Appliance manufacturer Haier has been integrating IoT features into their newer products, and as is so common these days, users are expected to install their “hOn” mobile application to access them. Not satisfied with that limitation, [Andre Basche] reverse engineered the protocol used by the app, and released a Python library and associated Home Assistant plugin to interface with a wide array of Haier appliances, which includes brands like Hoover, Candy, GE Appliances and others.
Unfortunately, it looks like his efforts have gotten him into a bit of legal hot water. In an issue recently opened on the project’s GitHub page, [Andre] explains the circumstances and legal options that have led him to consider pulling the repositories completely — mostly due to the cost of mounting a legal defense to the cease & desist from Haier Europe.
What’s ironic here is that Haier has been part of the Connectivity Standard Alliance (CSA) since 2022, whose goal is to ‘promote universal open IoT standards’, including Matter.
It’s possible that a legal defense will be mounted against this C&D from Haier within the coming days. Yet regardless of the outcome here, it remains problematic that these IoT-enabled Haier appliances are connected to the Haier servers. Ideally they would be controlled locally, which is the goal of projects like [Miguel Ángel López Vicente]’s ESP Haier, that uses an ESP8266 to connect Haier AC units to the local WiFi and e.g. HA instances, all without requiring internet access.
This is sadly just one more example of why building your own off-line smart home can be such an incredible struggle.
Thanks to [Ar3itrary] for the tip.