The smart home industry is the digital equivalent of the United Nations: they all speak different languages and don’t get along, writes Matt Jancer. That's where smart home hubs come in to command all the different devices with one device.
In this article for Wired, Jancer rounds up the different hub options available and which ones suit a homeonwer's need.
Plug'n'Play - Devices like Samsung SmartThings, Staples Connect or Vera are physical boxes that connect to an Ethernet cable and plug into the wall. For $50 to $100, these hubs can recognize and control jsut about any smart home device through various 'languages' like Z-Wave and WiFi.
Apps - homeowners can download apps like Yonomi or Thington to turn their smart phone into a smart home hub. The major downside to simple apps is they don't work with order gadgets, and software updates could prevent them from working with current ones in the future.
Open-Souce - Having a device that isn't owned, monitored or monetized by a single company is the best way to go. Open-source technologies allow anyone to keep the software running, whereas a closed source option could make your gadget useless when a company discontinues it (remember Revolv?).