Joshua Pressnell

Homebridge Driver for HomeKit Support?

77 posts in this topic

I've been working on developing a homebridge plugin to fully enable HomeKit control/reporting of various Control4 devices.  Initially I'm supporting lights, dimmers, door contact sensors, window contact sensors, generic contact sensors, motion sensors and security systems (because that's what I have in my home).  I'm also working on a Control4 driver that will communicate with the homebridge plugin for all system devices without additional programming needed.

This will give the benefit of:

* Direct control of Control4 systems via HomeKit w/ Siri voice control

* Remote access (if you have home hubs such as Apple TV 4 or iPad) without 4Sight needed

* Direct integration of "favorite" devices into the iOS control center views

* Control of all Control4 devices via Apple Watch

SO....a few questions:

1) Does anybody out there have interest in such a thing?  

2) Are there folks out there that might want to beta test?

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3 hours ago, Joshua Pressnell said:

1) Does anybody out there have interest in such a thing?  

2) Are there folks out there that might want to beta test?

Of course a lot of us are already invested in the Amazon Echo (Alexa) which does much (if not all) of what you're talking about. That said, there is always room for competition and alternative solutions (forces everyone to be better) so I say go for it (even though, unfortunately, you never how much of a market there is until AFTER you've developed the product). I can also help with beta testing.

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Just now, martymohr said:

Of course a lot of us are already invested in the Amazon Echo (Alexa) which does much (if not all) of what you're talking about. That said, there is always room for competition and alternative solutions (forces everyone to be better) so I say go for it (even though, unfortunately, you never how much of a market there is until AFTER you've developed the product). I can also help with beta testing.

Yeah, I sorta get that.  I'm an Apple developer and my entire immediate and extended family are entirely in the Apple ecosystem.  I didn't want to buy a whole bunch of Echo components when my family carries perfectly functional voice recognition devices (iPhone and Apple Watches) around the home already.  There's also the fact that the current Apple solution is widely available in other countries/languages already, where-as Amazon is lacking in that area.  What I'm working on will work without additional hardware in the mix (with the exception of needing a computer system (Mac, linux, Raspberry Pi, etc) to run homebridge on.

I'm developing this for myself... so it's going to get done whether or not there's a market for it externally.  But if folks are interested, I'll be more careful to think about "production level code" while I'm working on this. ;)

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11 minutes ago, martymohr said:

Of course a lot of us are already invested in the Amazon Echo

Of course, the vast majority of people haven't invested in that at all ;)

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1 hour ago, Cyknight said:

Of course, the vast majority of people haven't invested in that at all ;)

Your point? Do you have a reference for your assertion? If you recall I said "a lot of us" not "the vast majority." Do you get a kick out of being argumentative? Please follow the advice I've seen other people tell you: when I post something please don't respond to it! You're not contributing at all.

 

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Just now, martymohr said:

Your point? Do you have a reference for your assertion? If you recall I said "a lot of us" not "the vast majority." Do you get a kick out of being argumentative? Please follow the advice I've seen other people tell you: when I post something please don't respond to it! You're not contributing at all.

 

Errr... Calm down dude.

Quote

Do you get a kick out of being argumentative?

Do you get a kick out of blowing things out of proportion?

 

 

And no - I'm not going to cease the way I've done things on here. The fact that you seem overly eager to take a comment completely and wildly out of proportions is not going to change that.

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As the original poster of the thread... everyone take a deep breath. :P

I don't mind Cy at all, and I generally appreciate his blunt approach.  Maybe it's an engineering thing.  That said, his comment was generally relevant to a "perceived market".  Either way, I'm making the driver.  I have lights, dimmers, and doors working already.  

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I would be interested from the point of view that Amazon isnt and probably never will be available in NZ (we don't have an Amazon or eBay store and only have apple online) I have numerous Apple devices so I'd love to get voice control of c4 using siri - I don't have any homekit devices but have played around previously with the homebridge (i have a Mac mini always on) to send HTTP command s to C4. It worked but would require a huge amount of programming for full voice  control. Now that Siri has an API I'd think that integration should be alot easier but I'm no programmer! 

For myself siri works reasonably well and at least it's localised to my geographic region.

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Cool. When I'm ready for a beta test and have a licensing scheme worked out, I'll post here. 

I originally played with homebridge and the basic HTTP driver and was very discouraged with the amount of programming required to get everything working, and even then I just got basic lights and switches. The existing plugins for homebridge aren't quite what is needed for a good interface to control 4 and relying on the event model and programming in C4 had just a bit of a delay. 

So far, my experiences with the native direct driver I'm writing have been very snappy, I presume because I don't have to rely on dynamic programming and event models. You only have to install a single copy of my driver. Then you setup homebridge and install my plugin. This lets you setup as many lights, dimmers, contact switches, etc, as you like, with bidirectional data flow. 

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I'm in for testing. Everyone here is all on Apple. I've been thinking about investing in Echo Dot to accomplish this, but if I can do it with our phones, watches and iPads even better. I have lights, locks, security, distributed audio, distributed video, climate control, etc...

I'd love to test this for you with the 5 members of our home that are all deeply ingrained in iOS.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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On 11/4/2016 at 3:04 PM, Joshua Pressnell said:

Either way, I'm making the driver.

And for the record - my point was, and should perhaps have been specifically spelled out for some peoples understanding - that yes - by all means develop it if you can at all, no-one can predict how well it would 'sell' (see VoicePod) but I'm sure there will be interested people.

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On 05/11/2016 at 4:15 PM, ILoveC4 said:

I'm in for testing. Everyone here is all on Apple. I've been thinking about investing in Echo Dot to accomplish this, but if I can do it with our phones, watches and iPads even better. I have lights, locks, security, distributed audio, distributed video, climate control, etc...

