Guides and Reviews

 

Homey v2.0 has been released in mid January 2019, and we’ve been upgrading and testing a few Homey(s) with the brands and devices that we commonly deploy. Before we go about talking about what to expect during an upgrade, let us take a quick look at the new UI and features. 

Home Screen

First thing we noticed is that as promised to all our customers, the app is loading way faster than the previous app (now called the Homey Legacy app).

homey v2.0

What we love about the redesigned home screen is that we finally can control favourite devices and flows without much navigation. The home screen also shows the timeline such as who has been home/away, upgraded homey app etc.

You can access your devices and flows from the bottom of the screen.

Devices

Homey Smartphone App

The device page looks very clean, with devices icons neatly laid out, almost Apple HomeKit-ish. Rooms and devices are listed in alphabetical order. For devices like lights, you can simply tap the icon to turn on and off. For dimming, you have to tap and hold the icon to reveal a bar to set your lights to a specific dim level. Other devices such as blinds and AC controller also requires tap and hold to reveal their respective controls.

  

We do hope that in the subsequent release, we can drag and drop to order the icons or to sort them into different rooms.

Flows

Homey App

Flows are now being defined in the mobile app instead of on the browser. For us, it took a while to get used to when we perform setup for customer as it requires more taps instead of drag and drop on a browser. 

 

We were quite worried that it will be cumbersome during setup. But trust us, defining flow on the new Homey app is still much more easy than defining automation on SmartThings app. In fact, SmartThings should really take a leaf out from Homey on user experience and consistency. We like it that we can now trigger flow with a single tap which was previously not possible.

What to expect during upgrade

Just in case we got too technical, this sections is for existing Homey users running on v1.5. Like all major firmware upgrades, it will not be 100% seamless and issues free. So let's take a look at the upgrade process. 

Firstly, unlike the previous firmware upgrade that is done automatically, you can only upgrade your Homey from v1.5 to v2.0 using this new Homey app.

 

There will be a voice prompt from Homey saying that the upgrade is in progress and not to power it off. The upgrade process should complete within 15 minutes, followed by the respective devices's Homey app. i.e if you have Virtual Devices, Device Groups and Homey Kit, they will also perform an upgrade.

At the time of our testing, we encountered the following issues which can be easily fixed:

1. Flows with Virtual devices will need to modified

If you have any flows with Virtual devices, you might noticed that the cards are being greyed out. You will have to delete the virtual device card and add them back again for the flow to be working again.

2. Flows that are triggered by MCO Home might need to be modified

If you have any flows that is triggered by MCO Home switches (such one button to turn off everything), you might notice that the MCO Home card in the When section is being greyed out. You will have to delete the card and add them back for the flow to be working again.

3. Alexa and Google Assistant needs to be unlinked and relinked

You will likely need to unlink and relink your Alexa and Google Assistant to Homey again after the upgrade.

4. Built in Virtual device and HomeKit support

Homey has also build in native virtual devices and Apple HomeKit support instead of using 3rd party Homey app. You can enable these experimental features under settings.

Fortunately, all the Z-Wave and ZIgBee devices were migrated to v2.0 without any issues. For Wifi devices like Dyson, Doorbird etc, it didn't migrate well due to the fact that the app developer had to update their Homey app to support v2.0 firmware.

We also received feedback that Z-Wave and ZigBee devices works much faster and wider range from some of the customers who upgraded.

We will continue to use the list above to highlight any upgrade issues to serve as an FAQ for our customers.

Conclusion

For a team of around 10+ developers, Athom has pulled off an impressive software updates compared to other hub manufacturers. We also understand that the Google Home native support has been pending Google's approval since November 2018 and we look forward to the day we do not have to say "ask Homey to" to our Google Assistant.

Automate Asia Team

Read more

 

Homey v2.0 has been released in mid January 2019, and we’ve been upgrading and testing a few Homey(s) with the brands and devices that we commonly deploy. Before we go about talking about what to expect during an upgrade, let us take a quick look at the new UI and features. 

