IoT Connectivity (done safely) - discussion

  • 30 April 2018
  • 3 replies

There are many options to enable customer devices to retrieve real time data in a guaranteed read only namer. Lets discuss some constructively.

3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +4
That's a fascinating question @AnthonyWrather.

Could you say a bit more about your background (and fill out your Forum Profile) so we can hear a bit more about where you're coming from on this?

I don't yet have a Smart Meter or grid-connected electricity generation, so I can't comment specifically in response.

However I'm technically aware enough that I'm concerned about adding 3rd party network devices inside of my router and firewalls. My home is flood-wired CAT5e so I can even avoid using WiFi most of the time.

If I bought a Smart Meter IHD (or anything else, like an IP Camera) from one of those highly successful Far-East online malls like GearBest or AliExpress, how confident do I feel about the code it's running?

At the same time as showing me helpful statistics on my energy-usage, is it also snooping around my computers and sending sporadic packets of data to an unknown 3rd-party?

I'd feel heaps happier if I absolutely knew the provenance of code running within my home. What about a device based on the Arduino or Raspberry-Pi with a Zigbee Shield to connect to the Smart Meter? At least then I'd know what was in the code and could alter it if I wanted.
Userlevel 3
That's a fascinating question

No, it's not. it isn't even a question. There is no evidence that the OP has bothered to do his research of the site. Anyone can ask a one-liner Q and expect other posters to do all the work. This adds no value to the forum or its members.

In my case, I don't need real-time access to my Smart Meter, but I do pull the half hourly stats directly from the OVO user website using the undocumented AJAX API, and I've posted separately on this. The API is a PITA to use and we are waiting patiently for the OVO developers to get their arses into gear and both release and document a public API for accessing this data from the backend.

At its simplest your HA code / interface has to authenticate a session on the OVO site, and then execute a request which pulls down the half-hourly reading content as a text/json. Most high-level languages (such as JS, Perl, PHP, Lua) have JSON encode/decode library support which will convert this into a data structure using a one-liner API call. I use a small Perl script to load mine into my HA MySQL D/B.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Erm, @TerryE,

This Thread is about the Internet of Things. Your response isn't.

The Subject line indicates requirements for safe practice. Your response doesn't.

The question mentions devices and is posted with a Forum Section identified for In-Home-Displays. You haven't refered to any.

The questioner requests constructive discussion...

We don't yet know, but is it possible that the questioner is a bright young student, possibly seeking to involve themselves in the development of the very technology they are enquiring about?

Over the years I have given positive assistance to a number of such young men & women. They now work in areas such as robotics and GCHQ, adding to the technological skill-sets for which this nation is renowned.

There are other threads on the Forum where software access to usage data is discussed. But they got very heated, which is disappointing.

The matter of Energy-related Devices on IoT is interesting to others. But it's a much bigger topic than merely reading usage data which is already displayed by OVO.

The SMETS protocols are far more extensive than the few commands which are currently employed. There is no doubt that devices will be offered for sale which utilise more of these protocols. Auxiliary Load Control Switches are an obvious case in point.

I already have systems operating within my home network which would benefit if they could receive data from a Smart Meter. These include the three heat-inputs to my thermal store and my whole-house ventilation system (MVHR unit).

I would like to see this discussion develop - constructively please.