Despite the lack of native Apple HomeKit support, the SwitchBot family is always a welcome guest and worth a report. Because thanks to Homebridge plugin, many of the manufacturer's smart devices can still be integrated into the Apple ecosystem. Now, two more sensors are added.
In addition to the long-known SwitchBot Bot with pushbuttons, a temperature sensor, the curtain opener and even a humidifier, the manufacturer recently expanded its portfolio. The classics contact sensor, as well as motion detector and an indoor camera are now also available.
The two sensors can now also be controlled via a new Homebridge plugin homebridge-switchbotby the dedicated developer Donavan Becker, can be integrated into the HomeKit environment. According to the current status, this option is not likely to be available for the camera in the future.
Thanks to Donavan, both the sensors and existing SwitchBot devices work with the new plugin. Please note that the original plugin homebridge-switchbot-openapi will not be further developed in the future, the new sensors are not supported and therefore a change to homebridge-switchbot is generally recommended.
One thing to note, however, when using the two new sensors via the homebridge plugin is that the response time is very delayed. This is due to the programming interface API to SwitchBot Hub, according to the developer. So we only have a status change every three minutes on the motion sensor and contact sensor via the plugin. This is unbearably long for such sensors and probably not practical. We would therefore not currently recommend using the new sensors via Homebridge. The other devices, such as the Bot and Curtain, still work perfectly in HomeKit for us.
The plugin also supports Bluetooth instead of connecting via the SwitchBot Hub. We were not able to test this ourselves, but the response time should be considerably faster as a result. Directly via the SwitchBot app, the sensors react within seconds, of course. Maybe you can report your experience with the plugin in the forum.
The two sensors work together with the SwitchBot Hub, which is also a good base for the Homebridge plugin. The new plugin can also be used directly with the devices via Bluetooth without a hub. However, we have no experience with this ourselves and trust in the more stable and faster connection via the hub.
The sensors are powered by two AAA batteries, which contribute to the size of the sensors, but also provide a long runtime. The connection to the hub is made via the energy-saving and fast Bluetooth LE 5.0, as usual with SwitchBot.
The sensitivity of the motion sensor can be adjusted with three options in the SwitchBot app settings, 0-2 meters, 2-5 meters and 5-9 meters. The sensor can be triggered every 8-10 seconds.
The sensors have a relatively compact size, have a very high-quality finish, and look modern thanks to the rounded edges.
The motion sensor detects not only movements but also the brightness of the surroundings. And even the contact sensor also has this additional function integrated, which is also displayed in HomeKit thanks to the plug-in.
The contact sensor can be triggered from both sides. The SwitchBot app can even be used to configure the integrated motion detector in the contact sensor, which then detects whether the sensor is triggered when entering or leaving. The two sensors are available for around 21 Euros each.
Since SwichtBot is also attracting a lot of interest in the German market, there is also a German-language support since a few weeks. In addition to the German SwitchBot Facebook group, we would like to welcome Rico from SwitchBot to our forum. He is exclusively available to our SmartApple community for questions about SwitchBot devices and expands our round of official support contacts in the forum. Joining the SwitchBot Facebook group is also recommended for those who like to keep an eye on discount promotions and sweepstakes opportunities.
There will be a sweepstakes coming up soon that all those who join us on Twitter and are members of the SwitchBot FB group can participate. Three participants will be selected as winners by SwitchBot. The prizes are: 2x Bot, 1x Hub, 1x Indoor Cam (for each winner). You can participate here. We wish you good luck!
But also the SwitchBot Amazon page and the SwitchBot online store are always worth a visit. Currently there is a 25% discount on all products in the SwitchBot online store. Code: [ 25OFF7 ]
It should also be briefly mentioned that there is a new SwitchBot Curtain U-Rail 2. The hooks on this version are more versatile, as the rollers can be changed to match the existing rail. For users who already own the previous Curtain U-Rail but need the new hook set, contacting customer service is recommended.
We continue to be excited about the news from SwitchBot and will of course keep you informed here with us. Like all the devices we use from SwitchBot, the new sensors are well-made, robust and technically top-notch. Only in the integration into HomeKit via Homebridge, we can not recommend the motion detector and the contact sensor this time.
Whenever there is something new regarding the Homebridge integration, we will let you know. Feel free to check out the SmartApple forum directly. There is already a SwitchBot post with a lively exchange and reports of experiences.
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