Home Screen

First thing we noticed is that as promised to all our customers, the app is loading way faster than the previous app (now called the Homey Legacy app).

homey v2.0

What we love about the redesigned home screen is that we finally can control favourite devices and flows without much navigation. The home screen also shows the timeline such as who has been home/away, upgraded homey app etc.

You can access your devices and flows from the bottom of the screen.

Devices

Homey Smartphone App

The device page looks very clean, with devices icons neatly laid out, almost Apple HomeKit-ish. Rooms and devices are listed in alphabetical order. For devices like lights, you can simply tap the icon to turn on and off. For dimming, you have to tap and hold the icon to reveal a bar to set your lights to a specific dim level. Other devices such as blinds and AC controller also requires tap and hold to reveal their respective controls.

  

We do hope that in the subsequent release, we can drag and drop to order the icons or to sort them into different rooms.

Flows

Homey App

Flows are now being defined in the mobile app instead of on the browser. For us, it took a while to get used to when we perform setup for customer as it requires more taps instead of drag and drop on a browser. 

 

We were quite worried that it will be cumbersome during setup. But trust us, defining flow on the new Homey app is still much more easy than defining automation on SmartThings app. In fact, SmartThings should really take a leaf out from Homey on user experience and consistency. We like it that we can now trigger flow with a single tap which was previously not possible.

What to expect during upgrade

Just in case we got too technical, this sections is for existing Homey users running on v1.5. Like all major firmware upgrades, it will not be 100% seamless and issues free. So let's take a look at the upgrade process. 

Firstly, unlike the previous firmware upgrade that is done automatically, you can only upgrade your Homey from v1.5 to v2.0 using this new Homey app.

 

There will be a voice prompt from Homey saying that the upgrade is in progress and not to power it off. The upgrade process should complete within 15 minutes, followed by the respective devices's Homey app. i.e if you have Virtual Devices, Device Groups and Homey Kit, they will also perform an upgrade.

At the time of our testing, we encountered the following issues which can be easily fixed:

1. Flows with Virtual devices will need to modified

If you have any flows with Virtual devices, you might noticed that the cards are being greyed out. You will have to delete the virtual device card and add them back again for the flow to be working again.

2. Flows that are triggered by MCO Home might need to be modified

If you have any flows that is triggered by MCO Home switches (such one button to turn off everything), you might notice that the MCO Home card in the When section is being greyed out. You will have to delete the card and add them back for the flow to be working again.

3. Alexa and Google Assistant needs to be unlinked and relinked

You will likely need to unlink and relink your Alexa and Google Assistant to Homey again after the upgrade.

4. Built in Virtual device and HomeKit support

Homey has also build in native virtual devices and Apple HomeKit support instead of using 3rd party Homey app. You can enable these experimental features under settings.

Fortunately, all the Z-Wave and ZIgBee devices were migrated to v2.0 without any issues. For Wifi devices like Dyson, Doorbird etc, it didn't migrate well due to the fact that the app developer had to update their Homey app to support v2.0 firmware.

We also received feedback that Z-Wave and ZigBee devices works much faster and wider range from some of the customers who upgraded.

We will continue to use the list above to highlight any upgrade issues to serve as an FAQ for our customers.

Conclusion

For a team of around 10+ developers, Athom has pulled off an impressive software updates compared to other hub manufacturers. We also understand that the Google Home native support has been pending Google's approval since November 2018 and we look forward to the day we do not have to say "ask Homey to" to our Google Assistant.

Automate Asia Team

Read more

Innr, an affordable Philip Hue alternative

Posted by Mike Lim

Philip Hue has always been a synonym to smart lightings, just like Coke is to cola. The Philip Hue bulbs are based on Zigbee Light Link and requires the Philip Hue Bridge in order for you to control with your mobile phone or voice assistants. There are also a bunch of other prominent connected bulbs that are either running on wifi or Zigbee such as LIFX, IKEA Trådfri, OSRAM Lightify etc.

