SONOFF iHost is a Smart Home Hub that enables local control of SONOFF smart switches, lightbulbs, Zigbee sensors, and so on without having to require a connection to the cloud (e.g. eWelink). Future software upgrades will also add more devices such as the ones flashed with Tasmota firmware and any device compatible with the Matter IoT protocol.
The gateway is based on either a Rockchip RV1109 SoC with 2GB RAM or a Rockchip RV1126 with 4GB RAM and offers 10/100M Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth LE, and Zigbee 3.0 connectivity, as well as a USB 2.0 port to allow for more connectivity.
SONFF iHost Smart Home Hub specifications:
- SoC and Memory
- Rockchip RV1109 dual-core Arm Cortex-A7 @ 1.5 GHz with RISC-V MCU @ 400 MHz, 2D graphics engine, 1.2 TOPS NPU, 5MP H.264 and H.265 hardware video decoder and encoder, and 2GB DDR4
- Rockchip RV1126 quad-core Arm Cortex-A7 @ 1.5 GHz with RISC-V MCU @ 400 MHz, 2D graphics engine, 2.0 TOPS NPU, 4K H.264 and H.265 hardware video decoder and encoder, and 4GB DDR4
- Storage – 8GB eMMC flash for the OS; MicroSD card socket
- 10/100M Ethernet RJ45 port
- 2.4GHz WiFi 4 and Bluetooth LE via a Realtek RTL8723 wireless module
- Zigbee 3.0 via Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 SoC
- Audio – Microphone and speaker
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 Type-A host port
- Misc – 8x RGB LEDs
- Power Supply – 5V/2A via USB Type-C port
- Dimensions – 120 x 41 x 135mm (ABS plastic enclosure)
The hub comes with an Ethernet cable, a USB Type-C cable, a reset pin, and a Quick guide. Local control is explained in the Wiki and you just need a PC and the iHost to be in the same LAN so that the PC can access the web configuration interface. The iHost hub can manage scenes, enable “smart security” and work with WiFi and Zigbee devices in a way that keeps the data local & private.
You’ll need to install an Add-on for eWelink devices with currently only a subset supported. Internet will be required at least for the initial configuration.
More devices will be supported in Q2 2023.
Other add-ons add support for Node-RED, Tasomota devices, HomeBridge, and so on. Some features are only planned for the future with the schedule shown in the diagram below.
Matter support should come in Q4 2023, and unclear features like Edge AI and Machine Vision are coming in 2024. So eventually, the iHost will be a pretty versatile home automation hub with support for a wide range of hardware thanks to Matter and Tasmota support. ITEAD has not done a very good job of explaining the iHost features and who may benefit from the 2GB or 4GB model, but they’ve sent a sample to us, so we should have a review in the next few weeks or next month.
The SONOFF iHost Smart Home Hub is up for pre-order now with pricing starting at $49.90 for the RV1109/2GB model (flash sale), and $69.90 for the RV1126/4GB version (early bird). There’s also the usual CNXSOFTSONOFF coupon for 10% discount, but I’m not sure it works with the Flash Sale and Early Bird promotions.
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.