Quick success story, Hubitat, Hoobs, HomeKit and Siri

Rather than hijacking a topical thread I thought I would post what was going to be my reply to its own topic and this area seemed the most fitting.

We have had the opposite experience from a few of you with regards to voice control over buttons. This was originally prompted by me thinking buttons were cool and looking for alternatives to the Pico remotes. I started looking more closely at how my family interacts with the devices we have already and it occurred to me we don't use buttons. In fact my wife has gotten in the habit of just saying "Hey Siri, turn on the lights" when she enters a room. Mostly because she was early on frustrated by the very very slight delay when pressing the paddles on the wall switches and dimmers. She would end up double tapping and we all know that is a completely

We are an iOS household, and as a longtime Mac and iOS developer its just the path I've dictated on my family. I have no experience with the OK Google ecosystem, or Alexa (though building out custom skills on AWS is something I've played with, I just won't let the devices in my home.)

That being said, the latest HomeKit (iOS 13+) with scene support has been absolutely amazing for us. We have a couple of HomePods, but our iPhones and AppleWatches also have Siri, so really in almost any location I can just say simple commands at conversational volume and it happens.

"Hey Siri, turn down the fan." This works because my HomePods are assigned to Rooms, so it knows where I am. I get in bed and say "Good night Siri" and my HomeKit Good Night scene gets activated. Or I say "I'm leaving the house Siri" and the corresponding scene gets activated. We really never have to pull out our phones for any of this. If we do use the "app" we have favorite devices setup so they are a swipe and tap away from being turned on or off.

The keys to our success:

  1. Already used Siri for shared calendars, reminders, shopping lists, etc.

  2. I don't have 802.11 HomeKit devices, with one exception everything is connected through Hubitat as Z-wave or Zigbee devices etc. These are exposed through the MakerAPI to Hoobs.

  3. Z-Wave Associations and locked in logic are done in Hubitat.

  4. HomeKit then just gives us access to the devices we need to care about or want to use our voice for. HomeKit has scene support so that stuff is either mirrored there or really for us just handled in HomeKit and with Family sharing its on everyones devices automatically.

I realize there are people with much more complicated setups, but for us its about lights, fans, doors and windows, and a few other nice things. Inovelli switches with notifications are a big part of what I'm doing with Hubitat that really has nothing to do with HomeKit so I don't need to worry about that. For example, if one of my back yard gates are open (contact sensors) then the Inovelli dimer next to the patio door has a flashing red notification which you can't miss when someone lets the dogs out to pee. I don't need Siri for that. I don't want to ask for that information, I just want it there in our face. I may even make the back patio light turn red too just for giggles.

The smart bulbs I've tried to use are just not cutting it, so I'm back to picking the best color temp dumb LEDs for the room and being happy with it.

Anyway, its been a supper successful move from Wink to Hubitat and upgraded Homebridge (Hoobs 3) for us. Keeping things centralized on Hubitat and exposed through homebridge to HomeKit has made Siri voice control of our home nearly flawless.

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HomeKit / Home App are my first response on the rare occasions I need a "Dashboard." I don't use voice much, but it's there if I ever wanted to. :slight_smile:

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I am also very impressed with HomeKit's responsiveness using HOOBS and @dan.t's amazing HomeBridge Plug-In for Hubitat's Maker API.

I use Lutron Caseta for all light switches, dimmers and fan controllers. Having the native HomeKit support within the Caseta SmartBridge Pro is very nice. My Ecobee thermostats also have HomeKit support.

As @csteele mentioned, HomeKit makes for a very simple and effective GUI for all of these systems in one place.

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I have a similar end goal as far as homekit goes.
It is my only family interface other than voice (Google because no mini-homepod).
In the event that something needs poking it's on our phones and the fridge mounted iPad.
Everything else should be automated with the exception of a few physical buttons.

I'm also a Mac household, but I'm trying to be agnostic when it comes to automation/smart. Using Google right now, but could easily substitute it for Alexa... all I need it to do is access the devices on the hub and act on them. Apple is way too tight for me... although I'm curious how people are getting Homekit to play with Hubitat.

Maybe make use of more automation... if your wife has to to tell Siri to turn on the lights... maybe try a motion sensor in the bedroom or kitchen. My battle is currently with the bathroom, and had to break down and get a smart switch for when people take showers.

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