I'd love to test this for you with the 5 members of our home that are all deeply ingrained in iOS.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Me too!

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Got the fan speed controller and fans connected to switches working yesterday.  Still have motion detectors, generic relays, and the security system to do, but that shouldn't take that long.  Hopefully will have something out to play with soon.

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I too would love to control my C4 stuff via Siri.  

I bought a bunch of Echos and found they work even better when talking into the Amazon remote. (No need to say "Alexa" and wait a beat. Just push the button and say "Turn on CNN.") When watching TV at night I usually hold the Siri remote when traversing AppleTV apps.  Being able to do Control4 stuff also would be great.

 

  

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How much further would you like? As of tonight, I have lights, dimmers, fans (via switch), fan speed controllers, doors, windows and blinds (via contact sensor), garage doors (via the contact/relay combo driver C4 ships with), and my security system (via security partition proxy). I've got three Nest thermostats hooked up via the Nest C4 driver, but homebridge also has a Nest plugin, so no real need to connect that through C4. You can just use the Nest plugin directly. 

HomeKit doesn't support AV systems yet, so there's not much I can do for home theater control. 

I don't have any C4 locks or video monitoring sources or doorbells to play with so I can't adequately test interfaces with them, although I'd like to at some point. 

The only thing left on my near term plate is the motion sensor (via contact sensor driver). I looked at the HomeKit relay setup and there's some stuff in there that I can't understand the meaning of as required data values and since HomeKit is MFI, there's not a lot of documentation to work from. 

I'm certainly happy to discuss feature requests, though. 

The way setup works is you install my driver. Then you enable logging and use the built-in action to print out the homebridge config file setup. Cut and paste that into your homebridge config.json file and restart. That's it. No programming in Composer required. My driver and the homebridge plugin handle all the details. 

Ive got about 95% of this all working. I need to clean up the config file generator and document the heck out of the setup process. I may also eventually put together a pre-packaged homebridge box that comes with everything needed and an embedded web server to configure it easily, but that'll depend on whether folks really have a demand for all this. 

So far, I've been tinkering with what I need for my own setup, so any ideas are always welcome! 

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+1 demand for this plugin. I was going to use the web events driver to connect C4 to HomeKit this weekend, but now I think I'll just wait for your driver!

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On 11/4/2016 at 11:30 AM, Joshua Pressnell said:

I've been working on developing a homebridge plugin to fully enable HomeKit control/reporting of various Control4 devices.  Initially I'm supporting lights, dimmers, door contact sensors, window contact sensors, generic contact sensors, motion sensors and security systems (because that's what I have in my home).  I'm also working on a Control4 driver that will communicate with the homebridge plugin for all system devices without additional programming needed.

This will give the benefit of:

* Direct control of Control4 systems via HomeKit w/ Siri voice control

* Remote access (if you have home hubs such as Apple TV 4 or iPad) without 4Sight needed

* Direct integration of "favorite" devices into the iOS control center views

* Control of all Control4 devices via Apple Watch

SO....a few questions:

1) Does anybody out there have interest in such a thing?  

2) Are there folks out there that might want to beta test?

Joshua

We believe this could be a great solution, let's discuss this live. We would love to help and be part of this very exciting idea. 

Please call me at 212-792-6721 or email me at dan@cytexone.com. 

Thanks

Dan

 

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13 hours ago, CytexOne Dan said:

Joshua

We believe this could be a great solution, let's discuss this live. We would love to help and be part of this very exciting idea. 

Please call me at 212-792-6721 or email me at dan@cytexone.com. 

Thanks

Dan

 

My opinion here is that this is a brilliant idea idea and the one thing that people are overlooking bigtime. HomeKit puts all of c4 right in the hands of non-technical people. The market here may be much bigger than one thinks. Example..... my wife. She would swipe up on a native app but likely would not open an app to try and find a light or function in a c4 app. The other thing here is u could invite control easily for family members etc. . Best of all it's native in appearance to the phone. 

 

Please contact me. I would love to beta as well. 

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I'm currently using Homebridge and we love it. I'm using it with the Wink plugin and it works like a champ. If you can make a C4 plugin work as well, you'll be a hero. My wife loves it and uses it -- and that is the litmus test. She also adopted Alexa faster than I imagined as well. The fact that it is so easy to access on the phone, and it works, is key.

I'd be happy to test it if you want since I have homebridge running. Not sure I need it, but I will test it. "Hey Siri, turn on the news" -- and have it fire a voice scene -- now that I would need.

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Happy to beta test and debug as well. I've written a few basic drivers so I might be able to help a little. 

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16 hours ago, Elvis said:

I'd be happy to test it if you want since I have homebridge running. Not sure I need it, but I will test it. "Hey Siri, turn on the news" -- and have it fire a voice scene -- now that I would need.

The driver I'm currently working on wouldn't do this so well.  My initial goal was to do a direct link between C4 hardware and HomeKit hardware concepts.  HomeKit doesn't have any "AV profiles" yet, so "Hey Siri, Watch AppleTV in my bedroom" won't link easily to starting an AV source in a room.  It's easy enough to get that kind of thing done, but in HomeKit, it would have to look like a series of switches.  Then you'd tie the "switch state" to active scenes (Watching Apple TV, Watching News, etc) and turning one on would turn the others off and have the desired effect you wanted.  

I might be convinced to make a separate driver/plugin that does that, but it goes beyond the intent of my C4/HomeKit bridge enough that I wouldn't want to muddy the waters with it in this product.

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This driver would be very useful. I played around with a prototype for lighting control over HomeKit myself. I have both an echo and several apple products in my system and think both would be useful. Sometimes you are near the echo which is very easy to use hands free. Sometimes you are away from the echo or even out of the house so HomeKit would be a great solution. 

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