Doing research on professional monitoring services (in the US), some/many services claim 3rd party devices can be connected to their service. But it's unclear to me what level of functionality from 3rd party devices is provided from the monitoring service'/system's human interface (H/IF)?
To help visualizing where I am, my understanding is that majority of the home automation systems consist of a central control unit (I guess different vendors call it differently), and the sensors and actuation (alarm, lights etc.) connect to the central unit. This simple diagram from ece.cornell.edu depicts well (despite it looks like a student project):
Does "3rd party device integration" mean either one of the following, or else?
- Opt-a. Have the 3rd party device be connected to the device network (via e.g.
- Opt-b. Show the status of the 3rd party device. E.g. sensory output if it's a sensor. Action status if it's an actuation module.
- Opt-c. Control the 3rd party device.
- Opt-d. Have the devices connect to task automation service (e.g.
ifttt) via the home automation network (so that you can included your 3rd party devices in your home automation recipes more seamlessly).
My guess is that it's mostly Opt-a, as Opt-b thru d would require custom interfaces depending on the implementation of each 3rd party device? Say for example, I have a 3rd party humidity sensor and garage door opener that I want to hook to my home security system. Humidity sensor and garage door opener may not be the most common functionalities that the lots of home security service supports as of today. So (unfortunately) it makes sense if my home security central system doesn't provide the specific H/IF for humidity sensor and garage door controller.
(In my previous home I had
alarm.com, which did support garage door controller so I was able to use garage-door specific H/IF, i.e. it showed the status (opened/closed), and allow us to control (open/close). So in this case Opt-a thru c were covered. But I assume that was rather exceptional).
UPDATE 20210730: Talked to a sales person from ring.com. They have a list of certified devices (support.ring.com) that ring.com supports not just device status but also provides control interface. I'd say the list is not long at all, and the type of the devices are limited to a few categories (light, power outlet, siren etc.), but it's great they certify these.