So why are we writing about yet another connected bulb, Innr? Innr is a Dutch lighting company which created a complete connected lighting proposition based on Zigbee Light Link, the same protocol used by Philips Hue. This means, if you already are a Philip Hue user and looking at expanding your lighting control, Innr bulbs works well with your existing Philip Hue Bridge! Secondly, a single Philip Hue White and Ambience bulb cost S$90 while the same range from Innr with better colour representation cost S$60! The other white or tunable white bulbs (E27 or GU10) are also relatively cheaper than Philip Hue. We can actually end our review just by these 2 points but let's take a closer look at the products.

Innr Products

 

We managed to lay our hands on some of the products in the Innr range for testing, mainly the Innr RGBW Dimmable, Innr Tunable White E27 and Innr GU10 Tunable White

The Innr bulbs specifications are on par (in some areas better than) with the Philip Hue and yet retails for a lower price.

  Philip White and Colour Ambience Innr RGBW Dimmable E27
Price S$90 S$60
Length 110 mm 120 mm
Diameter 62 mm 60 mm
Wattage 9.5 w 9.5 w
Beam Angle 180 degrees 240 degrees
Lumen 806 lm 806 lm
Lifespan 25000 hrs 25000 hrs
Warranty 2 years 2 years

 

  Philip White Ambience Innr Tunable White E27
Price S$49 S$39
Length 110 mm 120 mm
Diameter 62 mm 60 mm
Wattage 9.5 w 9 w
Beam Angle 180 degrees 240 degrees
Lumen 806 lm 806 lm
Lifespan 25000 hrs 25000 hrs
Warranty 2 years 2 years

 

  Philip White Ambience GU10 Innr GU10 Tunable White
Price S$49 S$45
Length 57 mm 55 mm
Diameter 50 mm 50 mm
Wattage 5.5 w 5.4 w
Beam Angle 38 degrees 36 degrees
Lumen 300 lm 350 lm
Lifespan 25000 hrs 25000 hrs
Warranty 2 years 2 years

Innr also has many interesting products such as Innr Spot Kit, Innr Puck Light that are quite unique. In this review, we will test the Innr RGBW Dimmable E27 and the Innr Spot Tunable White Dimmable GU10.

 

Pairing with Philip Hue Bridge

 

For Philip Hue bulbs, the Philip Hue Bridge automatically scans for bulbs that are powered up during the pairing process. However for Innr bulbs, you actually need to power cycle each Inner bulb while the Hue Bridge is searching for the bulbs. This means that if you have 3 Inner bulbs that is powered by a light switch, you actually have to turn off and on for a total of 3 times to add 3 Innr bulbs to the Hue Bridge.

  

Color Representation Comparison

 

We grouped a Philip Hue White and Colour Ambience with Innr E27 RGBW together in the Hue Bridge to perform the colour comparison. We didn't realise that Philip Hue, green and blue are so far off until we compare it beside Innr!

In case you think we are biased, you can search for more comparison videos on YouTube.

Pairing with Athom Homey

 

We cannot help but like to take the chance to show how well it works with Homey. This is especially relevant if you plan to setup a complete smart home with minimum wiring.

We setup 4 GU10 bulbs to Homey and fired away voice commands such as Alexa, set track light to warm white, cool white or dim to 20% and it worked quite well.

Conclusion

 

The conclusion remains unchanged, Innr is very affordable and perform as well, if not better than the Philip Hue. The only thing you probably won't get from Innr is the Innr Bridge which cost the same as the Philip Hue Bridge but does not work with Amazon Echo or Google Home yet. In fact, we think new users should just get Philip Hue Bridge and Innr bulbs for their smart lighting.

Automate Asia Team

Read more

Philip Hue has always been a synonym to smart lightings, just like Coke is to cola. The Philip Hue bulbs are based on Zigbee Light Link and requires the Philip Hue Bridge in order for you to control with your mobile phone or voice assistants. There are also a bunch of other prominent connected bulbs that are either running on wifi or Zigbee such as LIFX, IKEA Trådfri, OSRAM Lightify etc.

