Update: this campaign is about to finish. Thanks to every single contributor who makes this project possible!
Current, after-project information as well as further projects can be seen here: about.gbridge.io/post-kickstarter
One could only miss the newest tech developments when living under a stone: Voice assistants are getting more and more popular. Smart home software and brokers for automating common tasks and connecting different devices are gaining significance, too.
So why not link them together? Only a small subset of the devices you own can be controlled natively with voice assistants (like Google Home or Alexa). Currently, you need to rely on manufacturers of smart home devices to implement support for them. When using automation software, e.g. Home Assistant, Domoticz or OpenHAB, things get even more complicated.
gBridge addresses these issues! It is a single, unified solution that enables any smart home device or software to be controlled using smart speakers. It connects to the voice assistant manufacturers, abstracts and converts the occuring messages and finally provides an open and well documented interface that can be integrated in your application.
Update - First showcase of Alexa integration
The following video gives you a first glance of gBridge's support for Alexa. It still looks quite rudimentary - but it simply works 🥳
How it works
It's magic 😉. Well, it's almost magic - at a first glance.
Manufacturers of smart home speakers, in particular Amazon and Google for the moment, provide some sort of APIs for integrating own devices. They vary a lot, are usually hard to comprehend, meticulous to implement; they require extensive project configuration, a proper network setup and force you to undergo a hard validation process.
gBridge ist the one solution that takes this burden off your shoulders. The data from the different interface is converted to abstract messages.
Finally, gBridge hosts MQTT servers. In case you didn't know: MQTT, the Message Queuing Telemetry Transport protocol is an open standard for machine-to-machine communication. The data from the proprietary interfaces is made available via MQTT messages. And, there's the point: I can honestly say that I don't know a single smart home software that does not support MQTT.
The Kickstarter Campaign
As you might know (or might have seen), gBridge is already available on the market. We provide a rudimentary user interface with support for Google Assistant only. The project grows steadily: At the time of writing this text almost 2000 users are already utilizing gBridge. Thus, the risk of a project failure is incredibly low.
When a project grows, more and more work has to be put into in order to keep it running and to improve it.
This Kickstarter funding campaign has the goal to fulfill a current subproject: Extending gBridge so it works with Amazon's Alexa.
However, your funds will also be invested into the general development, improvement and enhancement of the gBridge platform.
Because your Privacy matters
...we neither save more personal data than necessary, nor process your data. Because of that, the list of data we store just has a few points:
- Your mail address needs to be stored for logging in, of course. You'll never receive any newsletters or spam from us, if you don't want to.
- Your billing address and/ or invoices might have to be stored long-term due to legal reasons.
- Your device definitions are stored in our databases. We do not log the commands you say, they only live for a short time in the volatile memory of your servers.
- When any kind of critical error occurs, this event is stored in a log files, so the service can be improved. Log files get deleted permanently once per day.
As said, gBridge will work with any smart home software. However, there are some projects that are already documented to work with gBridge (or even feature extensions/ plugins for gBridge):
Risks and challenges
Of course, we can't rule out that problems will occur. However, the overall risks of this project are rather low, since the service itself already exists and is proven to work. The crowdfunding shall just enable the project to "take the next step"Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Environmental commitmentsVisit our Environmental Resources Center to learn how Kickstarter encourages sustainable practices.
- (27 days)