Sitting in the basement tonight, getting ready to movie night, the family started yelling “Hey Google, Turn off the basement lights”. To our dismay, Google was unable to turn off the lights.
It’s been a year or more that people have been waiting for Google Home hardware to be able to control Insteon home automation hardware. Finally Insteon has come out with support for Google Assistant!
Insteon sent out an email earlier today with:
So I really am starting to question my usage of Insteon hardware in my automated home lately. The Insteon App for Android is just poor, I’ll leave the details on those complaints for another blog post, but today, let’s talk about the latest Hub firmware update.
This is a follow up post to our post earlier this week
Earlier this week we posted about not being able to get the INSTEON Wireless Security IP Camera with Pan, Tilt and Night Vision working with our Insteon Hub using the Android Application. I reached out to Insteon support to see what they had to offer, they suggested that if I had an iOS device I could use the “Add existing” option when adding the Camera to the Hub app, but that feature isn’t available on the Android version.
We are an Android household, though I do have a Macbook Pro, I don’t have an iOS devices. I commandeered the office’s IPod Touch for the weekend to see if I could get the cameras working, and what do you know, they sure do!
Is [email protected] vaporware? That is the question I have been asking myself since Google announced [email protected] at Google IO earlier this week.
There isn’t a whole lot of information out there as of right now, as to what [email protected] actually is, will be, or wants to be. The details are very sparse. The only information with any sort of a timeline that I’ve been able to find is an article from TechRadar that says the first “product” will be due at the end of this year (2011).
I’m hoping that things will flush out from Google over the next few months. In the mean time I think it is time that I dive into some Android development. I’ve been meaning to do so for quite some time, but with everything else going on I haven’t had the opportunity.
If you recall my last blog post you’ll see that I’ve dumb’d down the house, so this announcement from Google about [email protected] might have come at just the right time for me. Is it time to ditch Insteon and move to something else? Only time will tell.
So here we are, getting ready to move again, so what do I need to do? Well, remove all the Insteon hardware from the house of course! This post is actually a year and a half too late, as we have actually moved once already, we left our house in Colorado to move to California. Making that house “dumb” was easy, as I had only put in two Insteon switches in that house.
Here in California I had wired up 7 various INSTEON SwitchLinc devices throughout the house, with a combination of relays and sending units. I never really took it 100% like I wanted to, but I also knew we wouldn’t be living here for more than a year. So I removed all of the switches this weekend. Installing the SwitchLinc devices is easy, removing them is just as easy. Though I did run into one stumbling block. The hall lighting in this house was wired with a 4 way switch. I had no clue what that meant, except that it had 3 switches that could control the lights.
When I had wired up the Insteon switches I ended up making only one of the switches work, the other two were plated off. Well that wouldn’t be acceptable for the land lord so I had to figure out how to get it working. Fortunately I came across this website that showed me how to figure out the wiring of a 4-way switch.
Hopefully with the new place I’ll have the opportunity to wire things up again and this time I can go all out. I’ve got plenty of devices to use.
So it’s been a year since I really did anything with my home automation projects. In that time we’ve moved, from Missouri to Colorado, and purchased our first home.
It is time to begin again! I recently ordered a Smarthome kit, INSTEON Lamp Scene Lighting Starter Kit. I ended up finding it on a special deal a day website that Best Buy has for its Rewardzone members. The kit was priced at $60, a pretty good deal considering Smarthome sells it for $99. I expected it to show up in a few days and I would hook it up and get a few things running. To my surprise however I didn’t receive the kit in the mail, I got a decent sized box from the deal website, labeled as a smarthome box. I though there must be a lot of packing material in the box, only to open it and find a plethora of Insteon hardware, nothing like the kit I ordered, but WAY better.
So today I spent some time working around the house with my family, my parents visited us for the holidays. After cleaning up the xmas decorations my wife headed off to ride her horses and my dad and I worked on a few things.
I received a few Insteon devices for xmas this year so we worked on getting those wired up in the house. We now have two Smartlinc Insteon Dimmer Switchs hooked up, one in the living room, and one in our bedroom.
My trial license of mControl expired, so I am going to have to figure out what to do about software to control the switches, I still think I would like to write my own, but we’ll see how that goes. I have enough other projects to keep me busy without trying to start up my own open source home automation application.
Well it’s now officially the day after Thanksgiving, that means Christmas Lights need to go up over the next few days. With that in mind, and following my blog post from earlier, I decide it was time to get the Insteon and X-10 equipment I do own working together. I ran across the mControl Software on Smarthomeand then decided I would look into it more. I found a trial copy and have that up and running on my Windows Home Server. I must say, it is pretty sweet that I can control the lights from nearly any computer in the world now. Over the next few days I’ll go through and hookup all the hardware I have boxed up currently. It is mostly X-10 controls, but I do have a few Insteon controls as well.
Here’s a screenshot of my test setup running in the Windows Home Server console.
This blog hasn't seen much activity lately. We've been too busy finishing up a few other projects to start playing with all of our new Insteon toys. We should have those plugged in and playtime commencing sometime this week!