On the latest HomeKit Insider, comes the Thread support for certain Nanoleaf devices, Aqara launches a HomeKit shadow controller and how to create smart NFC controls.
The biggest story of the week is a new firmware update released on Nanoleaf’s Shapes and Elements line. This new firmware brings Thread support to these devices. However, it is not compatible with the standard wire, as the lights are still Wi-Fi. Instead, it acts as a Thread border router, connecting existing Thread devices to the network.
This means that it now works the same as Apple’s HomePod mini, and thus can extend the robustness of your Thread network.
This week also marks the launch of a new video channel focused on HomeKit from AppleInsider.
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Then, a new upgraded shadow controller appeared on the Aqaba website, which would easily allow users to add HomeKit to their chain or cord shades.
In addition, of course, hosts Stephen and Andrew have a number of personal projects they have undertaken. Stephen, for example, has continued his efforts to create a smart notification that runs when you leave the house, letting you know if there is another door or window open.
This time he used the listeners’ advice on how to get it out. While some recommend HomeBridge Messenger or a third-party app called Pushover, Stephen wants to recommend an app called Pushcut.
Pushcut allows you to set up a hold command in the Shortcuts app and then use this third-party app to send the notification if a door has actually been left open.
Meanwhile, Andrew had a different project in which he incorporated NFC into various things around his house.
Adding an NFC chip to her wedding photo, touching it with her iPhone, she will open her wedding album on her phone, set her HomeKit lights to the colors of the wedding and sing the wedding song.
Alternatively, touching his LEGO Star Wars canteen set of Mos Eisley will dim the lights and play the music of the canteen band in the film.
This project was born from a wooden memory box that he built as a gift for babies. It was made of elm and had laser engraved stars on top. He hid an NFC chip in the front of the box so that when he was touched with an iPhone, he played an instrumental version of “When You Want a Star” and opened a children’s album with ultrasound photos of the couple.
Listener questions and feedback continued to spread – thank you as always – so there is plenty to answer this time.
Carl, for example, asked us if there was any way to configure Ecobee sensors without installing an intelligent Ecobee thermostat. He doesn’t need a new thermostat, he’s just interested in sensors.
Patrick Berney then asked if there was a four-way HomeKit switch. Bendik wants to know about EU light switches that can be installed without cables.
Finally, Alex Hall asked us how the Wemo Stage separates and if it can really be used with any faceplate.
Find out why we have answers – and why not – on the latest HomeKit Insider podcast.
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