So why are we writing about yet another connected bulb, Innr? Innr is a Dutch lighting company which created a complete connected lighting proposition based on Zigbee Light Link, the same protocol used by Philips Hue. This means, if you already are a Philip Hue user and looking at expanding your lighting control, Innr bulbs works well with your existing Philip Hue Bridge! Secondly, a single Philip Hue White and Ambience bulb cost S$90 while the same range from Innr with better colour representation cost S$60! The other white or tunable white bulbs (E27 or GU10) are also relatively cheaper than Philip Hue. We can actually end our review just by these 2 points but let's take a closer look at the products.

Innr Products

 

We managed to lay our hands on some of the products in the Innr range for testing, mainly the Innr RGBW Dimmable, Innr Tunable White E27 and Innr GU10 Tunable White

The Innr bulbs specifications are on par (in some areas better than) with the Philip Hue and yet retails for a lower price.

  Philip White and Colour Ambience Innr RGBW Dimmable E27
Price S$90 S$60
Length 110 mm 120 mm
Diameter 62 mm 60 mm
Wattage 9.5 w 9.5 w
Beam Angle 180 degrees 240 degrees
Lumen 806 lm 806 lm
Lifespan 25000 hrs 25000 hrs
Warranty 2 years 2 years

 

  Philip White Ambience Innr Tunable White E27
Price S$49 S$39
Length 110 mm 120 mm
Diameter 62 mm 60 mm
Wattage 9.5 w 9 w
Beam Angle 180 degrees 240 degrees
Lumen 806 lm 806 lm
Lifespan 25000 hrs 25000 hrs
Warranty 2 years 2 years

 

  Philip White Ambience GU10 Innr GU10 Tunable White
Price S$49 S$45
Length 57 mm 55 mm
Diameter 50 mm 50 mm
Wattage 5.5 w 5.4 w
Beam Angle 38 degrees 36 degrees
Lumen 300 lm 350 lm
Lifespan 25000 hrs 25000 hrs
Warranty 2 years 2 years

Innr also has many interesting products such as Innr Spot Kit, Innr Puck Light that are quite unique. In this review, we will test the Innr RGBW Dimmable E27 and the Innr Spot Tunable White Dimmable GU10.

 

Pairing with Philip Hue Bridge

 

For Philip Hue bulbs, the Philip Hue Bridge automatically scans for bulbs that are powered up during the pairing process. However for Innr bulbs, you actually need to power cycle each Inner bulb while the Hue Bridge is searching for the bulbs. This means that if you have 3 Inner bulbs that is powered by a light switch, you actually have to turn off and on for a total of 3 times to add 3 Innr bulbs to the Hue Bridge.

  

Color Representation Comparison

 

We grouped a Philip Hue White and Colour Ambience with Innr E27 RGBW together in the Hue Bridge to perform the colour comparison. We didn't realise that Philip Hue, green and blue are so far off until we compare it beside Innr!

In case you think we are biased, you can search for more comparison videos on YouTube.

Pairing with Athom Homey

 

We cannot help but like to take the chance to show how well it works with Homey. This is especially relevant if you plan to setup a complete smart home with minimum wiring.

We setup 4 GU10 bulbs to Homey and fired away voice commands such as Alexa, set track light to warm white, cool white or dim to 20% and it worked quite well.

Conclusion

 

The conclusion remains unchanged, Innr is very affordable and perform as well, if not better than the Philip Hue. The only thing you probably won't get from Innr is the Innr Bridge which cost the same as the Philip Hue Bridge but does not work with Amazon Echo or Google Home yet. In fact, we think new users should just get Philip Hue Bridge and Innr bulbs for their smart lighting.

