Targets and Controllers are devices or services that exist in our home (or in our application environment), each one with different roles in the system. They represent two different types of external entities as seen by the UCH, which interact with it in different ways. Many devices and systems can be considered as potential controllers, and an even larger number of target devices is available on the market, all those, based on a wide range of different technologies.

Targets are devices or services that can be controlled through the UCH using Controllers. Some examples of targets are:

  • HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning).
  • TV and other entertainment devices
  • IP Camera
  • Lighting
  • Motion and pressure sensors
  • Security systems
  • Sensors
  • Blinds and shades
  • Power outlets and Smart Meters
  • Medical devices
  • Car Environment
  • Calendar applications (e.g. Google Calendar)
  • Personal Information Management (PIM, e.g. MS Exchange
  • Skype
  • Twitter
  • Facebook


Controllers are devices or services running/providing a user interface used to control Targets. For instance a TV (TV might be used as a Target and also as a Controller) a PDA or Smartphone, a web browser, a microphone...

The Controllers and Targets can use several, different, communication protocols. The UCH has to handle this situation in order to support “any” device. The main objective of the UCH is to manage the communication between Controllers and Targets that use different (or the same) communication protocols (middleware). How this objective will be reached is described in the next sections.