SwitchBot Finger bot - Alternatives that integrate into Smartthings directly via Zigbee/Zwave

Come across the switch bot device and would love to integrate this with Smartthings directly, but I understand the device is bluetooth and controlled by a phone locally and if you want google home and remote access you have to buy the switchbot hub, because their hub talks to the switch bot using bluetooth, there is limitation that the hub needs to be close to the the switch bot, so trying to have switch bot’s in 2 different parts of the house isn’t viable unless you have 2 hubs, this solution which starts out cheap becomes expensive and start monopolizing plugs.

I can’t understand why they didn’t go for zigbee/zwave or even wifi as a protocol for this device.

Anyway I’m wondering if there are an alternatives out there that use zigbee and can integrate into smartthings without another hub.

I did find a device on amazon called “Libetter Smart-Switch” - FingerBot, it said could be remotely controlled via wifi, but then they are also selling a bluetooth hub for it, it’s very unclear from the amazon description, but from what I could make out it appears this device is just a complete rip off of switch bot, there are no reviews for it either.

My use case for the the switch bot, was to press the switch on my garage remote to lift the electric gate, thought this little bot would do the trick, it’s actually cheaper than the garage remote fob costs.

The fingerbot is, indeed, “inspired by” the SwitchBot. It’s made by tuya and then re-branded by many other companies, as is true of most Tuya devices. Like the SwitchBot, it is Bluetooth to a Wi-Fi bridge.

The reason for this is so that they can sell the devices as not needing a hub at all, since they will just connect to your phone. But then your phone has to be in the same location and you don’t get integrations. To get out of home control or to get integrations, then you need to add a bridge for both brands.

The reason they didn’t go for Wi-Fi is Wi-Fi uses too much battery for a very small device of this type. Same reason there are very few batterypowered Wi-Fi sensors. Wi-Fi is working on a new version That will be less power-hungry, but hardly anybody except Shelly is using it yet. In a year or two, these devices will probably use thread instead of Bluetooth but maybe not the models you can buy today.

I’m not aware of anything similar that integrates with smartthings directly.

I am quadriparetic and use both the previous prota naran devices, and the SwitchBots, in my own home, and I use the SwitchBot/SmartThings integration. It works quite well.

There is a small possibility that SwitchBot may get matter integration in the future, but who knows when. For that matter, the same is true of the tuya devices. We will just have to wait and see.

As far as coverage, I only use one SwitchBot mini hub in my house, but all the SwitchBot devices are on the same side of the house, so maybe 1000 ft.² on the same horizontal plane.

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I wonder if the bluetooth protocol could be reverse engineered to send the switch bot and an on / off, could create an android app that could control the device and then bridge that to Wifi.

I have an old android tablet lying about I have installed Automate app, and I use that to automate my smartthings hub with workflows via the rest api, works really well., needed it because webcore is going away the rules api is just not ready yet for prime time.

BTW, a friend tells me Adaprox recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for a Zigbee version of the fingerbot, but that doesn’t mean it will work with smartthings. The Zigbee specification allows manufacturers to add “manufacturer proprietary” code, which that means the devices only work out of the box with their own hubs. Sometimes with a lot of research, you can get it to work directly with smartthings, but not always. So we just won’t know until that device comes on the market whether it will be directly smartthings compatible or not.

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reverse engineering of bluetooth looks possible, I feel another project coming on …

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i’m hoping manufacturer’s change their thinking on proprietary hubs for the devices they create, use the standards that are out there and make them compatible, thread/matter is the way forward. I will keep my ear to the ground on this kickstarter. but in the meantime will look at this bluetooth stuff seems interesting and £22 for a finger bot is just so cheap.

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Universal Garage Gate Cloning Remote Control are cheap
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Universal+Garage+Gate+Cloning+Remote+Control&crid=1IK7HVF9NJDWR&sprefix=universal+garage+gate+cloning+remote+control%2Caps%2C221&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

Thanks to my SwitchBots I was able again to start my MacMini by Siri (controlled by built in AssitiveHelp, in my case head movement).
I can move my bed up and down by fingerbots. Move my drinking on a rod by curtain motors. Adapters to fix the switchbots on impossible surfaces I let print in 3d.
A simple HomeKit integration would be nice. Let’s dream!