Automate Asia Team

Read more

Guide : Automation with Athom's Homey Flows (Scenes)

Posted by Mike Lim

We've received very positive response from the community on Homey since we posted our First impression of Homey. The home automation scene has been stagnated with the usual hubs and people have been looking for a hub to upgrade or be excited with.

Today, we are sharing more on creating flows on Homey. In Vera and Fibaro it is called Scenes, in SmartThings, it is called Routines while in Homey it is called Flows. 

For the sake of comparison and for you to judge, here's some screen shot of the Vera and Fibaro scenes and SmartThings routines.

The Vera scene has a textual wizard to step through the scene creation.

The Fibaro scene uses blocks for specifying logics.

SmartThings's routine is also a little like Vera, except that you do it mostly on your mobile devices.

Here's how Homey's flows look like. Refreshing huh?

The flow editor is done on their Homey desktop application. 

Homey's flow is based on a card system that has a when (trigger), and (condition), then (actions) and else (actions). In short,

“When something happened, and this and that are true, then do that.”. 

Basically you just drag the component cards from the left bar into the 3 columns. The cards are also contextual, meaning if you drag a switch to the if column, you can only see the respective option cards for use in that column. This screenshot should give you a better picture. In this example, the same wall plug is dragged into the "when" and "then" column multiple times. You can then choose the different triggers and actions by flipping the cards. You can also send values (cards with tags) to placeholders to conditions for evaluation and actions.

 Let's go a little deeper with a frequently used example. In this example, we want a standing lamp to turn on when there is motion, but only between 6PM to 6AM. Here's how to:

In this example, not only the standing lamp wall plug is turned on, Homey will also announce "Motion Detected" and pulse its LED in red. If you are familiar with Vera and Fibaro scene, you will know that the "time in between" condition is not available and you have to achieve the above with 2 scenes instead on 1 in Homey.

Let's move one to a more interesting use case. Where a condition is being evaluated. In this example, we want to make sure that the last person who leave the house locks the door. If this happens, send a Telegram message specifying name if the last person who left the house and then automatically locks the door. Here's how: 

Looks simple? If you notice on the left bar, you can also do a lot with other devices such as DoorBird, Ring, IR devices etc, each with their very specific triggers, conditions and actions. 

Conclusion

We feel that the flow editor provided another way of defining automation. In a way, Homey made everything seemingly simpler and yet able to achieve more complexed scenes in a single flow. Check out this link for a introductory page to Homey Flows.

In our next few articles, we will share more on other integrated devices such as DoorBird, Ring, music IR and 433 devices. So do keep a look out for them!

Automate Asia Team

Read more

We've received very positive response from the community on Homey since we posted our First impression of Homey. The home automation scene has been stagnated with the usual hubs and people have been looking for a hub to upgrade or be excited with.

Today, we are sharing more on creating flows on Homey. In Vera and Fibaro it is called Scenes, in SmartThings, it is called Routines while in Homey it is called Flows. 

For the sake of comparison and for you to judge, here's some screen shot of the Vera and Fibaro scenes and SmartThings routines.

The Vera scene has a textual wizard to step through the scene creation.

The Fibaro scene uses blocks for specifying logics.

SmartThings's routine is also a little like Vera, except that you do it mostly on your mobile devices.

Here's how Homey's flows look like. Refreshing huh?

The flow editor is done on their Homey desktop application. 

Homey's flow is based on a card system that has a when (trigger), and (condition), then (actions) and else (actions). In short,

“When something happened, and this and that are true, then do that.”. 

Basically you just drag the component cards from the left bar into the 3 columns. The cards are also contextual, meaning if you drag a switch to the if column, you can only see the respective option cards for use in that column. This screenshot should give you a better picture. In this example, the same wall plug is dragged into the "when" and "then" column multiple times. You can then choose the different triggers and actions by flipping the cards. You can also send values (cards with tags) to placeholders to conditions for evaluation and actions.

