESPHome, what could it be about? I'd be happy to toss around some ideas:
- Partnerships with manufacturers to build devices with ESPHome preinstalled, and a certification. With those manufacturers delivering OTA updates through the ESPHome dashboard or using ESP Web Tools.
- Support for the Zigbee capable ESP32-H2.
- A solution for room-level tracking using BLE with seamless Home Assistant integration and automatic calibration (i.e., no RSSI values need to be set by the user).
- Support for matter. This would almost certainly coincide with support for the aforementioned ESP32-H2.
If the ESP boards are just a distraction, possible announcements related to Home Assistant could be:
- An official native Windows companion app with the same functionality as the macOS app. What also doesn't exist yet is a native Linux companion app.
- A Works with Home Assistant programme that will set certain requirements for vendors (for example, local access).
How to support Home Assistant for the next eight years
If you are a user of Home Assistant and you want the project to thrive, the easiest way of supporting the further development is by subscribing to Nabu Casa's Home Assistant Cloud. Even if you don't need remote access, I recommend subscribing. Alternatively, you can also sponsor the project on GitHub.