Hello, Home HomeKit (and Siri!) control via homebridge

Now that there’s a real Phillips HomeKit bridge, I’m curious to see what happens with this hack. Anyone running iOS nine having any new problems with the bridge emulator?

I’m running 9.1 and i have no issues, it works great!

You’re probably going to need this project, unless the Phillips HomeKit can interface directly into SmartThings and other platforms.

Need this project for what?

As it happens, I don’t use this particular hack. I do have the Phillips bridge, and it is interfaced to smartthings, and echo, separately.

But I do most of my voice with echo and smartthings right now.

What specifically were you thinking of?

Well then, as you say, it has an interface to SmartThings… I tried to find more documentation on the bridge. Do you have any more information or links about the bridge and support for SmartThings?

There’s an official integration, Hue Connect. It’s not an open API, it was officially developed between Smartthings and Phillips. When you use the smart things mobile app and go to add a device, one of your choices is a Hue bridge. Adding that automatically installs “Hue connect,” and brings in any devices connected to it of a type that Smartthings recognizes. After that, those devices are available for use through all the regular SmartThings control channels. That’s really all there is to it.

There are some community members who have written their own device types which would expose more of what’s available. You might find those interesting. In particular flexi lighting by @infofiend . You can find information about it in the community-created smart apps category under projects. The following is a clickable link.

The hack that’s being discussed in the thread we’re in now is something altogether different. It’s not code that allows smartthings to control Phillips hue bulbs through a bridge.

Instead, it uses the hue bridge emulator, software that Phillips provides for developers to test apps, and spoofs a real bridge so that HomeKit will be fooled into working with it.

Use of the emulator software in this way is a clear violation of the Phillips developer TOS, but if you yourself didn’t commit to that TOS, you’re probably not prohibited from using it once it’s out in the wild. Whoever originally released it may be.

But you certainly don’t need this hack to have Smartthings work with a Phillips bridge. It already does. You only use it if you want HomeKit to work with nonhomekit devices.

The following is the official smartthings support knowledgebase article on connecting to Hue:

https://support.smartthings.com/hc/en-us/articles/200848024-Connecting-Philips-hue-to-SmartThings

Interesting. So by installing the phillips hue bridge, it allows homekit to access SmartThing devices? I just ordered the starter kit to see how it works.

If you were talking about a real, physical Hue bridge then no.

One bridge, many partners, but limited requests

The Hue bridge is extremely “social.” . It’s happy to be in relationships with many different services. So one bridge can be connected to smartthings, IFTTT, several third-party phone apps, echo, HomeKit, iBeacon+, Harmony, etc each as an independent and parallel means of “controlling” the bulbs that are connected to that bridge.

(Actually the Hue bridge is the only real controller of the bulbs, but it is happy to pass along requests from any of the various services it has a relationship with. This is unusual. )

However, the requests are limited to the devices that are actually connected to that bridge. It doesn’t take a Harmony request and pass it along to Ibeacon+ or vice versa. It just takes a request from one of its partners, and passes it to one of its bulbs. The partners can each poll the bridge to find out status of the bulbs, but that’s a different kind of communication.

So the fact that the real Phillips bridge can talk to HomeKit doesn’t change what smartthings can do at all. Smartthings can talk to the real bridge and request that bulbs go on and off. HomeKit can talk to the real bridge and request the bulbs go on and off. But HomeKit and smartthings don’t past messages to each other through the bridge.

The software Hue Bridge emulator can currently be used to create a fake ID for nonHomeKit devices

What people are talking about in this thread is a hack. They are taking software which is designed to emulate a hue bridge (it’s not a real bridge) and using that as a fake ID so that smartthings devices can pretend they are devices attached to a real hue bridge. Then HomeKit thinks it’s talking to a real hue bridge. And it thinks it’s just telling it to turn bulbs on and off. But in fact the fake Hue bridge is taking a request to turn a “bulb” on and using it to turn a zwave water pump on, or whatever.

Obviously this is a huge violation of HomeKit security. I’m actually surprised that it still works now that the official HomeKit Phillips device is out. It seems to imply that the hardware piece of HomeKit isn’t actually required, at least for the developer-approved emulation tools.

My feeling is that this hack will be shut down sooner or later, but what do I know? Maybe it will run forever.

Real Hue Bridge Provided a HomeKit path to bulbs and a SmartThings path to bulbs, but not a HomeKit path to anything else

Anyway, so right now there are two completely different things available. There’s a real physical Phillips hue bridge which has The ability to be added to a HomeKit network. And could still be added to a whole bunch of other partner networks, including smartthings. But what it does is limited to controlling its own directly connected devices.

And there’s this hack, which takes a piece of software which was designed as an emulation piece for developers, and uses it as a fake ID so that HomeKit will talk to devices which are not really HomeKit devices.

So the real hue bridge has nothing to do with what’s being talked about in this particular thread, other than that it’s the identity that’s being stolen to make this hack work.

