Crowdfunding pre-orders have begun for the Home Assistant Amber, a home automation system powered by a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. Currently 22% funded on Crowd Supply, the effort has 41 days left to run.
The board, which houses gigabit ethernet (with a PoE option to cut down on cabling), a Zigbee 3.0/Matter module and an M.2 slot for either an SSD or an AI accelerator such as Google Coral, comes in a custom enclosure with a heatsink. It’s compatible with all variants of Compute Module, and supports booting from NVMe if on-board flash isn’t available. Two USB 2.0 ports are available, along with a Type-C port via a USB bridge.
The polycarbonate enclosure measures 123 x 123 x 36 mm (4.8 x 4.8 x 1.4 inches), and the device pulls a maximum of 9W under load, sinking as low as 1.5W when idle. It’s controlled via a smartphone app, with a Linux/Python-based OS on the board itself, and if funded aims to begin deliveries in May 2022.
Remember that crowdfunding a project is not a guarantee of receiving a finished product. Backing a crowdfunded project is akin to an investment, you believe in the project and want it to succeed. You are not purchasing a retail product.
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Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.
I use Home Assistant (installed as a docker container on an RPi4) as a home automation hub, have nothing but good things to say about it. I don't so anything too fancy with it, but HA is a great piece if software.Reply