the Open Home Foundation

Actions speak louder than words.

Which is why we’re launching a new non-profit organization: the Open Home Foundation.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

We created the Open Home Foundation to fight for the fundamental principles of privacy, choice, and sustainability for smart homes. And every person who lives in one.

Ahead of today, we’ve transferred over 240 projects, standards, drivers, and libraries—Home Assistant, ESPHome, Zigpy, Piper, Improv Wi-Fi, Wyoming, and so many more—to the Open Home Foundation. This is all about looking into the future. We’ve done this to create a bulwark against surveillance capitalism, the risk of buyout, and open-source projects becoming abandonware. To an extent, this protection extends even against our future selves—so that smart home users can continue to benefit for years, if not decades. No matter what comes.

But the work of the Open Home Foundation doesn’t stop there. Through close partnership with Nabu Casa, the foundation funds, directs resources to, and collaborates on the development of critical external projects like Z-Wave JS, WLED, Rhasspy, and Zigbee2MQTT. Our main requirements are that the projects remain open to everyone, and aligned with our core principles.

This is what we’ve already done.

Our ambitions go further

Our aim is to have the resources to be an active political advocate. Serving to educate the public, public servants, and the companies making smart home devices and services, about the importance of open standards, open-source projects, and privacy, choice, and sustainability when it comes to the future of smart homes.

Here’s how we understand these principles:


Privacy means you control your data. Nobody, and no company or organization, has a right to know what you do in your home, with whom you meet or associate, or how you choose to live—without your explicit permission. You should only share this information if you freely make the choice to do so without external pressure. That’s why your devices need to work locally. It’s OK for a product to offer a cloud connection—but its main functionality should work without the cloud. And the use of cloud services should always be opt-in and clearly described.

You should never have to worry about being yourself to avoid being tracked or classified by an algorithm. You should be able to live your life—because nobody is watching.


Choice means you have the freedom to use any device, with any other, from any manufacturers, any way you like—for as long as you want. To make this possible, vendors must not arbitrarily limit the interoperability of their devices with the rest of your smart home. Control of those devices, and management of data they gather, should operate via open standards and local APIs.

You should be able to design your personal smart home—the way you imagine it.


Sustainability means being able to use and repurpose old appliances, smart devices, and other durable hardware beyond commercially-limited lifetimes as your smart home evolves. But it also means having the tools to limit your environmental impact by tracking, automating, and reducing waste and emissions.

You should be able to embrace the convenience of a smart home without compromising your ability to cut utility bills—and your carbon footprint.

Getting here didn’t follow a linear path

As many people in this community already know, the Home Assistant Journey started over 10 years ago when Paulus Schoutsen wrote a few lines of Python to take control of his Philips Hue smart lights. His motivation was greater control over the devices he’d purchased—rather than letting a corporate giant decide what was best for his home.

This act struck such a chord that over the coming years, thousands of mostly volunteer contributors transformed that first script into a leading smart home platform. They also built an entire ecosystem of projects around it.

But two other critical trends also took place, one far more troubling: The smart home landscape grew dominated by companies whose purpose was to sell you new devices on a schedule to please their shareholders—while siphoning off your personal data for financial gain.

The other trend was Schoutsen and others approaching burn-out as they tried to keep their various projects thriving—doing most of their coding after coming home from their real jobs, on weekends, and when bugs needed squashing.

To address this, Schoutsen, Ben Bangert, and Pascal Vizeli founded Nabu Casa in 2018 as a for-profit company. The goal was to stabilize Home Assistant, and bolster its longevity, by injecting predictable funding for future development. Nabu Casa also bought ESPHome, with the same purpose in mind.

Early on, some people questioned whether starting a for-profit company was an altruistic move. But over the following years, Nabu Casa established a clear and accountable track record. This included practicing what it preached: Speaking up to protect open-source ideals when other developers came under threat; directing full-time employees to devote their days to open-source, community-driven, smart home projects; and joining organizations like the Connectivity Standards Alliance and Z-Wave Alliance, and the general fight for critical open standards like Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Matter.

By 2021, Schoutsen and others defined a concept called the open home, built around the principles of privacy, choice, and sustainability. But Home Assistant and other open home projects were still floating in a kind of undefined space between a for-profit entity and an open-source repository on Github.

So in 2023, this core group of smart home developers decided to codify and protect their ideals. And to create a formal home for the projects they and so many other contributors had poured their souls, beliefs, and shared code into.

Individual efforts needed to be united. And in 2024, the Open Home Foundation was created to unite them—with a special, rules-bound, inaugural partner in Nabu Casa to provide the majority of the funding.

Going forward will be a journey

Share your ideas. Speak up. Contribute. Subscribe. Support. Tell us where we can do better. Champion our cause.

We see this as a living project, in fitting with the mosaic threads of DNA that represent our past.

We’ve always stood for open-source, creativity, and taking initiative. And we have no doubt that this organization will evolve over the years. We will remain true to our principles of privacy, choice, and sustainability for the smart home. And always open to finding the best way to achieve our goals.

We hope you’ll join us.

Paulus Schoutsen, Guy Sie, Pascal Vizeli, J. Nick Koston

Inaugural Board of the Open Home Foundation