Most devices on the market are designed with a single brand of processor, but for their BaHa Box smart automation hub, xPoint Products decided to offer either Allwinner H2+ or NXP i.MX 6ULL versions. Why is that? Easy: Allwinner H2+ processor provides a cheaper solution for the residential market, while NXP i.MX 6ULL wide temperature range makes it more suitable for commercial applications.
Both versions of BaHa Box smart hub run Linux on 256MB RAM, and offers Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth connectivity, with options for Zigbee and Z-Wave. The hub supports over 2,000 devices and can work either connected to the cloud, or “offline” without internet.
- Residential-grade version – Allwinner H2+ quad-core Cortex-A7 processor
- Commerical-grade version – NXP i.MX 6ULL Cortex-A7 processor
- System Memory – 256MB DDR3
- MicroSD card slot
- Residential-grade version – 256KB flash
- Industrial-grade version – 256MB flash
- 10/100M Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth
- Optional Zigbee and Z-wave in “advanced” models.
- Power Supply
- Residential – Barrel jack power connector
- Commercial – 2-part power connector
- Dimensions – 115mm x 90mm x 41mm
- Weight – 170 grams
The residential-grade version runs a custom version of Debian, while the commercial-grade version is preloaded with a Yocto-built Linux distribution. It’s clear a 256KB flash is not enough to run Debian, so if the specs are right, the residential-grade smart hub would have to boot from a MicroSD card. Another difference is that the DIN rail mount is included in the commercial version, while it’s an add-on for the residential hub. Both hubs are designed for indoor use since there’s no ingress protect rating to make them dust-resistant and/or weatherproof.
If you wonder how a small company managed to provide support for over 2,000 smart home devices, the answer is open-source software as the solution relies on the popular Home Assistant open-source automation software.
Baha Box has been on Indiegogo for a while, and the company has only raised around $500 with four days to go. That’s a flexible campaign so it will go ahead, and zPoint Products told LinuxGizmos the “BaHa Box had already been ordered by many of its regular customers and will be commercially available at a higher price starting in November”. Rewards start at $139 for the residential box and $219 for the commercial box, but they’ll only ship to the United States and Canada. If you live outside of North America, you may be able to purchase their products in November with the prices listed on the official website being $319 and $399.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.