[UPDATE – Read our HomeBridge tutorial for a guide on how to set it up with SmartThings and Siri]
As companies decide wether or not to support Apple’s HomeKit, here’s an open source software bridge that could bring your existing smart home kit into the 21st Century.
Homebridge is a lightweight NodeJS server you can run on your home network that emulates the iOS HomeKit API. It supports Plugins, which are community-contributed modules that provide a basic bridge from HomeKit to various 3rd-party APIs provided by manufacturers of “smart home” devices.
Since Siri supports devices added through HomeKit, this means that with Homebridge you can ask Siri to control devices that don’t have any support for HomeKit at all. For instance, using just some of the available plugins, you can say:
Siri, unlock the front door.
Siri, open the garage door.
Siri, turn on the coffee maker.
Siri, turn on the living room lights.
Siri, good morning!
There are already plenty of Homebridge plugins available to connect with systems like Philips Hue, Nest, Lifx, Fibaro HC2, Sonos, KNX and Indigo. Once linked you can control your setup with Siri or a HomeKit compatible app…
HomeKit is actually not an app; it’s a “database” similar to HealthKit and PassKit. But where HealthKit has the companion Health app and PassKit has Passbook, Apple has supplied no app for managing your HomeKit database (at least not yet). However, the HomeKit API is open for developers to write their own apps for adding devices to HomeKit.
Fortunately, there are now a few apps in the App Store that can manage your HomeKit devices. The most comprehensive one I’ve used is MyTouchHome which costs $2. There are also some free apps that work OK. Try Insteon+ or Lutron or a number of others.
Checkout the link below to download Homebridge or join the team.
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Last update on 2020-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API