My name is Dom, I am a Home Automation NUT, and have been for the last 30 years.
I have seen products come and go, for whatever reason, either too expensive, too complicated, or just to unstable.
The following is what I perceive as Home Automation.
Home Automation should contain 3 elements, Hardware, Software, and Interactiveware, and MODULAR.
The Hardware : Could be anything like the Arduino, or similar boards, they need to have Analog Inputs, ( Optional ) Analog Output, Digital Input, Digital Outputs, RTC and enough memory to store the program, the run of the mill type of board, as part of the hardware, SENSORS are a must, light, heat, rain, motion, gas, etc., sensors need to be compatible with system with ease of installation, not something that requires a degree to install.
The Software : I am neither good at electronics or programming, therefore simplicity is of the essence, there are some good Home Automation Software packages out there BUT they are either to expensive, too complicated otr both, at least for me they, and I have a feeling that lots of users feel the same way, I understand that the more interactive and GUI orientated software made for users is so much more complcated for the programmer, in y simple mind, how complicated can it be to have a event programming screen that has a couple of selections Icon, 1 for time event, 1 for reaction to action events, and 1 for a combination ob both.
The Interactiveware : A touch screen with inside outside temperature, a couple of automated devices with can be ajusted on the fly, without have to go through the whole to make a small change.
Modular : A setup which allows one the opportunity to add software elements, hardware components, as needed.
About 18 years ago I had a system which allowed me to do pretty what I wanted hardware wise, but I just couldn't do want I wanted with the software plus there was no interactivwe GUI, the board was a HCSII by Circuit Cellar, nice unit, but not complet,
So maybe one day, I can sit with Ben and go through my idea and try and come up with something that could meet the above criteria, and also be financialy rewarding for who ever would decide to build such a package.