HomeKit Weekly: How to create Siri-controlled curtains with SwitchBot and Homebridge

0

Over the past few months, I’ve explored many use cases around Homebridge through the all-in-one HOOBS. I have devices that can run Homebridge, but I like the simplified approach of not having to deal with the core software. My latest experience with HOOBS is adding the SwitchBot curtain motor to my HomeKit environment.

Weekly HomeKit is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything related to Apple’s smart home framework.


As I mentioned, I use the SwitchBot Curtain with HOOBS, but frankly, that’s beneficial on its own. If you don’t mind accessing it via HomeKit, you can purchase the Curtain Motor, SwitchBot Hub Mini Smart Remote, and SwitchBot One Touch Button to create a really nice solution. On a daily basis, I would almost be tempted to open and close the curtains of a living room or an office using the button.

To start

The SwitchBot Curtain Motor installation process is going to vary depending on the type of curtains you have, but I’ll embed the SwitchBot installation video below.

When you look at how it’s built, it’s a pretty awesome process on how it works. Because you’re taking something physical and dragging it open or close, all it needs is a motor to move left or right. When I first came across the product I was skeptical that it would work well, but it ended up being reliable on my rod curtains. A key reminder is that the calibration process is really important for SwitchBot to understand what you consider “open” and “closed”.

Once installed, you will add it to the SwitchBot app on iPhone. In my setup process, I already had a working SwitchBot Hub for my SwitchBot Button Pusher.

Added SwitchBot curtains to HOOBS

In the HOOBS dashboard, search for the Switchbot plugin. Certified is the one I use, and I would recommend that to you as well. Once installed, you will paste the API key in the appropriate field.

I initially had a lot of trouble getting the push button to work on my first ride. Unfortunately I had a typo in my MAC address which took me a long time to figure out, but I think the plugin could use better documentation.

Since I had already configured SwitchBot Hub in HOOBS, I enabled Device Discovery, and it appeared in HomeKit after a restart of the HOOBS Plugin Bridge.

Access with Siri

The primary use case for adding the SwitchBot Curtain to HomeKit is for access to Siri. I’m not going to lie, it feels good to walk into a room saying “Hey Siri, open my curtains” and watch it happen. Practically, however, using the SwitchBot app or the SwitchBot remote is a little faster.

Overall impressions

There is one aspect of using workarounds like Switchbot to make regular things “smart” that I can really support. It allows you to change curtains in the future without worrying about whether they are “smart” or whether your “smart bar” is compatible. It is a simple mechanical process that adds “smartness” to an existing product at a reasonable cost. Would I put them in every curtain in the house? Probably not, but if you have a home office or media room, this is a great way to improve the experience of opening and closing the curtains.

As a reminder, for this setup to work you will need the SwitchBot Curtain Motor, HOOBS and the SwitchBot Hub Mini Smart Remote.

FTC: We use revenue-generating automatic affiliate links. Continued.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

Share.

Comments are closed.