When I retire...or get hit by a truck

I’m an old fart who has been wondering what will happen to my HA system when I get too old to support it or if I get hit by a truck. Are there individuals/companies who support HA system remotely? I’d hate to have my wife pull the plug on my HA system after she pulls my plug. Thanks

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My wife worries about the same thing but I reassured her that everything will still work if HA is gone: light switches, alarm system, etc. will still work but the convenience automations will stop (timed lights, etc.)

@os.habitats.tech might have some recommendations.


This has been asked a few times, here are the other topics I could find for reference:

OK. I will start this and see how many people find my comments useful. Any technology infrastructure can be securely and effectively maintained remotely today. The issue is always cost. If you are capable and willing to leave the bottom pile behind you, effective remote maintenance of domotics infrastructure is possible. Additionally, it will most likely require you to change/challenge your techno-beliefs and most likely change/reinforce technology infrastructure over time.

For example, for infrastructure management WiFi is superior to Zigbeee, Z-wave or Bluetooth. The question you need to ask yourself is how deep the rabbit hole you want/afford to go, which depends on the pill colour you have taken (red, green, blue, yellow).

For anyone on a tight budget there is no hope. Yeah you heard it right. No hope… For everyone else there is hope.

The most common function in a house is light control. If that is working reliably you are 90% there. Use light switches which operate in a traditional way as well as over WiFi if you have a decent WiFi system, Zigbee if you are on the lowest budget, Matter if you are thinking of the medium term future (2025 onwards). The best approach is to use light switches which support (all of) the following communication methods:

  1. Electrical
  2. WiFi
  3. Zigbee/Matter/Thread

I would personally never consider Z-wave or Bluetooth. Bluetooth might become viable if future WiFi WAPs also implement Bluetooth proxies.

In attempting to live in the real world, ANY technology system requires maintenance. The human body, which took 4 billion years to forge, requires constant maintenance. Everything in nature requires consistent maintenance.

So when we are gone, here are the options our wives have:

  1. Do it themselves with the help of AI
  2. Get a new partner who is technologically capable
  3. Outsource it to someone else (individual or company)
  4. Adopt a natural lifestyle (e.g. live in the woods)

Any of the options above will cost you nothing while you are alive. Option 3 has a cost, which only materialises following your permanent departure, unless you are capable and kind enough to leave a will with money.

For any worthwhile remote support, following your departure, you require at least 3 things to be in place:
0. A person capable of following instructions at the other end (nothing is possible unless this one is real)

  1. A reliable, performant and preferably secure communications infrastructure
  2. A portable camera or a decent phone capable of reliably transmitting live video feeds
  3. A physical KVM switch connected to your HA

Optionally a Proxmox VE cluster, running your entire home infrastructure.

The same issues pop up time and again in both residential and commercial environments. Individuals/Businesses do not invest enough in a reliable communications/network infrastructure, either out of ignorance or lack of funds.

In Greece there is an expression which loosely translated goes like this: “smart pants require smart asses”; hope I do not have to elaborate on this.

One of the things I learned over the years is: A smart home cannot be smarter than its inhabitants. This statement might no longer be applicable by the end of 2030, curtesy of AI.

In summary; remote support, yes it is possible; how deep your pockets are and what pill are you willing to take dictates effectiveness and feasibility.

This is a consideration my dad has had since the beginning of us building Home Assistant into their home. I live a couple of states away from them so the primary concerns for their house have been:

  1. Stability
  2. Independent control
  3. Simple Self-configurability

For Stability, we only used devices that I had been using successfully for 2+ years and have confirmed were stable.
For Independent Control, we only used devices that could self-function if Home Assistant went offline (smart light switch instead of smart bulb, security camera with independent NVR, etc.).
For Simple Self-configurability, I made it very easy for them to change automation themselves with a few helpers on a “configuration” dashboard. I also installed GitHub - nielsfaber/scheduler-component: Custom component for HA that enables the creation of scheduler entities which allows my slightly tech-savvy dad to make a couple of simple lighting schedules with an amazingly simple UI.

My dad’s personal goal with the Home Assistant implementation was to have a security system with a few automated lights controlled by voice that would make my mom feel comfortable and safe living alone when he passes away.

He also included external security cameras that myself and my sister have access to. And whenever my dad passes away I’m going to encourage my mom to include https://www.amazon.com/Alexa-Together or some self-built version to make sure my sister and I know she’s active every day (in addition to calling of course).

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