Apple approves software home kit bridges
  • Hi,

    With the news last year that apple will now allow software based bridges, is there anything in the pipeline in terms of home kit integration for security spy? It would be awesome to see SS cameras show up in the home app, and support notifications etc.

    I currently use homebridge with the mpeg based generic IP camera plugin, which is great but it would be much nicer to be able to see notifications, maybe trigger recording etc?
  • Unfortunately there is still not official macOS API for HomeKit. Apple has restricted its use to iOS and tvOS apps only so far. What software bridge are you referring to? There is one called "homebridge" but this isn't official, and it's not really something we can distribute with SecuritySpy.
  • Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the reply. I hadn't clocked that apple haven't released HomeKit for macOS yet.

    Yes I use HomeBridge, which is unofficial as you say, but works pretty well and has an extensive set of plugins to do just about everything you want.

    So far the best way I've found is to use a homebridge plugin which allows you to run AppleScript, this allows me to set cameras to record (for example when a motion sensor is activated, or the alarm etc) but what would be really useful is integration with home kit to allow notifications, and cameras to appear as "sensors" triggered when they detect motion and record.

    It would be interesting to know if there's anyone who could develop an unofficial homebridge plugin using the existing web interface / AppleScript interface security spy currently allows...
  • Hi Ben,

    Is there any movement on this with Mojave in beta? I appreciate that things change a lot in beta, but its at least promising isn't it?

    I've used Homebridge and Hap-NodeJS to bridge various devices at home, but its a lot of work, and doesn't have any decent functionality other than being able to view direct camera feeds in Homekit and on my Apple Watch.

    I'd love to see more of the functionality of SS within HomeKit, such as alerts and automation for other devices from camera motion detection.

    That said, IFTTT SS access would also be very useful to integrate backups and alerts to offsite platforms.
  • Hi @paulgrimsley, it looks like there may be some inclusion of HomeKit in macOS Mojave, so we will definitely look into whether this will be useful for SecuritySpy. I haven't had a chance to look at this in detail as we've been working on other things, but this is certainly on our "to do" list.
  • Excellent Ben, if you need any assistance with testing let me know. I can always throw Mojave on a partition. All the best.
  • Hi,

    just wanted to ask if there is an update on this? HomeKit is now working on a Mac.

    I am in the middle of setting up a system and would like to know if I can implement SecuritySpy in my Apple HomeKit environment.
  • Even though a basic Home app has now been included in Mojave, there is still not macOS API that developers such as ourselves can use to interface with HomeKit. And while Homebridge may be viable in theory, it's just too difficult to install and configure to be useful for any significant number of our users. Therefore it does not make sense at this time for us to spend significant development resources to write a Homebridge plugin.

    What we really need is for Apple to officially allow developers like ourselves access to HomeKit from our macOS apps. Ideally this would be via an official macOS HomeKit API, but there is also another possibility, which is that Apple is apparently planning to give developers access to a new framework that allows iOS apps to be ported to macOS. When this happens, we should be able to use the iOS API in our macOS app. We'll keep an eye on this.
  • @ben Any further updates on this? Any possibility to use Mac Catalyst to enable SecuritySpy to utilize your iOS API for HomeKit?
  • Unfortunately there is still no macOS Homekit API provided by Apple. Using Mac Catalyst to bridge to the iOS Homekit API is an interesting idea - we'll look into this.
  • Any update on Apple integration with Catalina as yet. Been waiting a few years now. Don't want to have to move away from SS, so is there any options, alternatives to use SS on homekit
  • Unfortunately nothing has changed on this front - there is no official macOS API for Homekit provided by Apple. Without this, the only options for us would be to engineer our own solution using the protocol specification (which would be difficult, but also prohibited because Apple specifies this is only allowed for non-commercial applications outside of the MFi Program, which we can't join because we are not a manufacturer of hardware accessories), or to go via something like Homebridge, which is not easy to set up and not sanctioned by Apple.

    This is made more complicated because not only would we want to be a supplier of events to HomeKit (e.g. motion in a camera in SS -> HomeKit -> Turn on light) but a consumer (e.g. door opens -> HomeKit -> start recording in SS). Each arm of this is a completely different implementation task, and neither have been officially allowed or facilitated by Apple for macOS apps.
  • Opinion: The development of homekit and opening it up to a wider range of devices, along with still very simple automation possiblities makes me think that putting effort into this might be a waste of time.

    There are much better home automation solutions emerging, if you are even slightly techincal you should be able to get nodered up and running, intergations are way better and automation flows are much easier to build and debug. There are various options for a front end, and it's possible to use the security spy URL's/API's to control what you need. Webhooks would make much more sense at this stage, but even that can be done with custom commands on triggers.
  • I agree with saltyseadog21. If Apple isn't going to open API's for developers and make it easy for software like security spy to integrate, then what's the point of trying. I'd love to see it happen as all my devices are Apple. However, with many other mature options out there for home automation, Apple is already late to the game. They shelved Homekit in my opinion. It had so much potential, but they are idiots for that decision and many others. I continue to use Apple because it's the best platform out there imho. However, I despise the company, the CEO especially and their constant virtue signaling. I wish there were better options.

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