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Testing Homey: Smart Gateway Opens up Numerous Possibilities

Smart Home 08.04.2019 | Marcus Schwarten

A Smart Lock, such as the new Nuki 2.0, offers plenty of possibilities to easily access your own four walls. But it gets even smarter when paired with a Smart Home and the respective gateway. This enables comprehensive networking of your smart door lock with the alarm system, light control, and much more.

These days, gateways or hubs for Smart Homes are available in abundance. But hardly any are as versatile and open as Homey from the Netherlands. We’d like you introduce you to the perfectly spherical Smart Home control centre, which also supports the Nuki Smart Lock, in more detail.

One smart sphere, many manufacturers

Already at first glance, Homey stands out from the rest of the many control centres on the Smart Home market. While most of these sport a square, rather unappealing look, Homey almost appears like a little sculpture with its round shape and colourful illuminated ring. You won’t necessarily need to hide it away in a cabinet.

But of course, looks aren’t the main reason to consider letting Homey move in with you. More importantly, the hub offers a large number of options – and very diverse options at that. While most hubs are bound to a specific manufacturer (e.g. Homematic), Homey can integrate many different brands. Aside from Nuki, these include numerous well-known and lesser known manufacturers such as Sonos, Philips Hue, Fibaro, Somfy, tado°, and many more. A detailed overview is available on Homey’s website.

All you need to do is activate the apps provided by Homey or third-party developers via an app or web interface – similar to setting up skills for Alexa. This allows many different devices and brands to be connected to one another, just like with HomeKit and the like. And speaking of HomeKit: Homey can unofficially also be connected to HomeKit using an app. This opens up the possibility of integrating many devices into HomeKit that are not actually built to support HomeKit.

The fact that Homey works with Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, ZigBee, Bluetooth, as well as infrared, to name a few, is what makes this versatility possible in the first place. To integrate different brands, you just need to activate these apps to establish a connection.

Dutch-language set-up

The set-up process is available in Dutch, English and German at the moment. The same goes for the voice output offered by Homey itself; however, it is not at all comparable with Alexa and similar products. That’s no big deal, because Alexa and the Google Assistant can be paired with Homey.

I had no problems setting up the hub itself. Even the apps needed to add the various gadgets or devices did not create any major issues during my practical trial – at least not with the hardware from Fibaro, Philips Hue, Nuki, and the others made available to me for my test.

Countless possibilities

Since it supports so many manufacturers, Homey offers undreamt-of options that dwarf most other Smart Home control centres. By activating the numerous apps, more and more manufacturers and their devices can be connected with Homey and thereby with one another. These are then controlled centrally via the Homey app or incorporated into automations.

For example, you can arrange for a Philips Hue lamp in the living room to light up in green once the smart Siemens washing machine in the basement has finished washing the laundry. Or you can set your entire Smart Home to the status “absent” when you lock your Nuki Smart Lock on the front door. And that is exactly how I picture a completely networked Smart Home. Thanks to Homey, you don’t have to rely on just one manufacturer. Instead, you can combine products from many different Smart Home companies.

By the way: in an upcoming blog post, we will show you how to integrate Homey into your Smart Home. If you don’t want to miss out, we recommend subscribing to our blog via the newsletter, on Facebook, or on Twitter. We would love to keep you in the loop!

image rights: Homey https://www.athom.com/en/

Marcus Schwarten
Als enthousiaste "Smart-Homer" probeer ik graag nieuwe technologieën, apparaten en gadgets uit. Als ze goed zijn, geef ik ze graag een plekje in mijn smart-huis. Want voor mij kan het niet smart genoeg zijn… :-)