Bosch Home Appliances (B/S/H) might be the first smart-appliance maker to open APIs for all of its connected white goods, including Thermador and Siemens brands … and generously support developers for home-automation integration via the Home Connect cloud.
Smart appliances like refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers might be all the rage to their manufacturers and marketers, but they’re a big fat pain for smart-home providers that want to incorporate the products into a home-automation system.
Typically, smart-appliance makers (might) provide a few software hooks for a handful of features to enable a modicum of integration with third-party controls. But they don’t tend to throw their APIs wide open, nor lovingly embrace the developer community.
And then there’s BSH, which wants the world to integrate with its Bosch, Thermador, Siemens, Gaggenau and Neff appliance brands. Not only is BSH opening the RESTful APIs for all of its “Home Connect” products, the group also is supporting partners with a robust developer site and a host of tools – extensive documentation, integration simulators, hackathons, sample code, and real-live people to help.
At the International Builders Show (IBS 2019) and Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS 2019) last month, BSH promoted its Home Connect architecture and demonstrated a simple use-case: Uttering “OK, Josh, good morning” into a Josh.ai pod initiated a macro to ramp up the Nest thermostat, open the motorized shades, and start brewing coffee in a pricey Home Connect-enabled coffee maker.
BSH is in discussions with “most key home automation companies” about integrating through Home Connect, according to Johannes Ochsner, head of Connected Products and Digital Services for BSH.
He tells us the company created Home Connect so customers could enjoy an “experience that they don’t expect from their appliance.”
The Home Connect logo and messaging on product packaging and collateral signal to the customer, “There’s more things to explore,” Ochsner explains.
He says the API exposes more than the usual appliance functionality for third-party control and alerts – beyond on, off, temperature settings, diagnostic data, and the like.
For example, a third-party app could access the Ambient Light on a NEFF exhaust hood, and incorporate it into whole-house lighting scene. A security system could automatically ignore the interior motion sensors when a Bosch Roxxter robotic vacuum cleaner (not yet shipping) is on the loose. Utilizing refrigerator cameras and Bosch’s object-recognition engine, a home-automation system could remind you to toss out the old vegetables when you set the vacation scene. Utility time-of-use pricing can be used to schedule appliances to run at off-peak periods. And so on …
Current Home Connect Partners
BSH products currently integrate with a variety of smart-home products and services, and the roster of Home Connect partners is growing.
Several usual suspects like Nest, IFTTT, Amazon Alexa, Amazon Dash and Fitbit are onboard.
BSH notes several home-automation partners, but as yet none of the leading U.S. brands. Bosch Smart Home, ABB, Fibaro, Atmos, Homey and iHaus are some of the early partners in this category.
Some major culinary brands have joined the Home Connect ecosystem, utilizing data about food in the fridge (and not), and pushing recipes and cooking instructions to various connected devices. HelloFresh, Chefling, Simply Yummy, Drop and Innit are some of the foody partners.
And more: Integration with EVE Connect allows users to control Home Connect appliances from their Tesla dashboard. SMA can help users operate their connected appliances in a way that optimizes solar energy. And Flic lets you initiate Home Connect commands with the press of a Bluetooth button.
BSH Home Connect-Enabled Products
BSH doesn’t make it easy to find Home Connect-enabled products across its brands, but CE Pro found some direct links here:
Neff – 15 cooktops, dishwashers, exhaust fans, ovens and (reportedly) coffee machines.
Gaggenau – Starting with cooker hood, but more coming.