How i made IVEE CONSISTENTLY work (a nightmare of configuring)

well i picked up one of these for $40 on ebay (+5 shipping) and set it up pretty quickly. It even found my hue lights with no issue (note: a 2nd one i have required me to factory reset it to find them). As the proud owner of two logitech hubs, i also paired all my activities to ivee. The designers in their wisdom support logitech! Well i’ve had crap luck getting anything to consistently work except harmony.
example: i assigned all my hue lights to rooms in the app and on the next device refresh it promptly rearranged them. And smartthings simply will not authorize at all…
but all is not lost! Both of these afore-mentioned devices also can pair with harmony!
so now, i did this:

  1. i paired my hue directly with harmony. I left it paired with ivee so i could call color changes if i wish.
  2. i paired smartthings with harmony. HOWEVER i only authorized non-hue items such as two wall switches and motion sensors and contact switches.
  3. I created custom home-control light scenes for every room.
  4. I authorized smartthings to show these new home-control scenes as virtual switches (as per app)
    and then i use these switches for controlling the lights from smartthings.
    Note that this step is optional, but it’s the ONLY way to ensure that the light is in a state you expect it to be in. Hue lights changed outside of smartthings don’t update their state in smartthings, but if i’m using harmony scenes to control the lights, i’ll always know what lights are on. They even show up in the harmony app as “unreachable” if they are turned off. I have verified that unlike smartthings, harmony knows the light state so if i still do something silly such as “hello ivee, turn off the hue lights”, the status is correctly displayed in the harmony app.

so now i’ve created custom scenes for my lights and switches, and i can even use a smartthings motion sensor to turn them on and off from inside harmony, freeing processing for other things.

side effect of all this mind-numbing work?

  1. i can control my smarttthings devices now from IVEE
  2. ivee voice recognition no longer stumbles. “begin activity bedroom lights” or “end activity bedroom lights” works every time, where as trying to “turn on bedroom hue lights” might do something totally random such as change the lights to magenta.
  3. the response is much much faster. All lights change simultaneously, or nearly so, whereas before they could be as slow as one at a time.

Having voice recognition actually work makes this whole project a lot more fun.

As a side note: I discovered through this that i could actually trigger multiple activities at once with a master activity. Here’s how that worked.

  1. create a bedroom lamps activity
  2. create a bedroom fan activity
  3. create a master activity that toggles two virtual switches from smartthings which are actually those two activities. This “cascading activity” could be useful if you have a lot of similar activities. You could have the similar part separate and a single change would propogate to all of them.

actually there was one more benefit. IVEE doesn’t automatically update hue lights on its website for the scenes, but it does harmony activities. Additionally they don’t currently let you have multiple ivees on one account so you would have to create all those hue scenes separately, but you wouldn’t with the logitech harmony.