Generic Thing Types

While talking about Things, the two important field was mentioned: a “type” field and a “capabilities” field.

A “capabilities” field was discussed earlier in detail , in Capabilities section of documentation. Capabilities define what devices are capable of, what such devices can do and provide.

But the meaning of a “type” field was left almost not discussed. This flaw will be fixed below, in Generic Thing Types section of documentation

General Information

There is huge variety of Things available on the market. There are some crazy devices that combine functions of a light bulb and a speaker [1], toaster and printer [2], or Bluetooth-enabled toasters [3], or fridges with Tizen onboard [4]

But most of the time, it’s possible to pick out a primary functionality of a device and thus classify it to one of generic, common device types. And this, in turn, allows developers to provide the most relevant information to the user. At least, an appropriate device icon :).

Below, there is a list of generic Thing types that are recommended to be supported by both client applications and device Bindings in Integration packages. For every generic Thing type, there are device icons, lists of Capabilities and other parameters recommended to be implemented by Bindings and supported by client applications. Use the left navigation menu to find any device type quickly.

Value Sensor

inherits from:none
icon:two random digits or a sensor icon

A generic type of sensors which represent their results of measurements in numbers of an unspecified unit. Such values must to be displayed to user in the following manner: “current value is %d”, where “%d” is an placeholder for the measured value. Must to be used rarely, only if there is no more specific device type declared.

Binary Sensor

inherits from:“value_sensor”
icon:“I/O” text or a similar-looking icon
capabilities:“has_value”, “is_active”

The most primitive (but not necessary the base) type of Sensors in the system. Can have only one of two integer values: 1 (one) or 0 (zero). Where 1 is mapped to the “active” state and 0 is mapped to “not active”. Usually is inherited by more specific implementations of a Binary Sensor, including buttons, leakage sensors, contact sensors (detects an opening of a door or window), motion sensors and so on.


inherits from:“binary_sensor”
icon:an icon of a button
capabilities:“has_value”, “is_active”

Represents all Buttons connected to the system. Its value is set to 1 (one) while the button is pressed and sets to 0 (zero) just after the button was released. There is no long press detection, double press detection and so on. Just “pressed” (1) and released (0). All the other functionality is the same as in Binary Sensor.


inherits from:“binary_sensor”
icon:an icon of a switch (or a reed switch)
capabilities:“has_value”, “is_active”

Another kind of a Binary Sensor. Is a base type for devices which can preserve their state without the help of a user (i.e. user doesn’t need to keep the switch pressed). Physically, it can be a simple light switch, toggle switch, reed switch and on and on. As any other Binary Sensor, the “value” field value can be equal to either 1 or 0, where 1 is mapped to “active” and 0 is mapped to “not active”.

Contact Sensor

inherits from:“switch”
icon:an icon of a reed switch or an opened door without a handle
capabilities:“has_value”, “is_active”, “has_state”, “open_closed”

The special subtype of a Switch. Adds a new field to the list: a “has_state” field which can take either “opened” or “closed” values, where “opened” is equal to 1 and “closed” is equal to 0.

Motion Sensor

TBD. Has the same logic as Button

Leakage Sensor

TBD. Has the same logic as Switch

Temperature Sensor

inherits from:none
icon:an icon of a thermometer

Temperature Sensor represents simple thermometers, temperature sensors which displays the current temperature of a controlled object: in-room air temperature, outside temperature, temperature of a human body, etc. If your device implements some features in addition to measuring of temperature - please, consider some other base types for your device.

Humidity Sensor

TBD. Almost the same as Temperature Sensor but measures humidity instead of temperature.

Climate Station

TBD. Combines functions of humidity, temperature, gas and air quality sensors.


inherits from:none
icon:an icon of a keyhole or padlock
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “open_closed”

Represents all kinds of controllable Locks. Allows to at least lock the controlled door, gate or another object. Unlocking capability is optional. The “state” field can take either one of the end state values (“opened” or “closed”) or one of the transitional state values (“opening”, “closing”).

Door Actuator

inherits from:none
icon:an icon of an opened door without a handle
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “open_closed”

Represents Actuator mechanisms which are able to open and close the physical door, gate or other similar object. The “state” field can take either one of the end state values (“opened” or “closed”) or one of the transitional state values (“opening”, “closing”).


inherits from:none
icon:an icon of a window with shades
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “open_closed”

Represents all kinds of shades - objects which cover the window and reduce the amount of light passed through it. Also named as sunblinds, shutters, louvers and so on. Their state can take either “opened” or “closed” values, where “opened” is equal to “active” and “closed” equal to “not active”. Two transitional states are also possible: “opening” and “closing”. Some shades can also provide a “has_position” capability that allows to set the position of shades in percents from 0 to 100, regarding to the area of window covered by shades.


inherits from:none
icon:pendant lamp icon
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “on_off”

Light is a common type for all lightning devices: LED strips, light bulbs, floor lamps and so on. The base functionality of such devices is to be turned on and off. And to emit light in the turned on state.

Dimmable Light

inherits from:“light”
icon:pendant lamp icon
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “on_off”, “has_brightness”

Dimmable Light is a common device type for all lighting devices that can be dimmed, i.e. that can change their level of brightness. The rest of functionality is inherited from the base Light device type.

