A smart home is a new dream for most of us. Living life with ease and style in all tech-friendly ways possible. Who does not like the idea, right?
Therefore, if you are also interested in building your smart home from the scratch or you are very new to this idea. This article will also educate you on it.
Does Nest work with the home kit?
Nest is the production of Google and the home kit is the product of Apple. It was a bit hard at the start and people were not able to use the Google product with Apple due to compatibility issues. However, thanks to the different home bridges, you surely can do it now.
What is a home bridge?
The home bridge is essentially free open source software that brings home kit support when there is none. This server can run on your home network too. It emulates the iOS home kit app and allows you to connect and integrate with smart home devices, which were not built to support the home kit. As we have mentioned earlier too the home kit is a product of Apple supported by apps or gadgets, which are on the home kit app.
The home bridge can easily run on all your devices like Windows, macOS, Linux, or raspberry pi. It is your choice to choose which one of the options mentioned above you want to choose but whichever device you choose should be turned on and running all the time.
The home bridge plugins allow you to integrate the products into the home kit. Over 2000 home bridge plugins are supporting thousands of different smart gadgets and products.
Home bridge connection on Raspberry Pi Zero Wireless:
For this article, we have chosen a hoe bridge connection via a raspberry pi zero wireless computers. The unique part of this computer is that it is smaller than a credit card. The zero wireless comes with a WIFI, Bluetooth, and enough strength to host this server very efficiently.
Along with the Zero wireless, you will also need a power supply that must run all the time. A micro USB charger with an adapter is a great option to go with. You will need a micro SD card to store the data. Once you have gathered all these devices, you are ready to go.
Setting up the Raspberry Pi Zero Wireless:
Now, it is time to get started with the setup process.
- The very first thing you need to do is go to the Homebridge website, here you can find all sorts of plugins
- Scroll down to the bottom
- If you are using your device, please choose it from the list given
- But, here, we will click on the ‘getting started’ option, given right under the ‘Download Homebridge Raspberry Pi Image’ option
- Once you click on it, it will give you the instruction or we say directions on how to configure the Raspberry Pi.
- All you need to do now, is clearly follow the detailed instructions given in the document
- The very first step is to download the Homebridge for raspberry pi.
- This is a disk file preinstalled and configured as well. Open it with the archive option.
- When it is being downloaded you can also download the ‘Etcher’
- This software is used to burn the disk file into the SD card
- Once both the files have been downloaded
- Insert your SD card into the computer
- Now open the Etcher app
- Choose the very first option, ‘Flash from file’
- Now add the Homebridge file into it
- Now the second option is ‘Select Target’
- Here choose your SD card as the target file
- Once done, the last option you will see is ‘FLASH’
- Tap on the flash option
- Once the Etcher has flashed, insert it into your Zero wireless
- Here comes the use of Micro USB cable with adapter
- Attach the USB cable
- Now, use any other device, go to WIFI settings and select Homebridge WIFI setup
- It will show up immediately, but in case it does not show up give it a couple of minutes and it will be shown on your device
- It will be completely booted up in a bit
- After you are connected to the Zero wireless WIFI network, you will be given the option to choose your WIFI network and insert your password
In this step, you will need to figure out how to connect to the WIFI.
- The very first step is to go to the homebridge.local in your internet browser
- The Homebridge recommends installing the ‘Find App’ on your device; it will give you a readout for all the devices connected to your internet network.
- Try finding a device named ‘Homebridge in the list with an IP address like 192.168.1.77.
- Now, enter that address into your browser and you are ready to get started
- You will be taken to the login page
- Here choose a user name and Password as ‘ADMIN’
- Now, click on the plugin option and search the apps to control which are needed to be added as your smart accessories
- You can search for skills or apps just like we add them at Alexa or Google Home
- Depending on the device you are searching for you may get multiple results so choose the one with a verified tag on it
- Once you have installed it you may or may not be prompted to configure the plugin
- Now, you would enter your username as well as password for that particular app
- Sometimes you may also need to manually configure the specific plugin so in that case click on the box with the arrow, it will take you to a document with all detailed configuration information about that specific plugin
- It is highly recommended to install and configure all of your plugins beforehand
- Once it is all done, get back to your status app
- Now open the home app on your iPhone and scan the bar code just like we do for adding different apps like WhatsApp on computer
- Once you are logged in, assign each device to a room accordingly and you get asked a few questions from the home app
- Now, the last part is to secure your computer into a nice box to keep things sorted at one place
Starling Home Hub:
Starling home hub is a product that simply works as a home bridge between the nest and home kit. It is a plug-and-play version home bridge. The Starling home hub, it will allow all of your Google nest devices to be controlled by you on the home kit app, and before this invention, it was not possible.
