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Open source HomeBridge links 3rd-party smart home devices like Nest to Apple's HomeKit

Users looking to connect their existing smart home setup to Apple's HomeKit ecosystem can turn to Homebridge, an open-source tool that brings voice control to popular devices from Nest, Sonos and others.




Homebridge is currently available on GitHub,and works by emulating the iOS HomeKit API through user-contributed modules called Plugins. Each plugin corresponds with a different manufacturer, with the list including smart home titans Nest and Sonos, as well as lesser known manufacturers like Indigo Domotics, Netatmo and Wemo.

Both the Homebridge database as well as the Plugins can be installed through a command line prompt as global NPM modules and are compatible with Linux-based systems as well as the Raspberry Pi.

The most obvious use case for using Homebridge to connect with HomeKit is integration with Siri, allowing a user to use voice commands (e.g. "Siri, unlock the front door") for a variety of tasks.

While third-party apps like Home or MyTouchHome have been available for some time, Apple has yet to release an app that functions as a central hub to control multiple HomeKit-connected smart devices, which makes a project like this necessary for those who don't want to wait for Apple. However, some smart home manufacturers like Phillips have introduced devices like the Hue Bridge, which enables users of Phillips' own line of smart light bulbs and accessories to connect their system to HomeKit.




Last month, Apple began removing smart home devices like Belkin's WeMo Switch and WeMo Light Switch that don't support the HomeKit protocol from its online store.

For more information on Homebridge, including installation instructions and FAQs, you can visit the project's GitHub page and repository.