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Newbie Question...What can Omega do?

  • Hi guys! These maybe very stupid questions, but I'm really interested in a DIY hub to control several IoT devices:

    1. If I understood it correctly, Onion Omega is like a hub that can receive/send actions to a device or from an input/user, is that right?
    2. Is this possible: Make your phone a presence sensor, so when you are almost home Omega can turn on your AC ahead for you.
    3. Is this possible: Using Kwikset SmartCode 916 Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolt (Zwave & Zigbee), can it send a signal to Omega once the door opens all the lights will turn on?

    I guess that's it for now, really appreciate if someone can enlighten me šŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • This reply comes from a user of the Omega who has a reasonable understanding of what it is and can do. This is NOT an official reply - the Omega people can probably help you better with specific questions.

    I will start by assuming that you are familiar with the basic description of the Omega as covered here: https://onion.io/omega

    In very brief summary, the Omega is a (very) small form factor computer that runs a cut down version of Linux (OpenWrt).
    Some features:

    • Wi-fi access capabilities
    • Serial communications access
    • Ethernet communications - via available expansion board
    • Multiple general purpose and I2C i/o pins
    • Can be programmed in various languages:
      • Python
      • Node.JS
      • C/C++ (by use of a separate Linux hosted cross compiler)
      • Other languages can be used (Lua, Java)
    • A variety of expansion boards are available

    While in principle, it could be made to do the kind of things you reference, to do so would need:

    • Connecting the various devices
    • Programming access to these devices
    • Programming the necessary logic to provide the required functionality
      It does NOT provide ready made out of the box capabilities of the types you reference

    Remember that the Omega is pretty new and in some respects can still be considered a work in progress.

    This community is a pretty good place to ask specific questions. In particular, the Omega people are always friendly and helpful.

    Hop this is of some assistance to you - I have probably not covered a lot of things you want to know - just post a question.

  • I'll try to answer your questions, let's see if it helps!

    1. the Omega is a very small computer, but just like your desktop/laptop it has a wi-fi connection. This means it can communicate (and others can communicate with it) through a local network (your home wi-fi) or even through the internet. One difference is that you can pair the Omega with the expansion dock and then also use it to interact with hardware (temperature sensors, infrared sensors, you name it!).

    2. Yes, there are numerous ways you could approach this. You could have a mobile app on your phone with a geofence setup around your house, then everytime you enter the geofence the mobile app could communicate with the Omega via 3G/4G and the Omega would turn on the AC. Another alternative is using the Omega with the Bluetooth (BLE) expansion, this way the Omega could detect the presence of your smartphone and also turn on the AC. One important point is that your AC needs to provide some way to be turned on, easiest one would of course be via wi-fi. Other than that you would probably need an infrared blaster connected to the Omega so it can simulate the AC remote control.

    3. I don't know how Zwave and Zigbee work but you could probably have some kind of antenna (or sensor) connected to the Onion that can pickup their signal and then you could do whatever you want with it from the Omega.

    I don't know how much experience you have with this kind of stuff but one thing to have in mind is that none of this will be super easy . It will demand some knowledge of electronics and software development, but the internet is full of tutorials and examples!

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