Indigo supports three home automation technologies out-of-the-box: Z-Wave, Insteon, and X10. To use one of those technologies, a USB-based interface is required.

Home Control Software Interview - Indigo

Jay Martin | Indigo Domotics

 

Please give us a general overview of your software. 

Indigo is an advanced smart home server for the Apple Mac platform. It supports multiple built-in home automation protocols, advanced event handling, a variety of scheduling functions, complex conditionals, and a long list of actions, all in an easy-to-configure and use package.

The Indigo platform is composed of server software, client software, and optional cloud-based services. Indigo is expandable by 3rd party developers using a simple yet powerful plugin SDK and a REST client API. There are currently 120+ plugins available for free and several client integrations from a variety of developers.

 

Which OS and hardware are required to make the system function?

Indigo requires a Mac capable of running Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or better.

Which protocols or brands of devices will the software control?

Indigo supports three home automation technologies out-of-the-box: Z-Wave, Insteon, and X10. To use one of those technologies, a USB-based interface is required.

Indigo includes plugins for a variety of other devices such as DIRECTV DVRs and EasyDAQ relay boards. Indigo also includes plugins for audio/video control (Airfoil and iTunes), notifications, weather (NOAA weather data and WeatherSnoop for weather station hardware), timer objects, etc.

Finally, there are also a wide variety of 3rd party plugins (over 120) that support other technologies, devices, and services. This includes bridges to technology such as Lutron systems, Nest devices, Philips Hue, etc., A/V devices from Denon, Niles, Onkyo, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp, Sonos, etc., notification systems, geolocation, pool controls, security systems/alarm panels, sprinkler/irrigation controllers, weather data, etc.

 

Does the software run on a PC? If not please describe how it works.

Yes, on a Mac. 

 

Can the software be controlled with other devices such as smart phones, tablets or dedicated keypads etc.

Yes, via the free Indigo Touch control apps (for iOS and the web), the Indigo Mac client, and DomoPad, a 3rd party Android client. The excellent Roomie Remote app, which is a universal remote app for iOS, also includes Indigo integration.

 

Please describe some of the primary functions that can be performed by the software.

Indigo manages devices in a technology agnostic way. For instance, all dimmable devices (light switches, plug-in modules, etc.) are presented identically from the user’s perspective, regardless of underlying technology. Controlling an Insteon dimmer is identical to controlling a Z-Wave dimmer.

However, Indigo also supports advanced features specific to the various technologies: device link management for Insteon (which is relatively unique in software solutions) and device association management for Z-Wave are two examples. This enables customers to create even more advanced integrated solutions.

Indigo supports a variety of events (triggers), such as motion detection, temperature changes, changes in the on/off state of a device, sensor values, an incoming email, etc. 3rd party plugins can add events as well, such as a track change in iTunes or a severe weather warning.

Indigo also supports extremely flexible event schedules, such as specific date/time, date ranges, repeating dates and times, sunrise and sunset, arbitrary offsets, and randomization.

 

 

A feature of trigger and schedule processing that is fairly unique to the DIY market are arbitrarily complex conditional rules. This allows the user to specify further conditions that are evaluated after the triggering event or schedule but before any actions are executed. A script may also be used, enabling unlimited conditional logic.

Indigo provides a large number of actions that can be executed in response to any event. Actions may also be added by 3rd party plugins for things like play/pause/next/previous functions in iTunes, notifications via services like Growl/Prowl and Pushover, etc. Action Groups may be defined independently of triggers and schedules, which allows the user to reuse the same set of actions in multiple places. The user can also execute Action Groups directly at any time.

Indigo supports the use of persistent variables throughout the system. Variables can be used in a variety of ways. For instance, a variable can be a multiplier for a sprinkler zone duration schedule or used as an indicator of home occupancy. These variables can then be used in conditions to further alter the behavior of the system and can be adjusted via an action in response to any event or schedule or interactively by the user.

Indigo allows users to create custom designed control interfaces called Control Pages. These pages can contain text and graphics, all of which can have actions executed in response to a tap/click. Custom graphics can be easily added so users can create a completely custom control experience for their home. These control pages can be used in the various Indigo clients mentioned above.

 

Is the software designed to be installed and set up by a homeowner or is a professional integrator recommended?

Indigo is primarily a DIY product targeted towards homeowners. We’ve spent a lot of time balancing the user experience so that it’s easy to use but can still accomplish very complex automation tasks needed to create a true smart home. There are some installers who will perform installs or consult on installations for a fee if a customer decides that’s the way they want to go.

 

How long has the company been in operation and what other products / services do you offer?

Indigo Domotics has been in business developing Indigo for 12 years.

We offer an optional companion subscription service, Indigo Reflectors, which allows customers to connect back to their home from anywhere on the internet – safely and securely and without any router configuration.

 

Principles

Matt Bendiksen, Founder and CTO, has over 24 years of professional software development experience. Formerly, Matt was a Director of Engineering at Macromedia, Inc. While at Macromedia Matt led teams of Macintosh and Windows software engineers in the successful development of commercial software currently used by millions of design professionals. Matt is also the primary inventor on United States Patent No. 6,373,490.

Jay Martin, CEO, joined Indigo Domotics in 2008. Jay has over 28 years of industry experience, most recently as Vice President of Engineering at CyberSource Corporation (now a Visa company). CyberSource was one of the first e-commerce payment companies, processing billions of transactions. They continue to provide best-in-class fraud management tools for which Jay was primarily responsible. At CyberSource, Jay built and led a world-class engineering team that delivered high availability systems with intuitive web-based management tools.

 

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