[may 5, 2016] - update; see new video of this process here.

Like many others, you have all these different gadgets that are a bit older and just missed the Siri HomeKit bus. So now your on the short bus, and Siri won’t speak to those devices.

Well, you my friend are in luck, because there’s a utility called Homebridge that was created by Nick Farina that may help; well sort of, as it doesn’t work with everything.

Homebridge is a Node.js server you can run on your home network that emulates the iOS HomeKit API. It supports Plugins, which are community-contributed and provide a basic bridge from HomeKit to various 3rd-party APIs provided by manufacturers of “smart home" devices.

With user contributed modules, Homebridge allows you to connect to things like:

Roomba980

Inspire Home Thermostat

Yamaha AVR

Xbox One

Sensibo

Synology

Denon AVR

Nest

Hue

Lockitron

The list goes on and on.
Below is one example of how to use Siri with older Nest devices.
Ok, you’re going to need a Mac computer. Personally, I have a few newer iMacs, but decided to purchased an old mac mini from Amazon for this project; it’s not necessary, but the computer needs to always remain on (with terminal app open), and the Mac mini draws very little power. I’m also using that same Mac mini to run my Plex server, but we’ll get into that another time.
I would suggest testing this on your current Mac before running out and buying a Mac mini.
Of course it goes without saying that you’ll need a Nest Thermostat and HomeKit compatible device - I know, I just said it.
You will need the following software:
The node.js.pkg (free) In software development, Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment for developing server-side Web applications. Although Node.js is not a JavaScript framework, many of its basic modules are written in JavaScript, and developers can write new modules in JavaScript.
TextWrangler (free) TextWrangler is a powerful, general-purpose text editor crafted in Bare Bones Software’s best traditions. For anyone who works with text, this award-winning application provides a clean, intelligent interface to a rich set of features for editing, searching, and manipulation of text with high performance. TextWrangler's best-of-class features include grep pattern matching, search and replace across multiple files, function navigation and syntax coloring for numerous source code languages, code folding, FTP and SFTP open and save, AppleScript, Mac OS X Unix scripting support, and much more.
config.json (free) file to configure Homebridge
You’ll also need to download an app from the AppStore called, “Devices”. It use to be free but now costs $2.99.

STEP ONE

Double click on the node.js.pkg and install it onto your Mac.

STEP TWO

Terminal iconOpen your macs terminal. If you’re not sure where it is, then go to the applications folder, and then look for the utilities folder. In the utilities folder you will see an application with an icon that looks like this.

Open that little guy up by double clicking on it. We’ll now need to run some ‘sudo’ commands; so you’re going to need your Mac’s admin password. You may already be using it if you don’t have other users on your mac.

For the following terminal commands, you can just copy and paste the below highlighted text instead of typing it.

In terminal, type: sudo npm install -g homebridge and hit enter. You’ll be asked to enter your admin password at this point; do so and hit enter.

Again, in terminal, type: sudo npm install -g homebridage-nest  and hit, you guessed it…enter. If you are asked for a password, then just re-type your Mac’s admin password again.

Once again, in terminal, type: homebridge  and hit enter.

At this point the screen will populate with a bunch of different stuff, including some errors; disregard the errors. One of the reasons you're getting those errors is because you haven’t configured your config.json file; that’s coming up shortly. Hang tight!

STEP 3

Ok, so with the TextWrangler app that you downloaded from iTunes, go ahead and open up the config.json file.

Mac open withEasiest way to do this, is to left click on the config.json file, which will bring up a menu. Press on the “Open With” (second from the top), and then you should see Textwrangler as one of your options to open that file -  as long as you have installed TextWrangler on your computer.

Once you open the file you should see something like the below image.

TextWrangler config.json

There are two things you’ll need to change here. Further down from where it says, “platforms” you’ll find, “username”. Next to “username” replace the red “you@email.com” with your Nest email address. Yes, the one you used to setup your Nest device.

Below that is “password”. Replace the red “password” with the one you use for Nest.

Get it. Red letters you replace and blue you leave as is; and leave the quotes in place. Do NOT remove the quotes.

Under “bridge” which is at the beginning of the document, you need to add a line below it called, “username”: “CC:22:3D:E3:CE:30",

For the love of Pete, and all that is good in this world, don’t remove the comma from the end of those numbers.

If you’ve been following along, your screen should look like the image below.

Text wrangler

If your screen doesn’t look like the above image; then it’s a bloody miracle you were able to get out of bed today. Haha! Just kidding - no I’m dead serious.

Now from the file menu bar, save your file, then close TextWrangler.

OK, make sure that all your windows are minimized in front of you except this one - obviously.

Press somewhere on the screen that is not a file. In other words, click on your wallpaper/desktop.

Go to FolderNow look way up and you should see “Go” in your menu bar. Press on “Go” and a drop down list will give you  some additional options. Press on, “Go To Folder”.

If your feeling dangerous you can just press, command - shift - G for the same result; as long as you clicked on the desktop.

You should being seeing something that looks like this image; if you manually went up and pressed “GO”.

Either way however, you’ll be presented with a dialogue box that needs to filled out; see image below.

Go to

There will more then likely be some text there; just overwrite it, and type, ~/.homebridge  and hit enter or click “Go”.

This will/should open up your SECRET Homebridge folder. Place your spanking new config.json file in this folder.

Go to your ’still’ opened terminal window, and type homebridge  Hit enter.

Let it do its thing, and you should end up with something that looks like the image below. It will also show the port you’re using underneath that grey home kit number; remember that number (987-65-432) as I will speak to it further down.

Terminal screen

Alright! We’re almost there. So exciting, right.

STEP 4

Go to the AppStore on your iPhone, and search for an app called, “Devices” by LinkDesk GmbH & Co. KG. Download the app, and install it on your phone. Open the app up.

At this point you’ll be asked to name your “Home”; just name it Home. After that click next, and it will take you to a screen that looks like the image below. Click on the top right button that says, “Done”.

Device screen

On the following screen, click on “Add New Devices” towards the bottom of the screen. This will take you back to the image above. However, this time click on “Home”; unless you didn’t follow my instructions and named it something different. If so, shame on you!

On the following screen you should see under, “ADD NEW DEVICES” Homebridge. Sometimes it takes a few seconds for Homebridge to pop up. Basically it’s connecting to the Homebridge we setup in terminal; remember terminal must always be running (don’t close it). Yet another reason to have this running on a separate mac.

If you don’t see Homebridge come up, then close your terminal window, then reopen and type Homebridge into the terminal and hit enter.

Ok, back to the app. Hopefully everything went smooth and you see Homebridge in the app. Click on the Homebridge button. At which time you’ll get a pop up that says, “Add HomeKit Accessory”. Click add anyway.

You will then get your typical HomeKit, Add Accessory screen. Click on “Enter Code Manually,” and enter the code that was at the bottom of your terminal window; after you typed in Homebridge. It should be 987-65-432.

After you’ve entered the code it will begin to connect with Homebridge. Once connected you should get a screen that indicates Thermostat. Click “Save” at the top right hand corner. Click on the back button that says, “Room & Devices” and then “Done”. You should see a picture of a thermostat at this point.

That’s it folks! Your mother would be so proud of you.

Now give it a try. You can say things like:

  • "Siri, what is the temperature in the house"
  • “Siri, change the temperature in the house to (whatever) degrees”
  • "Siri, what is the humidity in the house"

There’s allot you can do with Homebridge which is beyond the scope of this article. Read up on it here.

Since I installed Homebridge, I've also added, hue lights, and my garage door.

Enjoy. Let me know if you have any questions.

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