Skip to main content

HomeKit Weekly: How to make any curtains Siri-controlled with SwitchBot and Homebridge

Over the past few months, I’ve been exploring many of the various use cases around Homebridge through the HOOBS all in one box. I have devices that can run Homebridge, but I like the streamlined approach of not needing to manage the nitty-gritty software. My latest experiment with HOOBS is adding the SwitchBot Curtain Motor to my HomeKit environment.

HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.


As I mentioned, I am using the SwitchBot Curtain with HOOBS, but frankly, it’s beneficial on its own. If you don’t care about accessing it through HomeKit, you can buy the curtain motor, the SwitchBot Hub Mini Smart Remote, and the SwitchBot One Touch Button to build a really nice solution. On a daily basis, I’d almost be tempted to open and close curtains in a living room or office using the button.

Getting started

The installation process of the SwitchBot Curtain Motor is going to vary depending on what type of curtains you have, but I’ll embed SwitchBot’s installation video below.

When you look at how it’s constructed, it’s a pretty genius process on how it works. Because you’re taking something physical and dragging it open or closed, all it needs is a motor to move left or right. When I first came across the product, I was skeptical that it would work well, but it ended up being reliable on my rod-based curtains. One critical reminder is that the calibration process is really important so SwitchBot can understand what you consider “open” and “closed”.

Once it’s installed, you’ll add it to the SwitchBot app on iPhone. In my installation process, I already had a SwitchBot Hub up and running for my SwitchBot Button Pusher.

Adding SwitchBot Curtains to HOOBS

Inside the HOOBS dashboard, search for the Switchbot Plugin. The certified one is the one I am using, and I would recommend it to you as well. Once it’s installed, you’ll paste in the API key in the appropriate field.

I initially had many challenges with getting the Button Pusher to work on my first go around. Unfortunately, I had a typo in my MAC address which took me a lot of time to figure out, but I think the plugin could use some better documentation.

Since I already had SwitchBot Hub configured in HOOBS, I turned on Device Discovery, and it showed up in HomeKit after a reboot of the HOOBS plugin bridge.

Accessing with Siri

The main use case of adding the SwitchBot curtain to HomeKit is for Siri access. I am not going to lie, it feels pretty good to walk into a room a say “Hey Siri, open my curtains” and watch it happen. Practically, though, using the SwitchBot app or the SwitchBot remote is a bit faster.

Overall impressions

There’s an aspect of using workarounds like Switchbot to make regular things “smart” that I can really get behind. It allows you to change curtains in the future without worrying about if they are “smart” or your “smart rod” is compatible. It’s a simple mechanical process that adds “smarts” to an existing product for a reasonable cost. Would I put them in every curtain in the house? Probably not, but if you have a home office or a media room, it’s a really nice way to upgrade the experience of opening and closing the curtains.

As a reminder, to get this setup up and running, you’ll need the SwitchBot Curtain Motor, HOOBS, and the SwitchBot Hub Mini Smart Remote.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: The Teracube 2e is a more sustainable phone that you can afford

It just got easier to be green. If you know me or read my work here at AC, you know that I feel strongly about a few things when it comes to smartphones and consumer tech, and those things are not necessarily what some of my colleagues or others in the tech-sphere care about. You can have your 10x optical zoom cameras, folding phones, and 50W wireless charging devices all day, but I'm more interested in affordable to mid-range devices that last longer than you'd expect and which are at least trying to do environmental and social good. Sounds great, but it seems that it's harder to find this combination of features in a phone than the ultra-premium specced-out devices we typically talk about here on this website. That's why I was excited when I had the chance to write this Teracube 2e review. Teracube is a relatively new smartphone OEM based out of Redmond, WA, and founder Sharad Mittal's stated goal is to change the "disposable nature of the consumer ele

Google's new Guest Mode is like incognito mode for Google Assistant

Your interactions with Google Assistant will not be saved when Guest Mode is turned on. What you need to know Google Assistant is getting a new Guest Mode for privacy-conscious users. When it's turned on, the virtual assistant will not save any of its interactions with you. Turning it on and off is as simple as a single voice command. Google this week announced a new Guest Mode for its virtual assistant that's designed with privacy-conscious folks in mind. A simple "Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode" will ensure that none of your interactions with Google Assistant are collected by the company and nor will they be used to 'personalize your experience' — often an indirect way of referring to targeted ads. When it's on, the Assistant will play a special chime to let you know. Smart displays with Assistant will also show a guest icon on the screen. And you can always check for yourself by saying, "Hey Google, is Guest Mode on?" Even with G

Spotify Q1 beats on sales of $2B with monthly active users up 31% to 286M

The coronavirus may be decimating some corners of the economy, but the impact on the digital music, as evidenced by the world’s biggest music streaming company, appears to be minimal. Today Spotify reported its earnings for Q1 with revenues of €1.848 billion ($2 billion at today’s rates) and an inching into a positive net income of $1 million. Monthly active users (not total subscribers) now stand at 286 million, with paid (premium) users at 130 million and ad-supported monthly active users at 163 million. Ad-supported users are growing at a slightly higher rate at the moment, at 32% versus 31%, Spotify said. Spotify beat  analysts’ forecasts on both sales — they had on average been expecting revenues of $1.86 billion — and EPS, which had been forecast to be -$0.49 but came in at -$0.20 on a diluted basis and $0.00 undiluted. The numbers underscore the positive signals we’ve had from the wider industry. More generally, we have seen a huge boost in streaming media services — includ

Adobe is giving students and teachers free access to Creative Cloud

Your university's IT admin will need to make an application for access. What you need to know Adobe is temporarily making Creative Cloud free for teachers and students. The offer is aimed at enabling them to continue being productive as they work and study from home. Students cannot individually avail the promo, however, as the application for access needs to be made by a university's IT admin. As universities around the world shut their campuses and organizations ask their employees to work from home, many tech companies are making their products available to educational institutes free for use. Google and Microsoft have both made their large-scale communication and videoconferencing tools free for everyone, and now Adobe is temporarily giving free Creative Cloud access to students and teachers. The subscription, which usually costs $79.49 per month, will give affected students and teachers access to the entire range of Adobe's applications, such as Photoshop