Many devices, technologies and systems can be automatically discovered on the network or browsed through some API. It therefore makes a lot of sense to use these features for a smart home solution.
In Eclipse SmartHome bindings therefore implement Discovery Services for things, which provide Discovery Results. All Discovery Results are regarded as suggestions to the user and are put into the inbox.
The inbox holds a list of all discovered things (
DiscoveryResult) from all active discovery services. A discovery result represents a discovered thing of a specific thing type, that could be instantiated as a thing. The result usually contains properties that identify the discovered things further like IP address or a serial number. Each discovery result also has a timestamp when it was added to or updated in the inbox and it may also contain a time to live, indicating the time after which it is be automatically removed from the inbox.
Discovery results can either be ignored or approved, where in the latter case a thing is created for them and they become available in the application. If an entry is ignored, it will be hidden in the inbox without creating a thing for it.