Question of protocols and ecosystems
The big problem of home automation is in the different protocols and existing systems. Right now, the three main actors are Google, Amazon and Apple. These offers Assistant, Alexa and Siri along with their respective platforms to create a home automation ecosystem that is practical and functional to the user.
The problem is that not everyone has the same number of connected devices, and if there are any, those of a brand may interest you more than others for issues such as price or specific features. So it’s a pain to not be able to use a Nest camera or its thermostat because, in your day, you decided bet on HomeKit.
So you have to find a solution. This is neither more nor less than some small HUBs that are integrated with HomeKit and then are able to “Translate” orders to integrate other devices that do not give native support to the Apple platform.
Aqara Smart Home Hub
The Aqara Smart Home Hub is a device capable of connecting Xiaomi home automation products with the Apple ecosystem. Although the Xiaomi bulbs can already be added to the Casa application, if you want to use other sensors and others you will need it.
Therefore, if you want to expand your home with these devices, the Aqara Hub is a great solution. In addition, the security kit only costs about 12 euros more and offers you different additional sensors. If you’re not interested, only the Aqara Smart Home Hub costs 47.99 euros.
Starling Home Hub
This other little HUB is the ideal key to add Google Nest devices to the HomeKit ecosystem. This way you can use their thermostats, temperature sensors, cameras, etc. The configuration is not complicated, and once the system is linked you will be able to control everything from the Apple application of Apple devices and through Siri voice commands.
The only “problem” is that if you are interested you will have to ask for it, for now, through the official website and will be sent from March 2. The price of this Starling Home Hub is 89 dollars.
Homebridge on the other hand is not a device in itself but rather a project. Through software that you can install both on your computer and a Raspberry Pi, this solution allows you to add support to Apple HomeKit to all those devices that do not do it in an original way.
Even so, to avoid having your computer on 24 hours a day, the most optimal option is to use a Raspberry Pi Zero. Following the instructions you will be able to add a multitude of devices that are not compatible with HomeKit in your home automation installation.
Quick solutions to home automation problems
As you can see, there are solutions that allow you to use products that are not intended for Apple HomeKit. They involve adding one more intermediate element, that is true, but once done you forget and the use is identical to if it were a product with native support.