The Z wave alliance has said that a HomeKit/Z wave bridge is in the works, but they won’t say what brand it is or when exactly it’s expected to be released. Or, of course, whether it’s worth waiting for. But there are people working on exactly that. Now that Apple has (as of June 2017) allowed for software only integration with HomeKit, we can expect to see a lot more HomeKit – capable devices come out over the next six months or so.
As far as other options, every system has pluses and minuses. As you noted, smartthings is extremely versatile and allows customers to add all kinds of new devices, which is unusual. But it does that at the cost of requiring that all custom code run in the cloud, so no hope of local operation.
I myself am quadriparetic and need my system to be reliable, so over the last year I have moved most of my critical use cases to HomeKit. But I still like smartthings for convenience notifications like being told that the guestroom window was left open when rain is expected. It just does that better than almost any other low cost system.
In my case, I haven’t made any attempt to bridge the two systems. I just run both. It works fine for us, but every household has different needs and preferences.
Understood, but things changed significantly in January 2017 when Apple officially announce that they would allow software only integrations of two types.
First, if someone just wants to use devices in their own home, they can write their own integration for many different kinds of devices, including Z wave. It’s just that a warning message will pop up when you use the app to tell you it’s not an official integration.
And device manufacturers who want to create devices available for sale can also now use a software only integration, although on that one it’s not clear whether different features will be restricted.
So I do expect to see more options over the next six months, but no predicting exactly which devices.
It seemed to me that the problem is with Apple’s approval process. The z-wave bridges I’m referring to had Apple’s hardware solution built into them (supposedly), but Apple refused them because z-wave is inherently wireless.
Has anyone seen anything that might suggest they’re changing their minds? The only thing I’ve seen is Logitech’s Circle 2 camera… it’s going to have HomeKit support soon, yet has a way of being wireless…
I’m not quite sure what you’re asking. There are a number of HomeKit devices which are entirely wireless, for example there’s a whole line of Elgato Eve sensors.
There were two separate issues prior to June 2017.
First, Apple required that any HomeKit – compatible device have a special encryption chip. That was hardware. But, as with the Elgato sensors above, those could be included in a wireless device.
Second, and this is the more important one with regards to Z wave, Apple limited the functionality that compatible devices could have to some very specific device classes. A lot of that had to do with security. And that was the basis on which two previous Z wave/HomeKit bridges were denied.
However, as of June 2017, Apple has now addressed the first issue by allowing for a software – only compatibility path. And is dealing with the second issue by allowing hobbyists to add HomeKit compatibility to pretty much any device that they’re using only for themselves, with the idea that people can make their own security assessments in those cases.
Meanwhile, Zwave has introduced their security 2 framework, which they have described from the beginning as having “HomeKit like levels of security.” This helps address from the Z wave side some of the second concerns for products which would be sold commercially.
So things have changed significantly just in the last 10 months. Whether that means there will be a Z wave/HomeKit bridge and exactly what functionality it will be allowed to have, we just don’t know yet. But it does look a lot more how hopeful than it seemed at this time last year.
It seems that the issue is that they can’t be completely battery powered. The Logitech Circle 2 camera just because the 2nd official HomeKit camera on Thursday. However, only with its corded stand and corded window mount options. The battery powered base is not supported. This is rather frustrating. I want to get rid of every cloud dependency with my SmartThings setup right now, which I might be able to pull off because it’s really just lighting and switches, but I have two Arlo Q’s indoors that I also want gone. The D-Link Omna and above Circle 2 are what I’m looking to replace those with. I just want to like HomeKit, and want to make the switch, but Apple still needs to loosen things up some more.
For anyone using HomeBridge right now, have you had any issues switching things from cloud to local processing?
Bob, I invested in the Wink Hub system and have had nothing but problems with it. We’re gone for six months at a time and if there’s a loss of power, internet service, or whatever that causes it to go offline, you then must be there in person to either unscrew the smart bulb or unplug the hub. Usually within the first month of us being gone, it goes offline and then that’s it; nothing.
We have been back for two weeks now and it’been going offline about every two-three days, and we’ve had no power or internet disruption.
I’m now looking at a WiFi smart bulb or a fixture that does not require a hub. I can’t find out if that will make a difference or not. I can’t return to this house every time Wink tells me I have to be there to unscrew a bulb; that’s crazy. I think I picked the wrong horse too!
No system will fix your issue. Even if you were on a local only type smart system, the system would require the modem/router to communicate between the hub and your device. As it’s the router that’s needing to be reset, it would mean your network is already down, and so you still would not be able to reset your outlet
I have the set up you are speaking of and can assure that you are correct, I live rural and just spent a few weeks without power last month due to the late snows in the north east. Once internet connection goes out we lose ability to control everything related to Smartthings/Alexa ect. I have ecobee , ring smartthings hub with HUE inside as well as outside lighting, I found this thread only by searching for some way around this, I am disabled so this system working all the time was why we have it installed, now learning it stops working and needs a reboot almost daily and if lose power or internet then it remains down until it comes back on. I have hughesnet and a generator but these systems should have some way of working without the internet regardless and that makes them vulnerable to fire/water/theft I would think. easy for the crooks to kill the internet outside?
I am quadriparetic, so reliability is also very important to me. I have shifted most of my critical use cases to Apple HomeKit over the last year and a half. Everything runs locally except voice control with Alexa, but voice Control with Siri can still work via cellular if that’s available. The rules you can set up are simplistic compared to smartthings, there are many fewer Device choices, but the reliability is very good.
There are some other brand options as well depending on exactly what you want to accomplish.
Your Phillips hue bridge itself can run without the internet, so there are some options there.
I still use SmartThings for convenience stuff with complex logic, like getting a notification if the guestroom window has been left open, rain is expected, and the guest is away from the house. It’s great at that. But for turning the lights on every day at sunset or unlocking the door every time I get home, I need something with more reliability.
The community – created wiki has a list of devices that can work with both Homekit and SmartThings:
Similar, but different.
I live in northern California and recently we have been plagued with a series of power shutdowns by the local utility (PG&E). I can work around the power shutdowns (I have a generator) but what I can not live without is my WI-FI connectivity. I depend up the LAN for both workstations and laptops that need to be able to communicate with the servers ON THE SAME LOCAL NETWORK. Most of the workstations are connected with ethernet. Most of the laptops use WI-FI.
The other day the generator finally failed and everything went dark (Servers, LAN, Workstations and Laptops). Once we got the trucks out to refill the propane tanks and the generator came back on line, we discovered that the WI-FI network would not come back on line. I have a Samsung WI-FI MESH network. None of the laptops could communicate with the local server (until I connected them with ethernet)
Is this a Samsung BUG, a design feature, or an oversight? It is looking like I might need to change my mesh network.