HomeBridge is the perfect solution for adding accessories to HomeKit that are not officially supported, but setting up can sometimes be difficult. We tested HOOBS, the perfect solution for a hassle-free HomeBridge.
What is HomeBridge
HomeBridge is an open source platform that Allows you to add countless accessories to HomeKit that are not officially compatible with the Apple platform. To work you need a power station in which you install HomeBridge and then add plugins that you can download for each accessory you want to add. Creating your HomeBridge control panel is not overly complicated, in fact I explained it to you some time ago using a NAS in this article with video included, but you need some basic knowledge and learning time that many users do not want or can spend. This is why a device like HOOBS is so interesting.
HOOBS stands for “HomeBridge Out Of the Box System,” translated so we all understand it, a HomeBridge system that you just need to take out of the box and plug in to start working. You won’t have to buy additional hardware, you won’t have to download software, or write codes … Everything you need is inside the box, and once you take it out and plug it in, you can start working with it
Installation and configuration
When I said it was just take it out of the box and plug it in I wasn’t going overboard, it really is. Inside the box you have the device itself, its microUSB charging cable and USB charger, and An Ethernet cable in case you want to connect it directly to your router, although you also have the option to connect it via WiFi
Once we have connected the device, we can connect it via WiFi to our network, for which we must connect our computer to the HOOBS network that will appear among those available, and give it access to our own home network. We can also connect it using an Ethernet cable, the more direct option. With access to our network we can use any web browser go to the address “http: //hoobs.local” to begin the configuration process, the first step of which will be to create an account with which we will have to identify ourselves to enter our HOOBS.
It is in this direction that we can access our HOOBS office, from which we can control the operation of our HOOBS central, add accessories and configure them. In the left part of the window we find the various control menus, where we highlight “Accessories” where we will look for the accessories we want to add, and “Registry” where we can see all the processes that HOOBS is running with important data that we will need to use at some point during the configuration of the accessory.
There are over 2000 plugins to install in HOOBS, virtually any smart device you are looking for in the market will have its plugin for HOOBS, even many that you could not imagine could be added to a home automation network. In the example of the video, we have added our LG TV, not compatible with HomeKit officially, and I also added my Neato robot vacuum, which doesn’t even have a HomeKit category.
Finding the right plugin and configuring it is pretty straightforward. In the video, I chose one of the more complex ones for setting up my LG TV as an example, but there are plenty of other plugins that hardly require any configuration. Usually, the information they will ask you for is the device’s IP address, sometimes its MAC address, but this is easily retrievable data from the device’s settings or even from your router’s app. Otherwise, you will only have to enter your user account for the device application. In the details of each plugin you will see how they are configured in each case
Once the accessories are added to Home, it will work like any other device. Its integration into the application will depend on the existence of similar devices, in the picture you can see what I’m talking about. While the LG TV appears with an appropriate icon and with all the functions of a TV, including switching the input source, the robotic vacuum cleaner appears as a group of no more buttons. Why this difference? TVs are an existing category in HomeKit, but robot vacuums don’t exist, so the interface is much less user-friendly.
HomeBridge is a great alternative for adding devices that we can’t have in HomeKit for various reasons. HOOBS solves one of the main problems that many users have seen with HomeBridge: creating the main powerhouse and finding and installing plugins. A device already prepared for HomeBridge and a very intuitive and user-friendly web interface this makes anyone with very basic home automation knowledge to run HomeBridge like an expert. And its operation in addition to being simple is very reliable, without disconnections, without problems, as if the accessories that I added were natively compatible with HomeKit. You can buy HOOBS from its official website for $ 169 via this link.
- Editor’s Note
- 5 stars
- Review of: Luis Padilla
- Everything you need included
- Simple setup
- Large catalog of plugins
- Intuitive handling
- Not compatible with 5 GHz WiFi networks