How to Install Starling home Hub?
Well, it is best known for its simplicity.
- Plug the device in
- Go to your Google Nest account and log in there too, by doing so no data will be shared with them
- That is it, now you are pretty much set and ready to go.
The setup process:
You need to make sure that you are now plugged in and you are connected via Ethernet.
- Now please open the starling home hub setup page
- And connect your either Google or Nest account with it
- By doing so, all of your nest devices will be available to be prompted on Apple Home Kit.
- You will need to add the Hub on your home kit app
- Simply scan the home kit code on the device you are using
- You can simply choose ‘add accessories’ and scan the starling home hub device on it.
- It will add all of your nest devices in the relevant rooms
The process is the easiest and simplest as much as it could get. Even if you are not a tech person, you will not have much hassle to complete this process. The starling home hub gives you support for all the Google nest products currently available; be it speakers, smoke alarms, doorbells, cameras, thermostats, and pretty much everything.
The good things do not stop here; you can add your Google nest products to your Apple hoe kit home screen, scenes and automation as well. You can use two-ways audios with the doorbell, cameras, and airplay with the help of nest speakers. In addition, you would not believe but all of this good stuff in the price of 89 USD. Therefore, if you are a home kit user and could not deny the great benefits of Google Nest products, it surely is heaven for you.
We will educate you about its negative side too. The starling home hub only supports Google’s Nest products whereas the home bridge supports thousands of other branded products as well.
Another alternative to the home bridge is HOOBS. It is another plug-and-play option but it is not as simple to set up as starlings. However, unlike the starlings’ home hub, it does support hundreds of other products as well. The device either be run by WIFI or via Ethernet, it depends on your choice
The Setup Process
- Connect the Hoobs to power and wait for 2 to 3 minutes as the device installs the Hoobs OS
- A red light indicates that is active and powered on for good
- After 2 to 3 minutes you can connect Ethernet cable to the port
- A green light refers that it is in functional mode and ready to go
- The hardware setup is done for good now
- Go to the chrome and type hoobs.local
- You can go to the login now and choose both password and user name as ‘ADMIN’
- Once done you will be into the hoobs interface
- You will a QR code which will be used to add hoobs onto the home kit
- Go to your home kit app and choose the option of ‘add accessories’
- You can either add it manually or scan the QR code
- You can now add it into the rooms accordingly
Concept of Nest Products:
Nest products are different smart home, tech-friendly devices made by Google. They help to make your home more advanced and they are for sure of the best quality. They mainly include; Nest Mini, Nest Doorbell, Nest temperature Sensor, Nest WIFI Router, Nest WIFI Point, Nest Thermostat, and much more. The Nest products were discovered by Nest Labs 11 years ago and now it is a company owned by Google.
Concept of home kit:
The home kit is essentially a smart home framework made and designed by Apple. It is designed in a way where you can control all your smart home gadgets under one platform. It understands the need that you will have to use so different apps for each gadget available at your home. All these apps installed on your phone uses space and data. You can also find all kinds of smart home gadgets in one platform and you can purchase them by using your home kit until or unless they work with the home kit. You also control all of them from the home app.
From where you can get the home app?
Well, the home is already installed in all Apple products; be it iPhone, iPad, Mac computers, Apple Watch, Apple Televisions, and home pods. You definitely need an Apple device because the home kit is the product of Apple. You can create multiple homes inside of your home app and even invite and give access to others of your home app, if they are also Apple users they can log into it very easily. It is just like giving a password of your home to other family members for access. If you live with a family of roommates this is a great option.
The best feature of the home kit app is that you can create your custom automation and modes. For example, if you want blinds down with some cool nightlights after a hectic day at work. You can create an ‘after work mode’. You can also put those scenes on autopilot mode, which means that at a certain time of the day that scene will automatically appear without even doing anything.
The next best part of the home kit is its privacy. We all know that Apple products are known for their durability as well as privacy. The home kit is designed on the model of privacy as its key requirement. The communication is end-to-end encrypted and you can only communicate on it via your Apple devices and the home app itself. Which means, no hack and no data leakage. It is private and secured.
Now the question is:
Moreover, with that, you will be good to add different products to your home kit without worrying about not having those devices on the home kit app. There are many plugins available and many ways to install them on your home kit but there is one thing which you should know that Apple doesn’t support all these plugins and they can be discontinued by apple whenever they will take an action so always be safe.