1. RayWP7's Avatar
    Hi guys,

    I'm sure there are many of you that have home automation setups. I haven't seen or found any reviews on products out there that are compatible with our platform, but there are some cool tools to help us manage these setups.

    In my home, I use the following gear. Except for Samsung, none of the systems have native Windows XX apps which is hugely frustrating. The one Samsung app that does exist is pretty terrible from a performance perspective. I use a junky (but highly functional) ASUS Android GoPhone to manage my hub. I was thinking that I would need to buy a junky Android tablet just to be able to interact with my systems more easily and natively (when that is the preferred option). Fortunately, Windows 10 does have an option if you're willing to put in some work. If you bought into Samsungs SmartThings, then you probably are and should definitely check this out.

    Stuff I use:
    • Samsung SmartThings
    • Philips Hue and Bridge
    • Sonos
    • MyQ Chamberlain Gateway
    • Nest Thermostat

    All of those have separate apps and except for Samsung, none of those apps exist for Windows platform(s).

    HomeRemote is a Universal Windows App that allows you to connect various source systems (such as ALL of those mentioned above) in order to create a management UI that you want. As you connect each system, different types of data and actions become available. The way this is done is two part.

    Part one is to download a Windows desktop app that allows you to connect the various systems. This IDE, as you might call it, also is the designer you'll use to lay out the various screens and data and stuff you want to see and/ or manage.

    Part two is the Windows Universal App itself. When you run it for the first time it shows ​a "demonstration app". It isn't functional (since it isn't connected to any sources) and is just to show you how stuff might look.

    Once you've connected sources in the IDE (Windows desktop app), laid out some stuff, and tested using the simulator then you need to publish. Publishing is either running the "project" locally which invokes the Windows Universal App which then in turn loads the project you are publishing. The other option is to publish remotely and/or using a removable device. Then, just open the desired project on your phone and/or tablet and the App will run using your project specifications (connections and all). I save my project files to a OneDrive synced location so that I can just open the file in OneDrive on my Phone/ Surface.

    It's an interesting paradigm. You design a layout including connection stuff that is referred to as a project. Then you just open the project on whatever device you wish to use. It opens the Windows Universal App as you designed it.


    I'm using it now to setup a Windows 10 Mobile App (project) that allows me to control lighting, view sensor summaries, control my thermostat, control my garage door, and set SmartThings SmartHome states. Though the mobile project I built will "scale" with the screen and therefore work fine on my tablet and laptops, it isn't displaying more on the extra screen real estate. As a result, the next thing will be to design a Windows 10 App (project) which is better suited to tablet form factors. I want to mount the tablet to the wall to use as a central control/ status panel.

    Oh. Did I mention Cortana support? You can enable voice recognition with customizable trigger word. Example: (inspired from ST:TNG) "Computer, arm away authorization bravo omega mu" will cause Cortana to run the SmartThings SmartHome routine "Good-Bye!".

    This app is free with methods to donate if you feel the work is worth it. I do. Aside from its huge apparent extensibility, the resulting App is remarkably fast. Oh, if you use big images, well, it will take time to load. Keep fancy doodles to a minimum and the app loads quickly and runs quickly. Amazing that Microsoft didn't do something like this *if* the lack of apps for home automation was ever brought to their attention. It's a very clever and elegant design.

    **I apologize in advance if I've muddled and/or confused a few terms/words. I'm new to this. I was so relieved to find such a helpful solution that I just wanted people to be aware of it. :) Also, I apologize for typos. I just hammered this out in my lunch break and didn't pay too much attention to the details.**

    Thanks and good luck!

    Saijin_Naib and TechFreak1 like this.
    03-08-2016 03:16 PM
  2. vzw8830's Avatar
    Thanks for this write up, I just saw this app last night on my search for some good all-around software for windows....very lacking it seems.

    Heres a wall-mount option for you... WindFallģ Frame for Surface Pro 3, 4
    04-29-2016 02:30 PM
  3. plutoAZ's Avatar
    I am having trouble with acquiring the endpoint information. When I search for the endpoint and logon it gives me a list of devices that I cannot choose from. I click on authorize and it gives me a number of endpoints, but none of them work and all end in error that says pick fewer devices. Any suggestions?
    07-28-2016 09:22 AM
  4. Bobvfr's Avatar
    Although there isn't an official app for Phillips Hue, there is Huetro for Hue, a Universal app that is actually very good.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    07-28-2016 02:50 PM

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