I played with the home bridge a bit more and discovered the built in support with connecting directly to the philips hue legacy bridge. After I added that to my config I’m now able to fully control color and brightness of my hues along with controlling everything in smart things. “nfarina/homebridge” has been stable for weeks now.
That is except for when Smart things cloud crap forgot my JSON.groovy key and authentication from home bridge died along with a bunch of virtual switch smart apps disappeared.
But that is a rant for another time. Yay cloud :confused:

First kudos to Jesse Newland for contributing to the Homebridge project and getting SmartThings homekit enabled.

Everything works with my v2 hub with home bridge running on a mac mini… as long only lights are involved. My Hue bulbs work but my switches and outlets don’t. And when I say the Hue bulbs work I mean I can switch them on or off but I can’t dim or change color.

Which makes me wonder what the state of the Homebridge SmartThings integration is? I would like to be able to have my open/close, temperature, garage door opener, etc added but there is little to no movement on github that gives me enough hope.

Anyone else working on this?

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Have homebridge talk directly to your hue for color and dimming support.

Hue now works much better thank you. Which now leaves me with 2 switches in Smartthings that Siri does not recognize as switches. Not to mention the relay for my garage door…

I ran a test tonight with a Raspberry Pi (my 15 year old let me borrow his) and using the Eve App. I was able to pair and control a fan, my fireplace(dry contact sensor), a switch, a dimmer, and a Wink bulb. One note; Siri “could not find my fireplace” if I said “Turn on fireplace”. If however, when I said,“Turn on THE fireplace”, it worked every time. I would call that a success!

Now I just have to “get my own” Raspberry PI as my son says… Then I’ll have Siri controlled lights.

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It’s done! For $45, I bought a Raspberry Pi 2, case, power, and micro SD card. My 15 year old tinkered a bit but got me set up :smile: I did make two changes to make things more convenient;

  1. I had my son set the PI up to auto-start the task upon reboot.
  2. I am using the Eve App from the App Store. After installing my switches and fans (40+ devices), I was able to arrange them in rooms, types, zones and function. I also added a few scenes. I can now say things like, “Turn on Living Room Lights” or “Turn on All Fans” or “Get Ready for Bed”. Wow.

Hate to say it but I no longer desire an Amazon Echo. Siri is running things now

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Is there an updated “How To” document to do this? The first post gets it started, but skimming through, there are updates about not having the dev account, etc. It keeps changing. Also what is the Eve App? I’ve got a pi and experience with linux, but need more than what is here.

Update: I googled “nfarina/homebridge” and started reading there. I found that the EVE app is the “Elgato Eve” app. I’ve read the readme.md from that GitHub site, and I get it now.

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The original posts state that it is required to have a developer’s account. This is because at the time of writing, there were no HomeKit apps available. You need three things to make this work:

  1. HomeBridge running. Here is the link to the GitHub (credit jnewland). This needs to be compiled on a Linux platform. Some people run it on a Mac or Linux server. I chose a Raspberry Pi with a Linux build. The instructions on the GitHub site do a pretty good explaining how to download and install the code and get things running. The only thing that is different is that you don’t need an Apple Developers account or BetterHomeKit (see step 3).
  2. Smart App Running. Here is the link to the GitHub (credit jnewland). This is needed to generate the JSON configuration for your hub (you will select the devices you want to include; currently supporting switches and bulbs). You will need to copy the output and paste it into the correct file (per instructions followed in step 1)
  3. HomeKit App. Now that there are HomeKit apps out there, i.e. apps built to run HomeKit hardware; Phillips Hue, Eve, etc. you no longer need a developer account to be successful. I randomly chose the Eve app because it is free, has cool features, and doesn’t require Eve Hardware. Do a search on the App Store for “HomeKit” and you can see your options. With steps 1&2 completed, you should be able to add HomeBridge and see all the devices you selected in step 2. I found that in order to “get things working”, I had to change a setting in the Eve app (move a device to another “room”, etc), but after that point everything has worked without issue.

Hope this helps! I spend last night getting to know Siri’s “personality”. So far so good.

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Thanks so much for that! I edited my post above, and was starting to get it. Your reply really heps, thanks.

It would be nice if the first post in this thread could be updated to help those like me with the most current info. This was very hard to understand, and your post completely cleared it up (for me at least).

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Is there any difference between the ‘jnewland/homebridge’ and the ‘nfarina/homebridge’ code on GitHub? The nfarina seems more current in that it no longer references needing an Apple development account.

Edit: It doesn’t look like the nfarina version needs a smartapp. It only references the homebridge server and an IOS app like Eve. Can anyone chime in on that?

Technically it doesn’t because it supports more than just smartthings. If you only want home kit support for you nest thermostat or hue bulbs. no smartapp needed. if you want to control your lights through smartthings… smartapp needed. Basically all the smartapp does is give home kit access to your devices in smartthings.

So the app is the JSON API one? I added that smartapp already but I did not create the homebridge server yet.