Color Temperature Light

inherits from:“dimmable_light”
icon:pendant lamp icon
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “on_off”, “has_brightness”, “has_color_temperature”

Color Temperature Light is a common device type for all lighting devices that can change their color temperature. The rest of functionality is inherited from the base Dimmable Light device type.

Color Light

inherits from:“ct_light”
icon:colorized pendant lamp icon
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “on_off”, “has_brightness”, “has_color_temperature”, “has_color_hsb”

Color Light is a common device type for all lighting devices that can change their color of light. The rest of functionality is inherited from the base Color Temperature Light device type.

Additionally, devices can support an “has_color_rgb” capability which allows to set a color in RGB color units. This capability is optional because not all devices on the market support it. And often it’s hard to determine a clear mapping between RGB and HSB color values.

Power Switch

inherits from:none
icon:switch icon
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “on_off”

Power Switch type represents all power switches in the system. Such power switches include smart power outlets, circuit breakers, switches that are not Light switches and other similar devices. The only functionality of such devices is to turn connected load on and off.

If your power switch or power outlet implements an additional functionality or is not really a power switch - please, search for a more appropriate base type in this documentation or file an issue on GitHub [5].


inherits from:none
icon:valve icon
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “open_closed”

Valve represents an externally controllable valve for gas, liquid or other matter which can be either in “opened” or “closed” state. Transitional states “opening” and “closing” are also possible.

In addition to valve-specific device states and commands, valves support an “is_active” capability where “active” is equal to “opened” and “not active” is linked to “closed”.


inherits from:none
icon:fan icon
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “on_off”

Fans is the most primitive type of the climatic devices. Fans can be either in “on” or “off” states while fan speed control is not supported. Additional functionality like enabling and disabling heaters is not supported too.

Variable Speed Fan

inherits from:“fan”
icon:fan icon
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “on_off”, “fan_speed”

Variable Speed Fans are fans whose speed of rotation can be controlled. In the rest, it’s just a usual Fan described above.


inherits from:none
icon:“play” icon in a circle
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “play_stop”
optional capabilities:
 “on_off”, “has_volume”

Player is a base type for all kinds of players: audio players, video players, streaming players, radios and so on and so forth. Such devices doesn’t allow to change tracks, pause the playback or do anything similar. They can be only in one of two states: “playing” and “stopped”, where “playing” state is mapped to the “active” state while “stopped” to “not active”.

The “on_off” Capability can be provided by real, hardware players. In such case, it’s recommended to provide a separate button to control player’s power and separate buttons to control playback.

Some players can also provide an “has_volume” capability but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Pausable Player

inherits from:“player”
icon:“play” icon in a circle
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “play_stop”, “pausable”
optional capabilities:
 “on_off”, “has_volume”

Pausable Player type represents all Players which support pausing - temporarily stopping of playback with saving of the current playback position. In general, it’s the same Player as described above with all its functions and limitations. The only thing that was added is an additional “paused” state and a corresponding “pause” command.

Track Player

inherits from:“pausable_player”
icon:“play” icon in a circle
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “play_stop”, “pausable”, “track_switching”, “track_info”
optional capabilities:
 “on_off”, “has_volume”

Track Player type represents all devices with an ability to switch between tracks: backward and forward. It inherits all the fields and behaviour provided by Pausable Player type but adds two additional commands: “next” and “previous”. Also, there is a new field “track_info” added that allows to find general information about the current playing audio track, video, station or stream.

Playlist Player

TBD. Allows to view and manage playback playlist (or queue).

Positional Player

TBD. Reports the current playback position. Supports track rewinding.


inherits from:none
icon:speaker icon
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “on_off”, “has_volume”, “is_muted”

Speaker is a common device type for all Speakers (sound producing devices) with a single input source. The only thing they can do is to be turned on, off and regulate their volume (i.e. the level of loudness).

Please note that muted devices and devices with a volume set to zero are still considered as “active” devices. So, Speakers are considered to be in “active” state until they are not powered off.

Speaker System

inherits from:none
icon:speaker system icon
capabilities:“actuator”, “has_state”, “is_active”, “on_off”, “has_volume”, “multi_source”, “is_muted”

Speaker System is a common device type for all sound speakers and speaker systems that have multiple input sources. In addition to the base functionality of a Speaker, such devices allow to view, choose and change the sound source from the list of provided sources.

Sound System

TBD. Multi-functional device. Can be either music player or a multi-source speaker (i.e. Speaker System) depending on a current mode.


TBD. Can be turned on, off and change screen brightness.

Multi-Source Display

TBD. Can change the source of a displayed picture.


TBD. Multi-mode device which can be either Player, Streaming Player or Multi-Source Display, depending on the current mode.

Virtual Remote Control

TBD. A device that just provides a list of available commands, a list of corresponding virtual buttons and no feedback from the controlled system.


[1]Light bulb speakers or light bulb with speakers? Sony LSPX-100E26J
[3]Why not to add a display and Bluetooth audio support too?
[4]Samsung Family Hub
[5]All issues can be reported on the project’s page: