xAP Home Automation

An open standard for the home

What is xAP?

xAP is an open protocol that supports the integration automation sub-systems within the home - it is a 'glue' that sticks home automation devices together.

The objectives of xAP are to be:

  • Simple to implement.
  • Suitable for a broad range of hardware, from PIC controllers to PC's.
  • Operating system independent.
  • Programming language independent.
  • Network independent.

xAP is a home automation protocol. A way for devices to talk to each other. See the xAP project website for more background. For current activity see the mail group on Yahoo!.

xAP network devices are all like people round a dining table - each can talk whenever they want and everyone can hear everyone else. Normally people talk in turn; conversations can happen between two, three or more but everyone can hear everyone else so the whole party stays informed.

A xAP home automation network is broadcast by design; any message sent over xAP is received by all devices - it is not possible to have a private conversation. The language and words used can vary, some messages are more specialised than others and are only fully understood by the intended recipients. Others are very simple eg, Basic Status and Control (BSC) messages which can be understood by everyone.

Why xAP?

Aug 17, 2007 by Edward

I've been interested in gadgets and things electrical since I was a child. There's so many great toys around today to play with; your home can get to be quite a spectacle of displays, boxes, wires, remote controls. But there seems to be something missing for all this. Integration. Little works well with anything else and, as the user, it is too often that we feel at the beck and call of these devices. It should be the other way round.

What I want is for my home to be intelligent enough that it looks after me. I seek integration and intelligence that is the in the fabric of the home environment not layered on top of it. “Less is more”, said the great modernist Mies van der Rohe. For me that means things like not wanting some complex touchscreen cluttering up the wall in every room just to control the heating - I just want to be the right temperature; to feel comfortable so I can get on with doing something else.

That is what's behind my interest in the xAP project. The need to create an infrastructure that will let all the equipment that gives comfort in the modern home get on with what it needs to do in cooperation and, unless I want to, without interaction from me.