 Let's go a little deeper with a frequently used example. In this example, we want a standing lamp to turn on when there is motion, but only between 6PM to 6AM. Here's how to:

In this example, not only the standing lamp wall plug is turned on, Homey will also announce "Motion Detected" and pulse its LED in red. If you are familiar with Vera and Fibaro scene, you will know that the "time in between" condition is not available and you have to achieve the above with 2 scenes instead on 1 in Homey.

Let's move one to a more interesting use case. Where a condition is being evaluated. In this example, we want to make sure that the last person who leave the house locks the door. If this happens, send a Telegram message specifying name if the last person who left the house and then automatically locks the door. Here's how: 

Looks simple? If you notice on the left bar, you can also do a lot with other devices such as DoorBird, Ring, IR devices etc, each with their very specific triggers, conditions and actions. 

Conclusion

We feel that the flow editor provided another way of defining automation. In a way, Homey made everything seemingly simpler and yet able to achieve more complexed scenes in a single flow. Check out this link for a introductory page to Homey Flows.

In our next few articles, we will share more on other integrated devices such as DoorBird, Ring, music IR and 433 devices. So do keep a look out for them!

Automate Asia Team

Read more

Review : Athom's Homey First Impression

Posted by Mike Lim

Deciding your first Z-Wave controller can be a daunting task. We always get questions such as the difference between Vera, Fibaro or Zipatile controller, which controller is more value for money, which ones are more user friendly, how is SmartThings compared to the rest etc. 

We think we will have a different answer today because we've just laid our hands on one of the up and coming smart home hub Homey. And we are very excited to share our first impression as we were totally blown away by it's user interface and product design.

Homey is a voice-activated home automation hub created by Netherlands-based startup Athom. Athom recently launched Homey on Kickstarter in 2014 with  996 backers.

First look

The hardware looks un-usually minimalist. In fact one of the most minimalist design we've seen do far. Just a sphere with LED ring, with a USB power port, a 3.5mm audio jack and a speaker grille. Not even logo or any single letter on the device itself. In fact the box does not even come with an instruction manual because Athom provided 13 instruction videos on YouTube just for setting up Homey.

Supported Protocol

These guys are seeing things differently and the number of protocols it supports make it stands out from Fibaro, Vera and even SmartThings :

  • Wi-Fi ® 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz 
  • Bluetooth ® 4.0 Low Energy 1 
  • ZigBee ® 2.4 GHz 2
  • Z-Wave Plus ™ 
  • 433 MHz 
  • 868 MHz 
  • Infrared Receiver 
  • Infrared Transmitter (6x) 
  • NFC (ISO14443A) 

You are actually getting an infrared blaster, 433 Mhz, NFC on top of whatever the competitors are offering in the market! The hub is also a speaker that can channel audio via the 3.5 mm headphone jack as well as Bluetooth A2DP.

Setup

Upon boot up, the Homey will prompt you by voice to connect to http://setup.athom.com. From this point, everything will be done on your browser until the point you download the Homey app.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The downloading of latest firmware and the voice files actually took some time as the files are around 150 MB to 200 MB in size.

Once the Homey hub is connected to your Wifi and firmware updated, you can download the Homey desktop application to start adding devices and create flows. Homey named their scenes as flows and we must say we were quite impressed with the user interface.

 

 

 

Homey supports an impressive array of devices as shown in the screenshots. There is an app for each brand of Z-Wave devices and you will need to download the app from the Homey App Store into Homey before pairing them.

Furthermore, the pairing instructions are very clear and device specific. The device parameters for each brand of Z-Wave devices are laid out very clearly. We feel that they have outdone both Fibaro and Vera in terms of parameters management. Till date, Homey is compatible with over 20,000 devices. 

Homey App

Once you are done with the setup, adding of devices etc, here's how the look and feel of the app. Again, we love it's simple and material-design like UI. (Vera app had a flat UI but seems overly flat and Fibaro app looks like it is till in the iPhone 3GS era).

