Reactor (Multi-System)

Multi-System Reactor is my next-generation version of the Reactor automation engine that integrates rules and actions across multiple home automation platforms. It currently supports Vera, openLuup, Home Assistant, and Hubitat, and more systems are planned for this year.

If you'd like to join the discussion about Multi-System Reactor, now in developer preview, please join me at the Smart Home Community.

What Does It Do?

As a rules engine, to put it simply, it reacts to changes in device states or other conditions, and performs actions in response. For example, it could react to a motion sensor tripping by turning on a light. It can also turn the light back off later after no motion has been sensed for a configurable period of time. It could send an alert if the garage door has been left open after 10pm. It could send an email to parent when presence detection determines that kids are safely home from school.

Don't Most HA Hubs Already Have A Rules Engine?

Yes, but not all of them are very user-friendly. For example, the GUI for Home Assistant's automations is currently pretty basic, and to do anything very involved, you have to abandon the GUI and write your rules in text configuration in YAML. The scenes on Vera Home Automation Controllers are basic and don't have AND-OR logic capability. Each platform seems to have its strengths and limitations.

Each hub/controller/gateway also typically only supports its own devices. Multi-System Reactor unifies automation in environments with multiple controllers: if your motion sensor is on Home Assistant but your light is connected through Hubitat, you can still implement your automatic lighting rules seamlessly. This creates more choices for the HA user: use the controller/hub that best supports each individual device. MSR can also support "hubless" devices that have local or cloud-based APIs.

Why Not Just Use NodeRed?

NodeRed is great, and I like it myself, but NodeRed is very technical, and not for everyone. The Vera version of Reactor also lived in competitive space with another program logic plugin, but much like some people like Macs and some prefer Windows, different people think about logic different ways, so Reactor enjoyed a large following with users who couldn't get comfortable with the other plugin. The HA world is certainly big enough that multiple solutions can co-exist, and users will benefit from more choices.

What HA Systems Does It Support?

Currently, it supports Vera, openLuup, Home Assistant, and Hubitat, and current plans include support for Homey and OpenHAB before the end of 2021.

What does Multi-System Reactor Cost?

Multi-System Reactor is a community-supported project. There is no cost currently, and donations support ongoing development.