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Do you know from a 24V relay connection to homekit. I also startet a try to install home assistant onto my NAS. It didn’t sleep anymore. In the moment I’ve to trust in proprietary solutions, I believe.

If you want to control your garage door there’s a far easier, cheaper, and prettier way than using a switchbot,

It depends on the details of the use case.

Many of us with limited hand function (myself included: I’m quadriparetic) have to ask someone else to do even simple electrical tasks, even changing the batteries in a remote. That means either paying a professional or trying to supervise a friend or personal aide. Both can have significant negatives.

One of the things I like about the switchbots is I can have even my least techie aide add one in less than 5 minutes, quick and easy.

Most of my attendants would not be allowed to do wiring, an electrician would charge a minimum of $75, and getting my housemate to do it would be ugly for both of us.

Sometimes the parameters of the project go beyond the technical specs and I think there are many of us with profound physical challenges who find this frequently true.

Before I got sick I was a typical DIY hacker: soldering seemed easy, crawling under a desk was nothing, and a lot of projects reached their “finished” state still looking like someone had dumped out the contents of a junk drawer and started sticking it together with solder and electrical tape.

Now I worry a lot more about fire safety and quality finishes (everything goes in a project box), and I especially look for solutions that will be quick and easy for a person with no technical skill, very little language in common with me, and little desire to push past any obstacles. Plus, no wiring required is a BIG plus.

That doesn’t apply to everyone with a similar physicality, but it does apply to a lot, and it can be hard for those without those challenges to understand.

I think it’s great to mention the alternatives that do require wiring, because there may be people who are interested in those and have the resources available to get them done. I just wanted to explain why for some of us the switchbot ends up being cheaper than what looks like a simple “connect a relay“ approach, just because we can’t do that wiring step ourselves.

FWIW

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I’m still hoping that Switchbot will add Matter support to the mini hub so many devices can be shared that way. That would be by far the easiest way to bring the buttonpushers into the Apple Home app. Maybe by this time next year. I’d gladly replace my mini hub with a slightly more expensive version if it added Matter. :sunglasses:

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There are some uncertified options from Shelly and Sonoff, but setup can be technically pretty complex, especially if you are having someone else do it. The simplest is probably to use Hoobs As a bridge, that limits the amount of code you have to modify. But the Hoobs box itself costs almost $300 and may not be worth it unless you have a bunch of devices you want to bring into HomeKit and, for whatever reason, you don’t want to wait for matter. Or you have cameras or smoke detectors you want to bring in, which matter is not going to address initially.

It’s also possible to flash Shelly and sonoff relays directly to bring that device into HomeKit as an uncertified accessory, which might be preferable, except it’s more complicated to setup and has to be done for each individual device. And when you do that, I’m not sure you can integrate them with smartthings at the same time. :thinking:

With Hoobs, you can just add the Shelley plug-in once and most of your Shelly devices will then be available in HomeKit, and all of the originally available Shelly integrations, including smartthings, cloud to cloud, and alexa, will also still work.

https://hoobs.com/

This is another device class where it might make the most sense to wait for Matter, though. Once it’s widely deployed, you should have more devices to choose from, and a much easier time adding them to the Apple home app. :thinking:

(if you do look at Hoobs, note that there are two different plug-ins, one called “Shelly” for the pre-2022 devices and one called “ShellyNG” (for “next generation”) which handles the newest models. There’s no problem running both of these on Hoobs, but you do have to know what to look for if you do have the newest devices. Shelly calls them “plus” devices, not “next generation”, so it can be a little confusing.)

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You are so right and it is difficult to understand whether I am preferring these expensive solutions. As a professional industrial designer it is rather impossible to work, with a nearly complete tetra paresis (25 years of Multiple Sclerosis) . All the day I am searching for solutions, that are easy to manage. A professional 3d printer in the neighborhood helps me a lot.

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HOOBS or HOMEY have parallels. Right?
Waiting for TREAD and MATTER seems to be a common problem. The smart world should become easier to handle. For handicapped people could it also be a big step! Waiting…

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