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rwzdoorn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 9, 2018
6
1
Hi,

I've enabled a Somfy garage door opener to my home app (via home assistant > homekit controller). When I ask Siri to open the garage door, it always opens and closes wherever I am. Due to security reasons, I want to be able to open / close the garage door only when I'm near my home.

Does anyone if it's possible to make this a requirement for Siri?
 

iStorm

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2012
1,820
2,237
I don't think it's possible. I had a similar situation with my lights. I had created a "lightswitch" shortcut to turn my lights on/off with a button on my phone, but didn't want it to do anything if I was away from home. I solved the problem by updating the shortcut to check to see if I was on my wi-fi (network name) first.

I suppose in your case, you could create a shortcut named "Open Garage Door" (or whatever you usually tell Siri). Have it get get the distance between your current location and your home. If it's less than 0.1 miles or so, then open the door. Now when you say "Hey Siri, open garage door", it should run the shortcut instead of the Home command. It's not 100% foolproof though. You could potentially say "open door" or "open Somfy" (or whatever it's call in the Home app), and it would run the Home command instead of the shortcut to check your location.
 

sparky672

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2004
533
252
I wouldn't ask Siri to do anything like that for the reasons mentioned. Siri seems to ignore certain exact words that match existing scenes in favor of some strange inaccurate interpretation of what I said. These are repeatable errors, not just one-off pronunciation errors. Hey, being Apple's guinea pig is really great, but when I give a command that matches a scene or accessory using EXACT WORDS, why shouldn't it try matching an existing scene or accessory using those same exact words, before jumping into AI?

I've also found geofencing very slow and unreliable... and it's not my network or home location. It seems to frequently fire off long after arriving or leaving whatever location I have set. The phone has a dedicated built-in GPS radio for god sakes... geofencing should always fire immediately (within one/two seconds)... no excuses. If the Maps app can keep a dot on the road (and know what direction it's pointing), then it should be very easy for HomeKit to fire off immediate geofencing events.
 

Rnd-chars

macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2023
248
234
It looks like you could create a Shortcut that looks at the device’s location and if the distance between your device and home is within an acceptable radius you could trigger your HomeKit command. You’ll probably just want to name your shortcut something unique like “Open Sesame” so Siri definitely runs the shortcut as open to performing a normal HomeKit command
 

sparky672

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2004
533
252
Interesting. I haven’t experienced that.

I have two completely different scenes.

• "Lockdown"
• "Garage Lockdown"

Me: "Hey Siri, Garage Lockdown."
Siri: "Setting the scene."

Take a wild guess which one is activated every single time.

Hint: not the one you expect; it's like I'm not even saying the word "Garage".
Solution: I had to rename the scene to "Lock Garage".

I have more stupid Siri examples.
 
Last edited:

Rnd-chars

macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2023
248
234
i see. Short phrases that have high similarity can be tricky for AI in general. The speech-to-text phase will run correctly (eg “Garage Lockdown”), but the Natural Language Understanding phase has to determine if two phrases are dissimilar enough to attribute them to different intents/actions. Certainly a bug on Apple’s part, but that can be a difficult one to address for user supplied phrases. It would be helpful to have a feedback mechanism (eg, “you did the wrong thing and should have run the shortcut names ‘Garage Lockdown’ instead”) so that it could improve its training.

That’s why I suggested “Open Sesame” (or “Open Detached Two-Car Garage Door” for something more intention revealing) which should be dissimilar enough for Siri to distinguish it from existing shortcuts.

All of this also depends on how important this scene is and what an acceptable failure rate is. If the consequences of this failing are high, then even a 5% chance of undertriggering may be unacceptable.
 
Last edited:

sparky672

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2004
533
252
i see. Short phrases that have high similarity can be tricky for AI in general. The speech-to-text phase will run correctly (eg “Garage Lockdown”), but the Natural Language Understanding phase has to determine if two phrases are dissimilar enough to attribute them to different intents/actions.

My argument is the most complicated issues of AI should not even come into play for this. It's a phrase that matches something exactly. "If matches exactly, then that's the exact intent. Else, do some AI mumbo jumbo to figure out intent."

Certainly a bug on Apple’s part, but that can be a difficult one to address for user supplied phrases.

What exactly is so hard about saying the exact name of a scene? That should be the easiest thing, not the most difficult. Even using the word "scene" as part of the phrase does not work in my case.

Clearly it already recognizes that I want a scene, but it just drops the word "Garage" and skips over to another scene named "Lockdown".

I believe it might be taking the word "Garage" out because I also have a HomeKit room named "Garage". If that's true, then one could never use Siri to run such a scene. Apple should publish rules about best naming practices instead of the "it just works" mantra.

All of this also depends on how important this scene is and what an acceptable failure rate is. If the consequences of this failing are high, then even a 5% chance of undertriggering may be unacceptable.

As stated, this particular example has a 100% failure rate. There are others.
 
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