Android Smart Phone for Smart Home (Part 1 of 2)
You have obviously heard of controlling your smart home with your smart phone, how about controlling your smart phone (in a way) with your smart home? This video below shows the possibilities by using Tasker to bake in smart home controls into your Android home screen. The home screen and phone will react to the things that happen in the house. (Sorry, no such luck for iOS devices). In this demo, I specifically made some switches to report status in voice just to how the possibility but in real application, you just need to specify for certain devices like door sensors.
For the nerds only
So how do we do this? In this tutorial, I’m going to show how you add a light control icon on your Android home screen and make the status of the light update the icon on homescreen and say something. These are the stuff you need before getting on it:
- Android Phone (Jelly Bean)
- AuthomationHD app
- Tasker app
- AutoVera app (beta)
- Vera Lite and some Z-Wave light switches
- AutoVera plugin for Vera
1. I’m assuming you have very basic idea of how Tasker works so you may want to watch this a bit before you continue if this is the first time you hear about Tasker.
2. Install Tasker and AutoVera from the Google Play Store. AutoVera is still in beta, so you will need to sign up as a beta tester.
3. Install AutoVera plugin from here into your Vera Lite and setup your AutoVera. Input your Vera username and password into AutoVera as follows:
3. Tap on “Your Veras” in the AutoVera app, click into scenes and devices and tap the refresh button on top of the screen as shown below:
4. Once you have done the refreshing, you can go around the house to on/off your Z-Wave light switches. You should be able to see the status updates reported in the logs in AutoVera. If the status is updated in AutoVera as shown, you are good to go to the next step. (Note: This AutoVera is still in beta, I encountered some delay in status updates for intermittently)
5. Launch Tasker app, go to the Task tab and create a Task (Dining Task in my case) with Send Intent Action (Sent Intent is in Misc) as follows:
Please note the Data should be authomation://device/<yourveraid>/<yourdevicenumber>/toggle
6. You have just created a Task where you can place on the home screen to control your light. But before placing it on home screen, assign an icon to the task by clicking on the bottom right of the screen (in my screenshot its already assigned the light bulb icon, your screen should be an icon with 9 squares) as follows:
You should select built in icon and select a darker light bulb icon as the light should be turned off by default.
7. Add a Tasker widget to the homescreen and select the Task you had just created as shown:
After selecting the Task you just created, simply go back to the homescreen to tap on the newly created icon. You should be able to tap on the icon to toggle on and off your lights.
8. The next step is to create 2 profiles that change the icon whenever the status of the light is updated by Vera. I’m showing an example profile that changes the icon to a brighter one when the light is turned off in the sequence of screenshot below.
- Go to profile tab in Tasker
- Create a profile by clicking + (Select State>Plugin>AutoVera Status)
- Tap on pencil icon
- Select the vera
- Select your device
- Key in “SwitchPower1” in Service
- Key in “status” in Variable
- Key in “1” in New Value
- Tap on the tick icon on top of the screen
- You should see the configuration populated as shown in the screenshot
- Tap on back
- Tap on New Task (name is optional)
- Create an Action by clicking + (Select Tasker>Set Widget Icon)
- In the Name field, tap the magnifier icon and select the widget you had previously dragged onto the home screen
- In the Icon field, tap on the icon (with 9 squares) to select the icon to update to when this action is performed
- Create an Action by clicking + (Select Misc>Say)
- In the Text field, key in “Dining is on”
- Tap on back until you return to home screen
Now whenever the light is turned on, the icon will be updated. You can use the same steps to create the profile that update the icon back when the light is turned off. With this concept you can virtually make your phone react in any possible way (as long as it is supported by Tasker)
Enjoy making your home smarter.