We’ve previously shared on how to control your Vera with the Amazon Echo. The last round when we posted a demo video, we were actually using the Amazon Echo Vera Bridge. The open source software has since spun off different versions and improved by leaps and bounds.
The initial version require you to know and find the device ID of your light in Vera and has a very raw under interface. The latest popular version of the is now called the HA Bridge by Bws System. It comes with a user friendly interface which scans your Vera and display all the relevant devices automatically! The reason it is called the HA Bridge and not Vera Bridge is because it also allow you to voice control your Logitech Harmony and Nest.
Without further ado, here’s what you need:
1. Amazon Echo
2. A Windows/Linux/Mac/Raspberry Pi
3. Working Vera (2/3/Lite/Edge/Plus)
Here’s some high level instruction on how to set it up:
1. Get the latest binary of the HA Bridge here.
2. Download the jar file (ha-bridge.2.xxx.jar) into a folder
3. Make sure you have Java 8 JDK installed on your Windows/Linux/Mac/Raspberry Pi
4. Unlike the previous version, you no longer need to indicate your Windows/Linux/Mac/Raspberry Pi’s IP address when executing the jar file
5. Use the command line/terminal to navigate to the folder where the ha-bridge.2.xxx.jar is located
6. Simply run “java -jar ha-bridge.2.xxx.jar” and you will see the system running as shown:
7. Key in the URL in your browser http://localhost:8080 (or http://<yourIP>:8080)
8. You should then see the following in your browser (it is really very user friendly now)
9. Go to Bridge Control tab, scroll to Vera Names and IP Addresses and key in your Vera IP address the click Save.
10. Click on Vera Devices and the software automatically pulls out all the names and ID of the devices. Click on Generate Bridge Device (on any device you like to voice control) and the click on Add Bridge Device. (You can also click on Bulk Add to add all your devices in Vera all at once!)
11. Click on Bridge Devices tab and you should see the device that you have added to the bridge
12. Click on the My Echo tab, login to your Amazon Alexa page, click Smart Home on the left menu and finally click on Discover devices. Your Echo should discover the bridge device in around 20 seconds. (You may need to turn off any Philips Hue bridge if you have one before you click on discover).
There you go, up and running for 1 device. Just say “Alexa, turn on <your device name>”. You can do the same for scenes without knowing the scene number as well because the software automatically scans your Vera for the scene number. If you notice on the UI, you can also add Harmony, Hue and Nest to be controlled as well. I’ve not tried them but it is pretty neat for an all in one bridge.
Once you have it up and running, you may want to consider having your Windows/Linux/Mac/Raspberry Pi run the software on boot. I shall skip this part as you can google for “run jar on boot <Windows/Linux/Mac/Raspberry Pi >”
Now you may be wondering where is the Fibaro integration. This bridge currently can only scan and automatically pull out devices from Vera but it doesn’t stop you from controlling devices on Fibaro if you know what URL to manually add (via the Manual Add tab).
Here’s the good news in this post. We have developed our version of this HA bridge where it also scans the Fibaro Home Center Lite or Home Center 2 and displays the devices and scenes in Fibaro for users to add to the bridge without requiring to find out device IDs and formulate the URL.
If you are a geek, feel free to contact us for a copy of the file. If you are not a geek and also like to do this for your Fibaro Home Center, we also offer the pre-setup Raspberry Pi (comes with power adapter, casing and SD card) on our online store. You just need to plugin to your home network, power up this Raspberry Pi and key in a preset URL in your browser to get all these functionality. With this, we hope to bring Fibaro Home Center owners into the world of voice control.