HomeKit and security settings

zama36

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2007
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I have been playing with HomeKit/HomeBridge/Z-Way server to replace my current home automation software while keeping the Z wave hardware I have.
I have two test zwave devices and my nest thermostat set up and working am However I have not yet figured out how to configure security for “Stay” mode. Obviously HomeKit has the concepts of armed/disarmed based on if I’m home or not as well as time based functionality, but how do you set up security when it’s fluid like “Stay” where it’s not based on physical location or time. My current software has variables to address this but I can’t find a similar functionality with HomeKit. This is a showstopper. Any help would be appreciated.
 

wesley96

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2009
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Can you expand upon the meaning of "configur(ing) security" in this context?
 

zama36

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2007
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Can you expand upon the meaning of "configur(ing) security" in this context?
So my current setup allows for setting a state variable to AWAY, STAY or HOME. Depending on the state set, if a window/door/motion sensor is triggered an action may or may not be taken.

From what I can tell of HomeKit, this really isn't possible since the "WHEN" conditional of the automation rules is based either on a person's physical presence or a time range, not a state.

I did find homebridge-http-securitysystem project. While it allows for setting the state of a security system, it isn't integrated with Homekit's automation so I don't necessarily see the point of the project.

Is this just a limitation of Homekit? Why limit things to when someone is or isn't around and time?
 

wesley96

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Sep 21, 2009
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You are correct that no such 'state variables' exist for HomeKit. Usually, a workaround to this would be to have a certain configurable HomeKit device (e.g. switch or bulb) act as the holder of such state. Then when an automation is triggered, the state of that device could be evaluated as the condition to determine whether the automation would proceed or not.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
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Would you mind explaining what you want the automation to do and why?

That might make it easier to find a work around for this limitation.
 

zama36

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2007
84
5
You are correct that no such 'state variables' exist for HomeKit. Usually, a workaround to this would be to have a certain configurable HomeKit device (e.g. switch or bulb) act as the holder of such state. Then when an automation is triggered, the state of that device could be evaluated as the condition to determine whether the automation would proceed or not.
I thought of setting up a dummy device to represent the state but I was unable to determine how you set up the automation to evaluate the dummy device after a sensor has been tripped. The automation rules only allow for one conditional to be evaluated. Could you please explain how you were able to do this?
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Would you mind explaining what you want the automation to do and why?

That might make it easier to find a work around for this limitation.
Essentially the automation would be something like this.

Motion sensor triggered - State is evaluated - If state = AWAY, then turn on siren/lights/send notification.

I haven't been able to determine how to evaluate the state. Homekit's "When" conditional allows for physical presence and time.
 

wesley96

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Sep 21, 2009
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If you use a 3rd party HomeKit app like Elgato Eve (you don’t need their devices to use it) or Hesperus you can configure for multiple conditions.
 

zama36

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2007
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If you use a 3rd party HomeKit app like Elgato Eve (you don’t need their devices to use it) or Hesperus you can configure for multiple conditions.
Thanks for pointing me at Eve. Played with it a little bit but ran into similar problems I did with Zway Server and its Logic Module. Can create a rule that functions but am unable to get it to send notifications. Motion detected and state set to away turn on siren. Only problem I have with this in both Eve and Zway is the fact I haven't figured out how to send a notification.

If I was able to set up a dummy sensor or if Apple enabled notifications for switches I could just use native notifications in Apple's Home app.
 
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wesley96

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Sep 21, 2009
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You can’t tell an automation to send notification in HomeKit at the moment. Only certain types of sensors can be configured to send notification when it’s tripped (door and motion sensors, notably) by enabling it at the configuration screen This was added in iOS 10.2, so the function itself is relatively new. I wish it could be more versatile.
 

zama36

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Original poster
Mar 21, 2007
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You can’t tell an automation to send notification in HomeKit at the moment. Only certain types of sensors can be configured to send notification when it’s tripped (door and motion sensors, notably) by enabling it at the configuration screen This was added in iOS 10.2, so the function itself is relatively new. I wish it could be more versatile.
Agree with you on that one. Don't understand why Apple would limit it. The code can't be that different.

Hoping to figure out how to create a dummy sensor to set up a notification.
 

Feenician

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Jun 13, 2016
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Agree with you on that one. Don't understand why Apple would limit it. The code can't be that different.

Hoping to figure out how to create a dummy sensor to set up a notification.
Homebridge can allow you to set up dummy switches and lights. I’m using a dummy switch to work around the problem of doors not being operable without confirmation. I have a dummy switch that moves to “Off” when everyone leaves and another automation where the switch closes the door.
 

robertjami

macrumors newbie
Oct 13, 2017
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homeKit doesn’t require the use of a hub to control groups of devices, though an Apple TV (or an iOS device you leave at home) is required to act as a gateway when you’re away. But even without a hub, HomeKit devices can easily be configured to work together as part of a modest home automation setup, and in our testing they require less fuss and troubleshooting than most other smart-home platforms.
 

zama36

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 21, 2007
84
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So to basically close out this thread, I was able to set up the more complicated automations using the Zway Server Logic module and notifications through the Push Notifications module. There were two issues; one I'm still trying to figure out. Namely, the Push Notifications module does not notify the Push Notification service correctly when both the on/off states of a switch are defined in the rule, so you have to create two module rules to make it work correctly. The only other outstanding issue is figuring out how define the logic rule to activate after a device enters a state rather than already being in that state when setting "Stay" mode.