We have built open modular hardware for home automation. ESPHome ready. Asking for feedback

Hey everyone,

TL;DR: We have built a set of new hardware for home automation with ESPHome using ESP32 - and called it JointBox. We want here to solicit community feedback: would you potentially buy it? are you interested? what you think is good and bad about it? We plan to launch crowdfunding quite soon so if you are interested let us know, we’ve planned early bird discounts. At the moment, however, project future is unclear: both founders are in war-torn Ukraine, but we still want to move forward with this feedback collection to get back to business when Ukraine is free.

Link to website with the details: https://jointbox.io/

Short disclaimer and few words about Ukraine and us. We are now in Kherson in Southern Ukraine, which has been overrun by Russian military for a week+. While our city is not being flattened like Mariupol now, there is occupaiton force on the streets and civillians have been killed.

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Speaking of JointBox, in a nutshell, it is two pieces:

  • A set of modular DIN-rail mount hardware for wired home automation - wired switches, relays, LED dimmers, protocol adapters etc etc. It is installed in a switchboard next to your mains, or to a dedicated location off-site, and lets you build complete setups which can be put to ‘production’ or real-life use.
    Idea is that you get a switchboard box, connect a few of JB modules into a chain, flash it with ESPHome, and put it to work - it’s already robust and solid to be a solution. No need for enclosures, dupont wires, extra prototyping etc. You can make an automated home with it (requires a lot of external wiring!) but you can also make smaller projects like irrigation control, climate control, automating an off-site place like garage or workroom. By choosing modules you can tailor it. Need 90 binary inputs? Please. Extra 30 dimmer channels? Here you go!
  • Multi-sensor and smart remote room unit to set up in each room on a ceiling or a wall. This is to detect movement, illuminance, noise level, climate (temp, humidity, pressure, VOC), to read and send IR signals - to control your AC for example, interact with surroundings via Bluetooth/BLE, and also to notify you with buzzer. Also based on ESP32, and has CAN BUS connectivity for wired option.

At the moment (March Feb 2022) we have the device prototypes working, we have several local installations running stable. Before war started, we planned to launch the crowdfunding campaign to collect money to finalize designs and run the small-batch production with custom enclosures to send out to backers. At this moment, however, we are pausing all the business and tech development - but before this freeze, we still wanted to wrap up this phase and collect community feedback.

Price is a bit tricky. We don’t have a solid manufacturing plan yet, and the prices are super-dependent on production scale, so we don’t have numbers so far. We want to put JointBox products into ‘reasonably priced’ market segment, accessible, certainly not to a premium segment. We will have a better vision as we get closer to the crowdfunding.

Happy to hear your thoughts and answer questions!

1 Like

This sounds super exciting. I haven’t really gotten in to ESPHome yet. But want to get some good room presence and also ambient light and CO2 measurements.
Price will be important of course, as will timescales.
I wish you all the best and also wish the UK would do more to help with this illegal occupation of the Ukraine.