Yes, you still need that hub for your smart home
Well, What is a smart home Hub ?
A smart home hub is hardware / software that connects devices on a home automation network and controls communications among them. In general, you need a hub if you have IOT devices that use the Zigbee or Z-Wave protocols or Bluetooth, rather than Wi-Fi
Your hub plugs in to your router and acts as a middle man between you and your iot devices. Basically when you issue a voice command to your google home or choose to turn on a light using the app, the hub gets that information and actually talks to the actual device (using blutooth / IR / Zigbee / Z-wave protocols)
The IOT devices uses Zigbee / Z-wave protocol as its efficient and uses low power
Cant i build a smart home without a Hub ?
Technically yes, if you live in an apartment and if you just using a couple of smart plugs (wifi enabled) you don't need a hub. But for more serious home automation projects you will definitely need to go for a hub
So, What's the popular Smart home HUB ?
Depends on the level of your expertise and how DIY crazy you are. I would classify it down to 3:
- Out of the box (Includes both hardware and software) - Eg. SmartThings
- Free and Open Source (You need to purchase hardware and install) - HASS.io
- Paid software (SAAS) - Eg. HomeSeer
If you a new and don't want to spend much time on coding / setup, you should start with the "Out of the box" Smart Home hubs.
Do you use a Smart Home HUB ? If yes, What do you use