  

Conclusion

With the wide range of device support, clear parameter management and clean UI, Homey is definitely a strong contender among the existing hubs out there. The best thing about Homey is that, like SmartThings, it depended on a strong community in building more support and yet do their quality check on their app and UI assets. For geeks, their add-on are all written in Node.js (the geek in me is screaming woo!). 

So do we recommend Homey over Fibaro and Vera? We think our answer will be very likely but we are still doing range and more testing to discover out more of its cons. So far we are still very impressed!

Look out for more articles as we will be covering more on Homey especially on the flow (scene) editor, App Store and other non-Zwave controls (IR, NFC, Bluetooth etc).

Automate Asia Team

 

Read more

Deciding your first Z-Wave controller can be a daunting task. We always get questions such as the difference between Vera, Fibaro or Zipatile controller, which controller is more value for money, which ones are more user friendly, how is SmartThings compared to the rest etc. 

We think we will have a different answer today because we've just laid our hands on one of the up and coming smart home hub Homey. And we are very excited to share our first impression as we were totally blown away by it's user interface and product design.

Homey is a voice-activated home automation hub created by Netherlands-based startup Athom. Athom recently launched Homey on Kickstarter in 2014 with  996 backers.

First look

The hardware looks un-usually minimalist. In fact one of the most minimalist design we've seen do far. Just a sphere with LED ring, with a USB power port, a 3.5mm audio jack and a speaker grille. Not even logo or any single letter on the device itself. In fact the box does not even come with an instruction manual because Athom provided 13 instruction videos on YouTube just for setting up Homey.

Supported Protocol

These guys are seeing things differently and the number of protocols it supports make it stands out from Fibaro, Vera and even SmartThings :

  • Wi-Fi ® 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz 
  • Bluetooth ® 4.0 Low Energy 1 
  • ZigBee ® 2.4 GHz 2
  • Z-Wave Plus ™ 
  • 433 MHz 
  • 868 MHz 
  • Infrared Receiver 
  • Infrared Transmitter (6x) 
  • NFC (ISO14443A) 

You are actually getting an infrared blaster, 433 Mhz, NFC on top of whatever the competitors are offering in the market! The hub is also a speaker that can channel audio via the 3.5 mm headphone jack as well as Bluetooth A2DP.

Setup

Upon boot up, the Homey will prompt you by voice to connect to http://setup.athom.com. From this point, everything will be done on your browser until the point you download the Homey app.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The downloading of latest firmware and the voice files actually took some time as the files are around 150 MB to 200 MB in size.

Once the Homey hub is connected to your Wifi and firmware updated, you can download the Homey desktop application to start adding devices and create flows. Homey named their scenes as flows and we must say we were quite impressed with the user interface.

 

 

 

Homey supports an impressive array of devices as shown in the screenshots. There is an app for each brand of Z-Wave devices and you will need to download the app from the Homey App Store into Homey before pairing them.

Furthermore, the pairing instructions are very clear and device specific. The device parameters for each brand of Z-Wave devices are laid out very clearly. We feel that they have outdone both Fibaro and Vera in terms of parameters management. Till date, Homey is compatible with over 20,000 devices. 

Homey App

Once you are done with the setup, adding of devices etc, here's how the look and feel of the app. Again, we love it's simple and material-design like UI. (Vera app had a flat UI but seems overly flat and Fibaro app looks like it is till in the iPhone 3GS era).

  

Conclusion

With the wide range of device support, clear parameter management and clean UI, Homey is definitely a strong contender among the existing hubs out there. The best thing about Homey is that, like SmartThings, it depended on a strong community in building more support and yet do their quality check on their app and UI assets. For geeks, their add-on are all written in Node.js (the geek in me is screaming woo!). 

So do we recommend Homey over Fibaro and Vera? We think our answer will be very likely but we are still doing range and more testing to discover out more of its cons. So far we are still very impressed!

Look out for more articles as we will be covering more on Homey especially on the flow (scene) editor, App Store and other non-Zwave controls (IR, NFC, Bluetooth etc).

Automate Asia Team

 

Read more